Disassemble your discrimination: The best anti-war songs

“My idea has always been that if we could bring the mothers of the various nations together, then there would be no more war.” — Howards End Mrs. Wilcox was correct, only substitute “awesome bangers” instead of “mothers” and we may inch closer to a quixotic truth. Also, Mrs. Wilcox was wrong. For the mostlyContinue reading “Disassemble your discrimination: The best anti-war songs”

Ranking reeking presidents

The latest presidential rankings suggest #metoo and a reckoning with the men’s prejudices affected several reputations, notably Andrew Jackson (out of the top ten and tumbling, thank the lord or Jon Meacham) and Woodrow Wilson’s (same). The late Poppy Bush, stretching his legs and aglow with the knowledge that obituary writers praised him as theContinue reading “Ranking reeking presidents”

A case for Bernie Sanders

“[Bernie] Sanders is more banal than people think,” Vox‘s Matthew Yglesias writes in a surprising endorsement of the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign – surprising when remembering Yglesias as the voice of Democratic reasonableness. Perhaps this explains his stressing of Sanders’ banality. Most of the fears about Sanders expressed by Democratic insiders — fears that haveContinue reading “A case for Bernie Sanders”

2019 as 1649

After coffee and before exercise, I spent a delightful ninety minutes yesterday morning and intermittently the rest of the day fighting rightist journalists, their minions, and sundry trolls on Twitter. I went after Erick Erickson, an unlettered windbag whose self-professed Christianity is unleavened by imagination and empathy — a redundant phrase, for empathy requires imagination.Continue reading “2019 as 1649”

The moral blindness of Andrew Sullivan

I once took Andrew Sullivan seriously. He inspired me to blog, may in fact have contributed significantly toward turning “blog” into a verb: an activity viable and necessary. Sometime in the early 2010s the compulsion shorted dendrites in his brain. He hates Donald Trump — so what, get in line. Because he defines himself asContinue reading “The moral blindness of Andrew Sullivan”

The persistence of the McGovern myth

As 2020 and the Iowa caucus get closer, expect to see Rahm Emmanuel and Claire McCaskill types bemoan the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party. Expect allusions to George McGovern, whom the Democratic candidate establishment despises more than the GOP as an Eeyore, a symbol of failure as profound as the substitution of Swanson’s EnglishContinue reading “The persistence of the McGovern myth”

The mystery of Pete Buttigieg

“With his air of decency and grab bag of gifted-and-talented party tricks, he doesn’t so much represent the will of the Democratic electorate but rather the aspirations of its educated elite, maybe especially those who see a shrinking market for their erudition,” Jay Caspian King writes in an appraisal of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor ofContinue reading “The mystery of Pete Buttigieg”

The politics of civility

Hours after her swearing-in as the new representative of Michigan’s 13th congressional district, Rashida Tlaib said the following to a crowd at a MoveOn event: And when you’re son looks at you and says ‘mama, look you won, bullies don’t win.’ And I say ‘baby, they don’t’ because we’re gonna go in there and we’reContinue reading “The politics of civility”

Blame everything on Newt

I read an insightful comment on Lawyers, Guns & Money this morning. To what degree, the reader asks, did the GOP’s victory in 1994 strengthen its radicalism? The comment: The fact that they went for 40 years without ever holding it meant that they had to compromise on budgets and a vast range of measures. It’s interestingContinue reading “Blame everything on Newt”