Search Results for State of the Union

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Bernie Already Won. So Why Run Again?

Bernie Already Won. So Why Run Again?Is there another outsider who yanked an unwilling political party further in his or her ideological direction in a shorter period of time than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)? I mean, other than Donald Trump. Back when he was polling in single digits at the outset of the 2016 presidential primary, Sanders and his position of being against every single international trade agreement since World War II on the inaccurate grounds that they facilitate a “race to the bottom” were still considered outliers within the Democratic Party. By October 2015 his unlikely polling surge helped persuade consensus front-runner Hillary Clinton to downgrade her opinion on the Trans-Pacific Partnership from “gold standard” to junk. Where are the Democrats now? “It’s a pretty safe bet that no candidate is going to campaign as a free trader in the 2020 Democratic primary, setting up the potential for a…

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Trump Is Making Red Scares Great Again

Trump Is Making Red Scares Great AgainThere are a lot of people talking about socialism these days. Senator Bernie Sanders, who on Tuesday launched a bid for the Democratic nomination for president, calls himself a democratic socialist, and so does Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Public intellectuals are debating the label anew. And then there’s the most high-profile participant in the discussion: Donald Trump.The president, of course, is not a proponent. But he has moved “socialism” to the center of his lexicon in February, deploying it in discussions of foreign policy as a weapon against domestic political opponents. He does so at a time when his political messaging has faltered and when the left wing is more energized than it has been in generations. How successful Trump’s attempt to revive an old but often successful line of attack will be an important test, both for his reelection hopes and for the future…

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To Reduce Money in Politics, Slash the Size of Government

To Reduce Money in Politics, Slash the Size of GovernmentLike a terrifying demon that returns during the final scene of a horror movie, campaign-finance reform is the “thing” that never goes away. The U.S. Supreme Court sometimes saves the day, as it did with the First-Amendment-related Citizens United case in 2010. Yet reformers always have a new scheme to take “the money out of politics,” even though their last schemes always resulted in more cash influencing political campaigns. The campaign-finance scaremongers are baaaack with a symbolic bill that is a political poke-in-the-eye of the sleazy-seeming Trump administration. It could never pass the Senate or gain a presidential signature, but it makes a point. Now that they have a majority in the House, Democrats are pushing H.R. 1, which Vox describes as a “sweeping anti-corruption measures aimed at stamping out the influence of money in politics and expanding voting rights.” The…

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CNN’s new political editor has a history of spreading anti-abortion misinformation

CNN’s new political editor has a history of spreading anti-abortion misinformationMelissa Joskow / Media Matters It’s no secret that CNN employs and repeatedly hosts political commentators with ties to President Donald Trump’s administration. But with the announced hire of Sarah Isgur as a political editor, the network seems set on making its intended “facts first” approach a sisyphean labor — particularly when it comes to abortion-related coverage. Already, conservative media dominate cable news conversations about abortion with inaccurate information. And as a career Republican strategist, Isgur not only lacks formal journalism experience — a seeming necessity for anyone in an editorial role — but has also spent years promoting anti-abortion misinformation. Isgur’s installation at CNN comes at a tenuous time for abortion rights. The Supreme Court appears increasingly likely to overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade, and Trump — after weeks of sensationalized and inaccurate Fox News coverage — is…

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Democracy in Decline?

Democracy in Decline?There is no more satisfying description of democracy than Winston Churchill’s declaration that it “is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Among compliments, backhanded ones are the loveliest, first making a show of retreating and then, like a boomerang, returning to hand. One cannot deny that democratic electorates occasionally lurch into unfortunate decisions, but Churchill consoles us that other systems are prone to worse. (He also thereby consoles himself two years after being turfed out of office by an electorate asking, “Yes, but what have you done for us lately?”) The theoretical case for democracy is not undermined by such wayward episodes because the system’s excellence is comparative, not absolute. Democracy embodies the virtue of moderation in its self-equilibrating disposition to retreat from perils that hurl other political systems off the rails. I have long thought…

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Possible Peace Declaration Looms Over Trump-Kim Summit

Possible Peace Declaration Looms Over Trump-Kim SummitTOKYO — With their second summit fast approaching, speculation is growing that U.S. President Donald Trump may try to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to commit to denuclearization by giving him something he wants more than almost anything else: an announcement of peace and an end to the Korean War. Such an announcement could make history. It would be right in line with Trump’s opposition to “forever wars.” And, coming more than six decades after the fighting essentially ended, it just seems like common sense. But, if not done carefully, it could open up a whole new set of problems for Washington. Here’s why switching the focus of the ongoing talks between Pyongyang and Washington from denuclearization to peace would be a risky move — and why it might be exactly what Kim wants when the two leaders meet in Hanoi on…

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