Politics

Open Mike

Ben SchwartzMarch 23, 2017
Gage Skidmore
Gage Skidmore

It is with a heavy heart that I must report that Huckabee is at it again. That is, the ex-governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, has tweeted a new joke. Over the last year, Huckabee has gained a reputation as one Twitter’s high-profile joke writers.

Slumber of the UN Women

Rafia ZakariaMarch 21, 2017
John Gillespie
John Gillespie

Like the citizens of Pompeii centuries ago, everyone clapped, cheered, ate, and ignored portents of coming catastrophe at the beginning of the United Nations’s sixty-first convening of its Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The meeting, which started on March 13 and will continue until this upcoming Friday, March 24, is the largest inter-governmental forum on women’s rights and gender equality.

Trump Trolls the Welfare State

Max B. SawickyMarch 17, 2017
Alek S.
Alek S.

The document released last Wednesday by the White House bears no resemblance to most budget documents of days gone by. It’s more like the last minute delivery of a late term paper by some sleep-deprived undergraduate. The text has been scanned into a PDF file, rather than printed to a file, so you can’t search it.

The Betrayal of Democracy

Chris LehmannMarch 13, 2017
Gage Skidmore
Gage Skidmore

The globalized power elite that may feel more at home in Taiwan or Singapore isn’t objectionable because its members may be in thrall to some sinister, unpatriotic economic loyalties, as Bannon and his retinue of Trump enablers tirelessly insist. No, the members of the placeless, merit-obsessed global ruling class deserve our scorn because they’ve turned their backs on the larger project of sharing democratic civilization on an equitable basis with their fellow citizens.

Our Better Ban

Rafia ZakariaMarch 07, 2017
Are some Americans less real than others? / Nicola Romagna
Are some Americans less real than others? / Nicola Romagna

The President has been angry all weekend, anxious anchors have told us—fuming over perceived betrayals through rounds of golf and gourmet dinners at the club he owns. The ire of the most powerful seeks out the most wanting and so it is the case here.

Framed Narrative

Ben EhrenreichMarch 06, 2017
Hanamel Dorfman in a scene from the documentary The Settlers, directed by Shimon Dotan. / Image courtesy of Philippe Bellaiche.
Hanamel Dorfman in a scene from the documentary The Settlers, directed by Shimon Dotan. / Image courtesy of Philippe Bellaiche.

It is hard these days for even Israel’s most diehard supporters to pretend that something has not gone seriously wrong. A case in point: the sentencing last month of Elor Azaria, a twenty-year-old Israeli army medic caught on video putting a bullet in the head of a wounded Palestinian, Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, as he lay bleeding on the ground outside a military checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The Unhappy Medium

Vincent BevinsMarch 06, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 18.16.14
Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 18.16.14

In every society of every kind, there is a simple technique available to reasonable moderates wishing to prove that the left and the right are actually the same, and therefore discredit the seriousness of their politics by association. The exercise relies on tautological reasoning, but it’s enough for those who overwhelmingly accept what passes for common sense at any given point in time.

De-Muslimization

Rafia ZakariaFebruary 27, 2017
Ervins Strauhmanis
Ervins Strauhmanis

In Trump’s America, that “terrorist” label is cast in indelible ink. The previous precautions would not suffice, I realized. It was not just what was visible, but everything that was searchable that was now at play. A reversal had taken place.

Pax Trumplandia

Hannah GaisFebruary 15, 2017
Conference photos are tremendously exciting! / European External Action Service
Conference photos are tremendously exciting! / European External Action Service

Welcome to This American Carnage, your weekly slice of life from the country of Trump.

Another February, another Munich Security Conference, a.k.a. the “world’s most prestigious geopolitical gathering.” This time, though, the conference will take place as a resurgent, anti-globalist far right threatens to throw a wrench in the usual workings of international affairs.

Is Trump a Populist?

Max B. SawickyFebruary 15, 2017
When the election is over, what is left of "rightwing populism"? / Jamelle Bouie
When the election is over, what is left of "rightwing populism"? / Jamelle Bouie

People relate “rightwing populism” to the excoriation of immigrants, demonization of the poor, and railing about high finance on the campaign trail. That criticism never amounts to any actual policies when the candidate is in office. What’s left is simply xenophobia and bigotry, which can be drawn out in all sectors of the population, including the working class.

Running Riot

Rick PaulasFebruary 13, 2017
David Goehring
David Goehring

In Psychology 101 you learn of those “false binary” or “false dichotomy” situations that crop up where two viewpoints are so powerful they tend to pull all other options into their orbit. If you’re not capitalist, you’re socialist. In Chicago if you’re not a White Sox fan, you’re a Cubs fan.

Suits and Ties

Nick OltmannFebruary 10, 2017
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5587396714_a58c8d7d74_b

The alt-right has been going through some growing pains these last few weeks. On inauguration day, the now-notorious Richard Spencer got socked in the face on camera. The assailant is still at large, the celebrations of his getting attacked are viral, and there’s a video game about it now.