Citizens Defending Democracy Are Being Shot on the Streets of Myanmar. We Should Support Them

On February 1 there was a military coup in Myanmar. As citizens have protested the abrogation of their country’s recent democratic election–through peaceful mass demonstrations, a civil disobedience campaign, and a general strike–the military has consistently escalated its violence and repression. Today NBC reports that over 100 civilians were killed yesterday, in what has been described asContinue reading “Citizens Defending Democracy Are Being Shot on the Streets of Myanmar. We Should Support Them”

Joe Biden Is Very Good at Being Himself, And His First News Conference Was Fine

It was painful for me to watch Joe Biden’s first news conference. Because he is not very good in that setting. But the problem is not with Biden. It is with the setting, and the expectations we have come to have of it.  Ever since the advent of television, telegenic appearance has played an increasinglyContinue reading “Joe Biden Is Very Good at Being Himself, And His First News Conference Was Fine”

Now Is the Time to Really Prosecute the Case Against Trump—By Pivoting to Real Democratic Reform

Impeachment 2.0 has now come and gone.  It’s over.  The case was made. The opposition between constitutionalism and thuggery was staged before the public on the floor of the United States Senate. Each side did what it does best. And the very best constitutional lawyering could not prevent the acquittal of Donald T. Trump, theContinue reading “Now Is the Time to Really Prosecute the Case Against Trump—By Pivoting to Real Democratic Reform”

The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 4: Trump’s Constitutional Contempt on Full Display

Before the trial started, I expressed strong skepticism about its wisdom. My reasons were purely pragmatic, related to the likely short-to-medium consequences of the effort. Since the trial began, I have tried to adopt a more hopeful attitude, because there was little point in doing otherwise, but also because I strongly believe that the caseContinue reading “The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 4: Trump’s Constitutional Contempt on Full Display”

The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 3: Trump’s Guilt Further Demonstrated and Clarified

Over the past two days the House impeachment managers, under the leadership of Jamie Raskin, have done a masterful job of presenting the case against Donald Trump. While yesterday’s presentation was breathtaking—even for those, like me, who have followed every turn in the Trump saga for months and years—today’s presentation was more plodding and aContinue reading “The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 3: Trump’s Guilt Further Demonstrated and Clarified”

The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 2: Will Today’s Great Presentation Have a Real Public Impact?

I have been very skeptical about the wisdom of holding this impeachment trial, for strictly political reasons: because I doubt that the powerful legal case against Trump can produce either a Senate conviction or a substantial impact on public opinion, and I suspect that attention to actual legislation, to furnish Covid relief and real democraticContinue reading “The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 2: Will Today’s Great Presentation Have a Real Public Impact?”

The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 1

Today’s opening of the Senate trial contained no surprises. The Democratic House impeachment managers, led by the brilliant and eloquent Jamie Raskin, were serious, they were professional in their approach to the law, and they made a strong case. Raskin’s use of an eleven-minute video that spliced together Trump’s statements with the unfolding January 6Continue reading “The Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 1”

Judging The Senate Impeachment Trial: Preliminary Thoughts

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump is set to begin within the hour. Most supporters and enthusiasts of the trial are looking forward to a compelling case being made that Trump sought to subvert the election, inciting the assault on the Congress, and deserves to be convicted by the Senate for doing so. IContinue reading “Judging The Senate Impeachment Trial: Preliminary Thoughts”

Georgia On My Mind, Part III: Thinking About Republicans Between Fascism and Democracy

The state of Georgia has loomed especially large in the politics of the U.S. these past few months. First it was the site of an extraordinary, and extraordinarily botched, effort by Donald Trump and his minions to overturn the results of the November 3 election in Trump’s favor—an effort that was rebuffed and repudiated byContinue reading “Georgia On My Mind, Part III: Thinking About Republicans Between Fascism and Democracy”

The False Equivalence Between the Democratic Left and the Republican Right is Both Stupid and Pernicious

This week Jonathan Chait published an eviscerating profile of gun-toting Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene in New York Magazine, cleverly entitled “GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Secret Jewish Space Laser.” Chait leads with a reference to “The Mischief Makers,” a short piece by Alayna Treene and Kadia Goba, published in Axios. As he comments on the piece’s framing: “TheContinue reading “The False Equivalence Between the Democratic Left and the Republican Right is Both Stupid and Pernicious”

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