Our dangerous addiction to political hyperbole

America’s addiction to hyperbolic rhetoric is an existential threat to the United States. Actually, it isn’t. But putting it that way sure got your attention, didn’t it? And that, dear reader, is a big part of the problem. We live during a time of extreme rhetorical inflation. Just in the past few days, the president of the United States has declared a national emergency about would-be immigrants attempting to cross the southern border into the United States. This situation isn’t a national emergency at all, and the fact that previous presidents have made similar declarations doesn’t make it any less egregious. He’s also described discussions among members of the FBI… Read More

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Elliot Abrams and the absurd paradoxes of American foreign policy

Only in America could a man best known for enacting policies that led to mass murder, participating in a criminal conspiracy to subvert the will of Congress, and helping to plan and execute a war that destabilized an entire region and resulted in more than a hundred thousand deaths be chosen to lead yet another delicate foreign policy mission and then enjoy the fulsome support of the country’s bipartisan national security establishment who passionately defend him as “a leading advocate of human rights and democracy.” I’m talking, of course, about Elliott Abrams, President Trump’s choice of special envoy to Venezuela, who faced blunt, sometimes rude questioning from Rep. Ilhan Omar… Read More

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The irrelevance of Trump

President Trump went to El Paso, Texas on Monday to once again make the case for a border wall, headlining yet another rally filled with boasting about crowd size, ugly hyperbole about immigrants, invective against Democrats, and the usual dollop of irrelevant presidential preening. It was all familiar and, by now, even kind of tedious. Meanwhile, back in Washington, lawmakers made an agreement on border security. “I think everyone will say ‘Good work,’” said Congresswoman Kay Granger, a Texas Republican who was part of the negotiations. Was it a coincidence that progress was made on the most intractable issue of the Trump Era as soon as the president left town?… Read More

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The irrelevance of Trump

President Trump went to El Paso, Texas on Monday to once again make the case for a border wall, headlining yet another rally filled with boasting about crowd size, ugly hyperbole about immigrants, invective against Democrats, and the usual dollop of irrelevant presidential preening. It was all familiar and, by now, even kind of tedious. Meanwhile, back in Washington, lawmakers made an agreement on border security. “I think everyone will say ‘Good work,’” said Congresswoman Kay Granger, a Texas Republican who was part of the negotiations. Was it a coincidence that progress was made on the most intractable issue of the Trump Era as soon as the president left town?… Read More

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How Trump wins in 2020

If you want to know how President Trump can win re-election in 2020, you need only look at the headlines emanating from the Democrats over the past couple of weeks. It’s not just one headline. It’s the cumulative effect of them all. It’s also not as simple as saying that the Democrats are “moving too far to the left.” There is ample polling evidence to suggest there is room for the party to shift in a more progressive direction on some issues, especially those touching on the economic struggles of ordinary Americans. Higher taxes for the richest Americans. Single-payer health care. Aggressive environmental policies to combat climate change. Free college… Read More

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How Trump wins in 2020

If you want to know how President Trump can win re-election in 2020, you need only look at the headlines emanating from the Democrats over the past couple of weeks. It’s not just one headline. It’s the cumulative effect of them all. It’s also not as simple as saying that the Democrats are “moving too far to the left.” There is ample polling evidence to suggest there is room for the party to shift in a more progressive direction on some issues, especially those touching on the economic struggles of ordinary Americans. Higher taxes for the richest Americans. Single-payer health care. Aggressive environmental policies to combat climate change. Free college… Read More

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