Nancy Pelosi is right about impeachment

Before we start, let me say that I am not unaware of the hostility toward President Trump that is said to exist in certain quarters. It is my understanding that the vast majority of people who hold elected office and have a D after their names do not, in fact, like him very much. I have even read words — hundreds of thousands of them, probably — in which it is argued that doing things like complaining on Twitter or making personnel decisions fully within the scope of his authority as head of the executive branch are grounds for his impeachment. State legislatures are inventing wholly new crimes with the… Read More

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Democracy isn’t dying. Liberalism is.

Three years after the twin shocks of President Trump’s triumph in the Republican primaries and the narrow win for “Leave” in the Brexit referendum, the evidence has never been stronger that the world has entered an era of anti-liberalism. Later this week, voters across Europe go to the polls to vote in EU parliamentary elections that could deliver a quarter or more of the seats to the continent’s right-wing populists and nationalists. Meanwhile, exit polls in India suggest that Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party will win re-election when results are announced on May 23. This follows the surprise victory in Australia of Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition, which leaned heavily on… Read More

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A loser’s approach to Medicare-for-all

Presidential candidate and California senator Kamala Harris made headlines recently after seeming to tie herself in rhetorical knots over questions about Medicare-for-all. In separate statements Harris first said she supported the elimination of private health insurance, and then that she didn’t. The inconsistency can partly be chalked up to the usual limitations of trying to communicate complicated policy positions in short soundbites and the changing dynamic of the primary. And Harris isn’t the only Medicare-for-all supporter who has been less than totally clear. Yet it’s also symptomatic of the broader Medicare-for-all movement attempting to have it both ways. Passing and implementing single-payer will require specific design choices that dictate financial… Read More

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Bernie Sanders is bringing back the most underrated education policy

Over the past two decades, education reform has been a major topic of debate and policymaking, from President Bush’s No Child Left Behind bill to President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative. Reforms have generally followed the pattern of adapting mechanisms from the for-profit business world to “fix” supposedly broken aspects of the public education system: weakening teacher unions, replacing public schools with privately-run charters, tying teacher pay to test score results, and so on. Yet there is one idea that was once a major focus of reform efforts, but has been set aside for years: racial desegregation. That is, until now. Last week, Bernie Sanders released a plan to… Read More

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The Democrats need a pre-primary primary

Maybe the Democratic presidential field has gotten too overcrowded. When former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke announced his candidacy back in March, I suggested there was still plenty of room in the field, even though the list of announced and likely candidates had grown to nearly a dozen individuals. “Bring ’em all on,” I wrote. “The large number of candidates isn’t an obstacle to winning in 2020 — it’s a sign that the democratic process, even in these challenging days, still has some vitality.” I might have been wrong. The number of Democratic candidates has about doubled in the last two months since O’Rourke’s announcement. Luckily, it’s this overcrowding problem can… Read More

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Boris Johnson’s turn to fail

There are plenty of things Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can do that Theresa May probably can’t. Quote the Aeneid from memory in Latin. Tell an interviewer that if he were banished to a desert island he would spend the rest of his life translating Homer. Insist to another that his £250,000 a year salary for a weekly column was “chicken feed.” Express genuine awe at the sight of the gun from the opening scene in Kim. Have that hair. Oh, and win the support of enough of his fellow Tory MPs to be named party leader. But sail the Brexit skiff out of the rocks on which it foundered… Read More

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