When Ryan made the surprising announcement that he will not seek re-election, Washington observers noted that he is probably tired of shepherding his fractious House majority. Ryan took the job reluctantly after his predecessor, John Boehner, gave up and left politics. And his contentious House colleagues have managed to accomplish little under his leadership.
Trump is not ousting them because they are criminals or layabouts, leeching off the public treasury. He is pushing them out because they are immigrants of a darker hue, and he and his most loyal supporters don’t want them here. In another move meant to discourage legal immigrants, the Trump administration plans to change federal rules on government assistance, according to published reports.
It is difficult to catalog the ways in which President Donald J. Trump and his minions are damaging the fabric of American civic life simply because there are so many, large and small. He and his crew have normalized behaviors that have been judged out of bounds throughout our history, so that we no longer even notice some outrages that would have dominated headlines just a year or two ago.
He subverts the rule of law, threatening the constitutional separation of powers on which our democracy is founded. He has been busy creating a kleptocracy, using his office to further enrich himself and his family. He has aided and abetted white supremacists, widening the chasms of race and religion.
In an alternate universe, President Hillary Rodham Clinton may have proposed sending her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, to head a U.S. delegation attending the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But news of the proposal would have drawn swift condemnation from Republican politicians, conservative talk show hosts and even several Democrats…
That would be Coretta Scott King’s greatest achievement. She and other civil rights activists, including singer Stevie Wonder, had to counter the ugly opposition of explicit racists such as North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, and more subtle skeptics, such as the president himself.
As the mother of a fashion-conscious 9-year-old girl, I’m quite familiar with the bows, bobbles and bath bombs sold in Claire’s, a retail haven for the tween and young teen set. Imagine my dismay, then, when I heard a news report alleging that Claire’s was selling makeup laced with asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen.
For years, then Fox News host Bill O’Reilly railed against the predations of liberal heathens who were supposedly out to destroy the religious significance of the Christmas season. He aimed his umbrage at stores where clerks allegedly refused to say “Merry Christmas” and public school districts that insisted on proclaiming a “winter holiday” rather than a Christmas vacation.
The franchise is a formidable weapon. That’s why it is despised by dictators, authoritarians and anti-democrats the world over: It is the one instrument that can reliably subvert their intentions, drain their power, interfere with their plans.
In the waning days of the 2016 presidential election, worried political prognosticators, including more than a few moderate Republicans, papered over their fears about the possible victory of Donald J. Trump with reminders of the constitutional balance of power.
As his U.S. Senate campaign has been swamped by credible accusations of egregious sexual misconduct, Moore and his allies have taken the usual route toward undermining his accusers. The women, now middle-aged, have been denounced as liars, attention-seekers and tools…
Roy Moore, a former jurist and the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, has carefully crafted an image over the years as an ultraconservative religious zealot. He bashes gays and lesbians, denounces abortion and brings his hateful brand of religion into the courtroom, where it runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
The 21st-century Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, the empire of the insanely rich and ultra-conservative Koch brothers. In its current iteration, the party’s only permanent principle is to cut taxes for the nation’s one-percenters.
Earlier this week, an Uzbek national named Sayfullo Saipov, apparently unhappy with his life here and radicalized by watching Islamic State group videos, allegedly plowed a rental truck into a busy bike path in Manhattan, mowing down as many cyclists and pedestrians as he could, killing eight and injuring at least a dozen more.
For 12 days after four U.S. Special Forces soldiers were ambushed in Niger, President Donald Trump said nothing publicly about their deaths. He didn’t mention their bravery. He didn’t acknowledge their sacrifice. He didn’t allude to the deadliest combat episode of his presidency.
Like George Orwell’s “1984,” Atwood’s chilling dystopia is newly relevant in a strange era of autocratic impulses and retrogressive policies. Now that Trump has rescinded another key benefit of Obamacare, the requirement that companies provide health insurance that guarantees birth control for their employees, a future in which fertile young women are enslaved as reproductive vessels seems less outlandish.
Yet, here in the most powerful and wealthiest nation on Earth, here in the land of incredible technology, of Nobel laureates and first-rate universities, of a constitutional democracy revered the world over, we do nothing to combat this strange malady.
We are a nation at war with itself, cleaved in two by racial, ethnic and cultural differences, each side convinced of its own righteousness. These tumultuous times cry out for a leader of wisdom and maturity, patience and moderation, vision and moral clarity.
But Alabama is a deep crimson state, a place where the call of tribalism has only grown stronger in the era of President Donald J. Trump. The Republican Party has spent decades pandering to the fears and resentments of conservative whites who are uncomfortable with cultural change, and they in turn have deserted the Democratic Party. So it doesn’t matter if one Republican candidate is crazy and the other is corrupt. One of them will likely end up winning the December election.
Among true believers on the right, there is no sturdier fiction — no fairy tale more popular — than the one that insists American elections are plagued by voter fraud. “Election integrity” is the hallmark of GOP activists, and stories that purport to show voter fraud are a staple in the right-wing media-sphere.
Though the president has promised to treat the Dreamers “with heart,” his xenophobic impulses have kept the waters roiled, making a grand bargain on immigration reform nigh impossible. Even as a political mirage, Trump’s wall is a formidable barrier to the American Dream for our undocumented neighbors.
As if he had not already dumped enough fuel on a raging inferno, President Donald Trump has now taken up common cause with the Lost Cause: the historically inaccurate, myth-driven campaign to sanctify the Confederacy. The president was apparently not satisfied with merely showing his sympathy for white supremacists, insisting that their ranks include some “very fine people.”
You’d never know the man is in trouble by witnessing a race in Alabama for the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate, where the leading candidates are vying to see who can most tightly tie himself to Trump’s ankle.
Trump was clearly pandering to those white Americans who were unhappy with the cultural changes of the last half-century, including the shifting demographics that are weakening their political and social influence. Trump’s election was, in large measure, a backlash against the first black president.
Even if Sessions knew what sort of president Trump would be, though, he probably would have still endorsed him, just as so many other Republicans did later on. Conventional Republicans — the establishment, if you will — have an agenda, and they need a Republican president in order to carry it out.