Bill Bradley? Three syllables almost made me dismiss Jamelle Bouie’s formidable analysis of the reach of Bernie Sanders’ challenge to Clintonism. Challenges aren’t created equal. Challenging a sitting vice president, as Bradley did Gore in early 2000, might have been bold but Bradley’s neolib record in the Senate was as indistinguishable as Gore’s before his… More What Bernie Sanders means
Unable to watch last night’s Democratic debate live, I caught up with the stream, impressed by how well the thoughtful-to-a-fault PBS ethos worked in rerun. Some notes: 1. The thoughtful-to-a-fault PBS ethos crumbled to powder when Bernie Sanders said, with the air of making a campaign promise, “I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was… More PBS NewsHour debate: Kissinger lives!
“This magazine rarely makes endorsements in the Democratic primary (we’ve done so only twice: for Jesse Jackson in 1988, and for Barack Obama in 2008),” the editors of The Nation write. “We do so now impelled by the awareness that our rigged system works for the few and not for the many. Americans are waking… More Bernie Sanders: money in politics ‘narrows the range of possibility’
The Barack Hussein Obama presidency has been more consequential than it looks, Michael Grunwald argues. Wading through the minutiae of the stimulus bill and Department of Energy regulations, Grunwald says the president’s domestic legacy will outlive him: What he’s done is changing the way we produce and consume energy, the way doctors and hospitals treat… More Barack Obama: a legacy
Ugh. The Democratic National Committee chair, ladies and gents: Q: You’re one of a dwindling number of progressive politicians who oppose legalization of even the medical use of marijuana. Where does that come from? A: I don’t oppose the use of medical marijuana. I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we… More ‘I grew up in suburbia’
The way in which we sentimentalize the most average experiences exemplifies what Marxists call false consciousness. Many complaints about Princetonians objecting to Woodrow Wilson tut-tut about what campus protest was really like, man. Corey Robin doesn’t believe it. To listen to the critics of these Princeton students, you would think that until these students came… More Those Stalinist students!
Rich Yeselson kicks off a four-part series commissioned by Talking Points Memo on the history of labor. The key paragraph, which should have been the introduction: With the brief exception of the late 1930s followed by the anomalous period of the Second World War, labor has never had a juridical and statist presumption that it… More The decline of labor unions
Charles Pierce: There are a couple of lessons that the Democratic Party can take from yet another ass-kicking, this in a freakish off off-year election. (The results in Virginia, where Democrats hoped to overturn the state senate, were particularly painful, and not much of a testimony to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s influence.) The first one is… More Democratic myopia
I quote Charles Pierce so often because he’s one of the few columnists with a historical sense to match his prose. Often the historical sense is the saucer on which the tea cup of his prose cools (he steeps his sentences in Mencken and Thompson). I’d think, as he argues, that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would be… More GOP extremism: most fundamental campaign issue
In a coda to a NYT Magazine essay about the corporatism of the American university, Fredrik deBoer writes: The central quandary for today’s left is that we need to use the state for various essential functions, such as providing free public education and preventing racist housing discrimination, while recognizing that our long term project must… More ‘Our long term project must be the destruction of the state’
To hear Jimmy Carter mentioned in exile Cuban-American circles is to partake of a loathing so visceral that it shocks the conscience. Welcoming thousands of their relatives and friends during the Mariel boat lift fades from the memory. Jimmy Carter was a worse president than Richard Nixon. When pressed, the aggrieved will stammer “the hostages”… More The long decline of Jimmy Carter
I don’t often quote Jonathan Chait, but I’ve been looking for a succinct refutation of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s The Age of Jackson for a while. Jackson as the Democratic Party’s Adam, he argues, was a quirk that history was bound to correct. Chait: The Age of Jackson, which won the Pulitzer Prize for history, was… More The evolution of parties