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  • Trump Is a Feudal Lord

    The Trump administration named New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, “anarchist jurisdictions” on Sunday, threatening to slash federal funding due to protests against police brutality and property damage. The announcement built on an earlier order that accused several cities of “permitting anarchy, violence, and…
  • Don’t Make the Election About the Court

    I know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s empty Supreme Court seat has provoked an epic, long-awaited clash between Democrats and Republicans, that the very principle of judicial independence hangs dangerously in the balance. I realize that the social-media wave cannot be stopped, that the talking heads…
  • The Immigrants Who Created New Possibilities

    Of the many questions at stake in this fall’s election, one of the less obvious is this: Will the United States remain a country where someone like Barack Obama or Kamala Harris—a person of color with immigrant parents—is likely to be born? The answer depends,…
  • Why Isn’t Trump Trying to Win?

    The fate of an incumbent president is exquisitely sensitive to economic conditions. Incumbents tend to lose elections when the economy is weak (e.g., George H. W. Bush’s defeat in 1992) and win when it’s strong (e.g., Bill Clinton’s romp four years later). The 2020 economy…
  • The Democrats May Not Be Able to Concede

    This is the era of expecting the worst while hoping for the merely tolerable. Some might say that the worst is already happening—economic disaster and 190,000 dead from a pandemic—while the president and his surrogates insist, in a feat of self-delusion, that the “best is…
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    Making Joe Biden Cool

    Ben Wessel was nervous. Joe Biden had just won the Democratic nomination, and the youth-focused super PAC Wessel runs, NextGen America, now had to figure out how to persuade the generation of TikTok and trigger warnings to turn out to vote for a 77-year-old man…
  • This Republican Party Is Not Worth Saving

    I was a Republican for most of my adult life. I came of political age in 1980, and although I grew up in a working-class Democratic stronghold in Massachusetts, I found a home in Ronald Reagan’s GOP. Back then, the Republicans were a confident “party…
  • Rejection of reason

    The 2020 Republican National Convention wrapped up on Thursday, mercifully putting to rest an over-the-top four-day exercise in anxiety amplification. This year’s gathering featured a cavalcade of histrionic speakers spelling out the end days of the USA in apocalyptic tones. Sitting here in my office…
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