Sunday, July 5, 2015

A More Perfect Union Comes From Accounting For The Past

The Confederate markers continue to tumble — flags, statues, monuments. After Dylann Roof associated his alleged atrocity with the Confederacy, politicians fell over themselves getting away from its symbols.

While a few supporters of the Old Dixie are resolute, most leading public figures want nothing to do with commemorations of the Lost Cause. Indeed, once NASCAR declared that the St. Andrew’s cross and stars was not a fit emblem for its franchise — where that flag has been always been revered — the earth shook.

So after decades of protests over the Rebel flag and other Confederate insignia, which enjoyed prominent display in public spaces for much too long, that battle appears over.…

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Why The Fourth Of July Feels (Refreshingly) Different This Year

For every American who venerates the ideals set down by this country’s founders in the Declaration of Independence, July 4 is a day of reflection as well as celebration. For me, this holiday has also become an occasion to point out that liberals and progressives cherish those principles, along with the symbols that represent them, just as fervently as our conservative compatriots.

So over the past several years, I’ve written an annual Independence Day column examining the politics of patriotism – and exploding the myths behind the right-wing monopoly on patriotic expression like so many festive firecrackers.

Looking back over American history, it isn’t difficult to argue that the Sons (and daughters!) of Liberty were the progressives of their era, fighting to end monarchy and aristocracy, in bitter conflict with Tory conservatism.…

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The Week In Polls: Obama Up After Big Wins — And More In The Presidential Race

After a lot of big news, it’s also been a big week of polls.

Possibly the single biggest news in polls this week was the CNN poll showing President Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent, with 47 percent disapproval — the first time in over two years that a majority of poll respondents has approved of the job he’s doing.

The poll was conducted from June 26 to 28, capping off a very eventful week in which the president won major victories in the Supreme Court on health care reform and marriage equality — as well as his very memorable eulogy speech at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which culminated in him leading the congregation in singing “Amazing Grace.”

In the presidential race, CNN found Jeb Bush leading nationally among Republicans with 19 percent — with Donald Trump in second place at 12 percent.…

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