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Bye Bye Bipartisanship

June 26, 2017, 5:37 pm

Political parties aren’t written into the Constitution. They came about almost organically as members of President Washington’s Cabinet jockeyed for power. After the first election in which parties truly threatened to bifurcate the Republic, the new President said, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” Ever since Thomas Jefferson spoke those words in his inaugural address, the following 41 Presidents have duly followed his example, for their own selfish reasons as much as any other. Men gestured toward working […]

1 in 1000

June 19, 2017, 1:18 am

Let’s talk about 1000 people. Everyone is their own snowflake, sure, but there are things 1 will do that the other 999 never will. There are things that the 999 will do that a certain kind of 1 never will. Indulge me on this for a minute. You know 1000 people. For example, your facebook friends + people you know who aren’t on facebook. There are at least another 1000 people that you’ve heard of, but don’t know personally. Let’s […]

2018 Midterm Democratic Party Ad, First Draft

May 16, 2017, 11:06 am

On fivethirtyeight, they’re asking what kind of message the Democrats need to win in 2018. The consensus is that in the midterms, the Dems don’t need to be particularly positive, but only need to attack Trump. I agree and I don’t. Dems should absolutely focus on Trump’s shortcomings. But I think it’s smartest to package that in pseudo-positive language. I’ll go further and present, for the first time anywhere, the Official First Draft of the Dems’ Midterm Ads. As I’ve been […]

“Why could that one not have been worked out?” Glad You Asked, Mr. President

May 1, 2017, 5:41 pm

What-if scenarios regarding history can be appealing. Change one butterfly fluttering its wings, and you can’t be sure how the rest of the world will react. This becomes particularly poignant on the level of presidential politics, which is one reason Alternate History has become something of its own sub-genre in recent years, attracting such luminaries as Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, and Stephen King. Personally, I’m still waiting on the great novel where Sandra Day O’Connor bumps her head on Thanksgiving […]

100 Reasons Why: A #100daysofshame Post That Will Annoy Liberals AND Conservatives

April 24, 2017, 5:18 pm

This post has serious beef with both America’s left-wingers and America’s right-wingers. As we approach President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office, the hashtag #100daysofshame is trending harder than Kendrick Lamar. But there’s a big problem: conservatives use the hashtag to laugh at liberal crybabies, and liberals use it to express their frustration with all of Trump’s follies and foibles. I’ve written this post because I don’t agree with either approach. When liberals lump in every one of Trump’s decisions […]

Trumpism /= Conservatism. Trumpism = Short-Term-Ism

February 13, 2017, 11:28 am

And ye shall know them by their words and deeds. Ye shall not know them by their empty, forgotten promises. And that means that we need to dispense with the illusion that Trumpism has anything to do with conservatism. There’s a much better term for it, or at least there ought to be: short-term-ism. The word “conservatism” implies, well, conserving. It implies preservation or at least rehabilitation of old ways, traditions, institutions. In our country, conservatism generally at least genuflects […]

Obama Bombed, But You Don’t Have To

February 6, 2017, 2:52 pm

I’m going to leave this right here. Ever since the #Muslimban Executive Order, Trump supporters repeat a refrain on social media and news site comment threads that goes something like this: “To all these liberals outraged at Trump banning refugees: Where were you when Obama was dropping bombs on their homelands?” The comment/tweet is meant to confuse and demoralize well-meaning liberals, to paint them as hypocrites, to stop their support of Muslim refugees in its tracks, and to make them question their […]

It’s 2003 All Over Again

January 30, 2017, 4:50 pm

The definition of cognitive dissonance is simultaneously holding two contradictory beliefs. Right now, cable TV news shows feature state-sponsored cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, Trump defenders call him a “post-partisan president,” as though we shouldn’t expect the same problems of the past, and on the other hand, Trump defenders say “this is normal during a transition,” as though we should be guided by the past. Which is it? In this scary moment for all Americans who love liberty and […]

The Hollywood-Led Resistance?

January 23, 2017, 1:26 pm

Meryl Streep didn’t exactly call for it, but Madonna most certainly did. Can you hear me? Are you ready to shake up the world? Welcome to the revolution of love. To the rebellion, to our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny. Where not just women are in danger, but all marginalized people…It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the fuck up. It seems as though we all slipped into a false sense of […]

MLK -> BHO -> ?

January 16, 2017, 12:22 pm

(This article is accompanied by photos of my family’s visit to the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta last March.) Martin Luther King would have been 88 years old today, but it’s never a bad day to think about and learn from Dr. King. I grew up in Berkeley where his birthday was a holiday before that became federally mandated. The other night, I went to my son’s MLK assembly and thought, I guess it’s getting harder to get people […]