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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Let’s admit it. Sometimes, trolls on social media seem happy when something terrible happens, so long as it makes the other side look bad. Whether it’s fires, floods or a housing crisis, a reprehensible minority of Twitter users react with glee, so long as the story hurts their political opponents. Reasonable Americans tune it out – we’ve come to expect it.

But we usually don’t expect it from the White House. Unfortunately, nothing is out-of-bounds in the Trump era.

Rachel Maddow’s newest viral monologue calls out a current White House official for telling The Washington Post that the  administration got a “reprieve” due to the unimaginable terror of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Even worse, the official wasn’t just speaking for themselves. Listen to Maddow’s tremendous take-down of the sickos at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as she exposes the unfeeling nihilism of the Trump team.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and President Joe Biden during 2020 presidential debate

I look at September 2019 as a month where I missed something. We began with a trip to New York to do Seth Meyers’s and Dr. Oz’s shows. Why would we go on The Dr. Oz Show? For the same reason we had gone on Joe Rogan’s podcast in August: We could reach a vast audience that wasn’t paying attention to the standard political media. On Dr. Oz, Bernie could talk about Medicare for All and his own physical fitness. While at the time we believed Bernie was uncommonly healthy for his age, he was still 78. Questions would be raised related to his age, and we needed to begin building up the case that he was completely healthy and fit. It turned out to be a spectacular interview, ending with the two of them playing basketball on a makeshift court in the studio. Bernie appeared to be on top of the world.

Yet in retrospect, I should have seen Bernie growing more fatigued. After New York, with the school year starting, we did a series of rallies at colleges and universities in Iowa; this was the kickoff of our campus organizing program in the state. We would then fly to Colorado for a large rally in Denver before heading to Boulder to prep for the third debate, to take place in Houston on September 12. In Iowa, Bernie’s voice was a little hoarse. After the rally in Denver, he had completely blown it out. He sounded terrible.

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Rep. James Clyburn

When I interviewed House Majority Whip James Clyburn in 2014 about his memoir Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, the South Carolina Democrat was confident in America’s ability to find its way, no matter how extreme the political swings might appear at any given time.

“The country from its inception is like the pendulum on a clock,” the congressman told me. “It goes back and forward. It tops out to the right and starts back to the left — it tops out to the left and starts back to the right.” And remember, he said, it “spends twice as much time in the center.”

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