One Year Later: The Continuing Erosion of Liberal Democracy

A few days ago, I shared some observations from abroad about the importance of democratic norms. As JoAnn recently reminded me, almost exactly a year ago–early in January, before Trump was inaugurated–I had used an essay by Fareed Zakaria to offer similar cautions. Zakaria warned about the prospect of what he called “illiberal democracy”–countries where people voted for leadership, but […]

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The Word Of The Year: Complicit


There was a brief spurt of publicity when chose “complicit” as its 2017 word of the year. The site defined complicit as follows: Complicit means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.” Or, put simply, it means being, at some level, responsible for something . . . even […]

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Trump Praises Conservative Group One Day After Racism Exposé

Donald Trump praised Turning Point USA a day after a racism exposé on the org

Following  blockbuster investigative article published by The New Yorker yesterday, Donald Trump tweeted praise and support this morning for Turning Point USA – a conservative recruitment group accused of racial bias and potential campaign finance law violations. In his tweet, Trump said: “The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.” Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, […]

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Voting One’s Interests

Rise of the Trump SWASP

Fareed Zakaria is a savvy observer of both domestic governance and international relations, and he makes a very good point in a recent Washington Post column. It has become a (tiresome) truism that many Americans “vote against their own interests.” This assertion has always annoyed me, because it embodies a couple of arrogant assumptions: first, that the speaker/writer knows better than those voters […]

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Class Warfare: Paul Ryan Will Target “Entitlements”

The GOP doesn’t even bother to pretend any more. The party is waging a class war in which the rich and connected are taking unremitting aim at the struggling, powerless and unconnected: children, the disabled and the working poor. Excuse my language, but the only thing “trickling down” is piss. On December 6th, The Hill reported on Paul Ryan’s next despicable but not […]

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When Someone Tells You What They Are, Believe Them

The Huffington Post was only one of several outlets reporting on the confirmation of yet another unqualified (but politically and ideologically acceptable) nominee to the federal bench. The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, Leonard Steven Grasz, despite the fact that Grasz earned an embarrassing and unanimous “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Every Republican present […]

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The Ever-Increasing Rot Within the GOP


David Brooks can be a maddening columnist. He is often thoughtful and perceptive; obviously highly intelligent and unfailingly civil, he rarely comes across as doctrinaire. On the other hand, he often produces analyses that are surprisingly naive and occasionally even uninformed. I read his columns regularly, because when he’s right, he’s really right. (And to be fair, even with his more off-base musings, […]

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Roy Moore: America Hasn’t Been Great Since Slavery

Roy Moore Senate Campaign

Because they were overshadowed by other controversies at the time, remarks made by Alabama Senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore are surfacing where he argued America hasn’t been great since slavery was law. He made the remarks during a September campaign speech in response to a question from an African-American man asking when America was last “great” (referencing […]

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