background preloader

Direction of US democracy

Facebook Twitter

Populist and Conservative: Mike Lee on Tucker Carlson’s Monologue. A debate about where the Right should go from here is the right one.

Populist and Conservative: Mike Lee on Tucker Carlson’s Monologue

Conservatives on both sides of Tucker Carlson’s broadside against America’s elite last week should be grateful he launched it. In the wake of President Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 and Republicans’ loss of the House of Representatives in 2018, a debate about where the Right ought to go from here is the one we all need to be having. Carlson’s must-see monologue may aim wide in a few particulars, but it seems to me directionally correct. He is right that both parties in Washington rely too much on aggregate economic statistics to measure their success. Government — including economic policy — does not exist simply to grow the economy, but to facilitate “the happiness of the people.” On the other hand, many of Carlson’s conservative and libertarian critics score some points, too.

This video file cannot be played. Tucker Carlson is right that if we want to put America first, we’ve “got to put its families first.” Actual Journalism Is Under an Asymmetrical Attack. Our political media today is a one-sided battle.

Actual Journalism Is Under an Asymmetrical Attack

In one corner, we have the old-fashioned gatekeepers doing business as they always have: fearful of offending the powerful, and constantly attempting to strike a balance between profit and what they deem the “public interest.” In the other is an amalgam of right-wing institutions that found a path to riches by combining lies, prejudice, and conspiracy theories—with precious little actual journalism. Donald Trump’s presidency has boosted the latter’s influence, helping to metastasize its cancerous mendacity throughout the body politic. But the phenomenon precedes Trump—indeed, without it he would still be a C-list celebrity grifter. Three scholars associated with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University—Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts—have published a study that does the best job I’ve seen of contextualizing the current information ecosphere.

George Washington Was a Master of Deception. Washington began using deception soon after he took command of the Continental Army in 1775.

George Washington Was a Master of Deception

After a summer of skirmishes around Boston, rebel gunpowder was nearly gone; Washington’s soldiers only had enough for nine bullets per man. To hide this potentially fatal weakness from the British while he scrambled to get supplies, Washington ordered fake gunpowder casks be filled with sand and shipped to depots where they would be spotted by British spies. He also ordered a secret paramilitary mission to seize gunpowder stores in Bermuda that failed only because another secret rebel mission had gotten there first but nobody bothered to tell Washington.

Throughout the war, Washington wrote reports inflating his troop strength that were designed to fall into the hands of traitors within his own ranks or agents hiding among the British. Washington’s deceptions even involved French bread. How Putin's oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns. There is no doubt that Kukes has close ties to the Putin government.

How Putin's oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns

When he left his job as CEO of TNK in June 2003, he joined the board of Yukos Oil, which at the time was the largest oil company in Russia owned by the richest man in Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Four months after Kukes joined the board, authorities arrested Khodorkovsky at gunpoint on his private plane in Siberia on trumped up charges of tax evasion and tapped Kukes to be CEO. This decision could only have been made at the highest levels in the Kremlin. The arrest of Khodorkovsky rattled the nerves of international investors and was the first tangible sign that Putin was not going to be the kind of leader that global executives and Western governments had expected him to be when he first took office in 2000.

The Suffocation of Democracy. As a historian specializing in the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and Europe in the era of the world wars, I have been repeatedly asked about the degree to which the current situation in the United States resembles the interwar period and the rise of fascism in Europe. I would note several troubling similarities and one important but equally troubling difference. In the 1920s, the US pursued isolationism in foreign policy and rejected participation in international organizations like the League of Nations. America First was America alone, except for financial agreements like the Dawes and Young Plans aimed at ensuring that our “free-loading” former allies could pay back their war loans. Mike Gallagher: How to Fix Congress. If you are among the 11 percent of Americans who believe that everything in Congress is going swimmingly, then save some time and stop reading right now.

Mike Gallagher: How to Fix Congress

(But first, please share whatever experimental drugs you are on.) But if you are among the 87 percent of people who are concerned about what is going on in Congress, then I have an important message for you: It’s much worse than you think. On Tuesday, Congress reconvenes after a month of campaigning. Lame-duck legislation will likely get the most attention, but a more important debate will occur among surviving incumbents and new members in each caucus about how to organize for the next Congress.

This debate about rules and process, more than any Russia-related investigation or wall-funding-fueled shutdown, will determine whether Congress can avoid two years of dysfunction or whether it will continue its slide into irrelevance. The GOP Needs Working-Class Voters More Than Ever. Eliot Cohen: The Republican Party abandons conservatism In some respects, Trump’s rise vindicated our thesis: Here was a candidate who spoke to the party’s working-class base, and who managed to breach the “blue wall” as a result.

The GOP Needs Working-Class Voters More Than Ever

In others, though, it underscored the inability of the Republican policy-making apparatus to adapt to the new dispensation. As an undisciplined political outsider, who takes great pride in his improvisational approach to governing, Trump is singularly ill-equipped to drive the Republican agenda in new directions. In short, Trump has cronies, not cadres. That is, he has a small coterie of loyalists who aren’t especially experienced or knowledgeable when it comes to policy making, who’ve since been joined by Republican regulars who champion ideological nostrums that are always unpopular and often discredited. This is not to suggest that Democrats don’t face challenges of their own. This is not entirely fair. Neil J. Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That Wasn’t A Blue Wave. Conservatives are furiously spinning Tuesday night’s election results.

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That Wasn’t A Blue Wave

As everyone expected, Donald Trump took to Twitter to tout his party’s “big victory,” a claim he continued to make during a zany and combative press conference on Wednesday. Glenn Reynolds described the midterms as a “purple puddle.” Don’t buy it. This was a significant blue wave. Democrats, handicapped by extreme gerrymandering, structural disadvantages in both the House and Senate and relentless efforts to suppress their votes, faced one of the most vicious and dishonest campaigns in memory. How Congressional Elections Came to Be about the President. Over decades, voters have made the president the dominant figure; that’s not what the Founders intended.

How Congressional Elections Came to Be about the President

Tomorrow is Election Day, and even though President Donald Trump is not on the ballot, his presidency looms large over the outcome. Most Americans have consistently expressed their disapproval of him over the last 18 months, which stands to hurt Republicans tomorrow. Just how badly the GOP will suffer remains unclear for now. We take for granted that midterm elections are largely influenced by opinions about the president.

It is how our system works. Eu.usatoday. The midterm election Tuesday is not a primarily a choice between conservatives and liberals or their policies.


It would be, in the words of Ernest Hemingway, “pretty to think so,” but it is not true. Yes, there are some important issues pending as we head into the 116th Congress: health care, an idiotic trade war, an arms control treaty. Conspiracy Theories Drove the Pittsburgh Gunman to Murder. In 2016, the bizarre tipped over into the dangerous when the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy spread online.

Conspiracy Theories Drove the Pittsburgh Gunman to Murder

It claimed that Clinton was implicated in a pedophilia ring being run out of a pizza place in Washington, D.C., and it found eager propagators on social-media sites like Twitter and bulletin boards like 4chan. Ultimately, it inspired a man to enter the pizza place with an assault rifle in the apparent belief that he would bust up the activities. He was arrested without hurting anyone. This is emphatically not to say that conspiratorial thinking causes violence. U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don’t Know How to Stop It. How to Understand the Trump Era. What Lord of the Rings Says About NeverTrump Conservatives. Read: J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” still matters 80 years later It is a more measured version of a larger phenomenon: erstwhile NeverTrumpers who wryly describe themselves as “OccasionalTrumpers,” or who attempt to cleanse themselves of the stain of having signed letters denouncing candidate Trump by praising President Trump’s achievements and his crudely framed, rough-hewn wisdom, deploring his language but applauding at least some of his deeds.

It is the temptation to accommodate oneself to the nature of the times, as Machiavelli would have put it, and to ally—cautiously but definitely—with the Power that is rather than the principles that were. And that is where Tolkien comes in. His masterwork—the six books in three volumes, not the movies with their unfortunate elisions, occasional campiness and spectacular computer-generated images—addresses many themes relevant to our age, not least of which is that temptation. America’s Next Civil War. Everyone in Canada with any power has the same job. It doesn’t matter if you’re prime minister, minister of foreign affairs, or premier of Alberta; it doesn’t matter if you’re the mayor of a small town or a CEO of a major company, if you run a cultural institution or a mine. Canadians with any power at all have to predict what’s going to happen in the United States. The American economy remains the world’s largest; its military spending dwarfs every other country’s; its popular culture, for the moment, dominates.

Canada sits in America’s shadow. Figuring out what will happen there means figuring out what we will eventually face here. Trump and the Politics of Anger. There were other ways to stand down Southern bullies. John Parker Hale of New Hampshire used humor. When confronted by raging Southerners, he responded with good-natured jokes and gibes, deflating Southern bravado with laughter. His flawless comic timing was apparent in 1848 when he asked for a dictionary to find an insult’s meaning; playing up the comedy of the moment, he brought down the house.

John Quincy Adams used his parliamentary prowess and the weight of his authority to cow Southerners, outsmarting and out-bullying them when they were on the attack. Congressional peers were well aware of his “sledgehammer” eloquence. Bloomberg. Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America Imagine the perfect political and intellectual weapon. It would disable your adversaries by preoccupying them with their own vanities and squabbles, a bit like a drug so good that users focus on the high and stop everything else they are doing. Such a weapon exists: It is called political correctness. But it is not a weapon against white men or conservatives, as is frequently alleged; rather, it is a weapon against the American left. To put it simply, the American left has been hacked, and it is now running in a circle of its own choosing, rather than focusing on electoral victories or policy effectiveness.

Of course there is a lot of racism out there, which makes political correctness all the more tempting. How Newt Gingrich Destroyed American Politics. Updated on October 17, 2018 Newt Gingrich is an important man, a man of refined tastes, accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and so when he visits the zoo, he does not merely stand with all the other patrons to look at the tortoises—he goes inside the tank.

On this particular afternoon in late March, the former speaker of the House can be found shuffling giddily around a damp, 90‑degree enclosure at the Philadelphia Zoo—a rumpled suit draped over his elephantine frame, plastic booties wrapped around his feet—as he tickles and strokes and paws at the giant shelled reptiles, declaring them “very cool.” - The Washington Post. John Roberts and the Second Redemption Court.

Yoni Appelbaum: Americans Aren’t Practicing Democracy. How the 19th-Century Know Nothing Party Reshaped American Politics. Tom Nichols: Why I'm Leaving the Republican Party. Nationalreview. The Age of Outrage. 1991-Frontline - The Mind of Hussein. Trumpocracy: Tracking the Creeping Authoritarianism of the 45th President – Mother Jones. Timothy L. Hale/ZUMA Is Donald Trump a threat to democracy? Renewing Civic Culture & Politics: Less Tribalism & Moralism; More Community & Ethics. Subscribe to read. Try all of the FT’s content with a Premium Digital Trial 4 weeks for $1.00* Read more Access to FT's award-winning news on desktop, mobile and tablet Personalised email briefings by industry, journalist or sector Portfolio tools to help manage your investments FastFT - market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day Brexit Briefing - Your essential guide to the impact of the UK-EU split. Why American Democracy Has Descended Into Collective Hysteria.

Memo to Trump Fans: Conman-in-Chief Will Betray You All. Fareed Zakaria on the most important lesson of the Trump presidency. Editor’s Note: The Autocratic Element - The Atlantic. Donald Trump Is the First White President - The Atlantic. In Defense of the Truth - The New York Times. Week 14: The Trump Dossier Resurfaces. Trump is the bubble president. Is Treason Still Punishable in America Today? The Souring of American Exceptionalism - The Atlantic. A Definitive Guide to the G.O.P. Insiders Enabling Donald Trump. The mathematicians who want to save democracy. The GOP That Failed. The Five Lines of Defense Against Comey—and Why They Failed - The Atlantic. Voter Demographics Could Be Destiny for Republicans and Democrats in 2020 - The Atlantic. The Death Knell for America's Global Leadership - The Atlantic.

Ross Douthat’s Argument Falls Short. Bloomberg. The Autocrat's Language. How Donald Trump Could Build an Autocracy in the U.S. - The Atlantic. On 'sanctuary cities,' Trumpian hyperbole runs up against legal precision. Eliot A. Cohen Responds to Donald Trump's First Week - The Atlantic. A Hundred Days of Trump. How to get Trump to change his mind on just about anything. Republicans are so hopeless, Trump may have to work with Democrats. Workshop on "Public Diplomacy in a Post-Truth Society" Obamacare: The Republican Waterloo - The Atlantic. What is McCarthyism? And how did it happen? - Ellen Schrecker. Donald Trump is not having fun. Workshop on "Public Diplomacy in a Post-Truth Society"

How Trump Became an Accidental Totalitarian. Comparing the alt-right to Nazism may be hyperbolic — but it's not ridiculous. Donald Trump Has Put America in Legal Hell. ATTN: - Our Congress is less popular than herpes. Gerrymandering Clip. How Donald Trump Could Build an Autocracy in the U.S. - The Atlantic.

How to stop an autocracy. This is the best explanation of gerrymandering you will ever see. U.S. Downgraded from a 'Full' to 'Flawed Democracy': Report. America-tyranny-donald-trump. Mexico Should Not Pay for It, and Probably Won’t. We Are the Last Defense Against Trump. Terrorism by Muslims makes up one-third of 1 percent of all murders in the US. Bloomberg. Peter's Choice. Don’t Let Anybody Tell You the Marches Didn’t Matter. Donald Trump's Inaugural Speech: America First.

GOP senator torches Obama's response to Russian cyberattacks and warns Trump. 4 Different Ways Democrats Can Save Obamacare. Trump’s presidency is doomed. Still Supporting Donald Trump? This Message Is For You. The Real Story About Fake News Is Partisanship. America’s democracy has become illiberal. Sandy Hook Parent Fights an ‘Emboldened’ Conspiracy Culture. Understanding What Dylann Roof Shared with Donald Trump. ‘The U.S. Has Fallen Into a State of Political Nihilism’ - The Atlantic. Robert Reich Calls Out Donald Trump for His "Thin-Skinned Vindictiveness"

Why misogyny won. Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About. Donald Trump Has Broken the Constitution. Donald Trump’s presidency will be like Donald Trump’s campaign. White riot. Trump and American Political Decay. How Trump Took Hate Groups Mainstream. How Trump Made Hate Intersectional. Restart GOP: New Group Kicks Off Post-Election GOP Conflict. The only way Trump can win. Megyn Kelly and the Revolt of the Conservative Women.

NBC's Steve Schmidt Excoriates GOP's "Intellectual Rot" For Empowering Donald Trump. Trump Republican Dilemma: GOP Must Unite & Fight Progressivism. 2016 Brings Old Challenges in New Forms.