Today's Liberal News

David A. Graham

The Comment That Reveals the Depths of the Republican Party’s Moral Collapse

Finding signs to worry about the future of American democracy is not hard, but few are quite so painful and acute as the cognitive dissonance displayed by Rusty Bowers this week.Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona State House, was the star witness during yesterday’s hearing of the U.S. House’s January 6 committee. Bowers calls himself a conservative Republican, and he has the record to back that claim up.

A Chilling Assassination in Wisconsin

Any individual murder in the United States right now is unlikely to make much of an impression—not when elderly Black people at a grocery store or young children at school are being gunned down in large groups. But the Friday murder of a retired judge in Wisconsin is ominous enough to give some pause.Although little is known so far, authorities say they believe that the killing was politically motivated. The victim, Jack Roemer, 68, had served on the local circuit court.

John Fetterman (D-Vibes)

Even if you don’t know a single policy he supports, chances are good that you know what John Fetterman looks like. Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor is larger than life at 6 foot 8, distinctively bald with a salt-and-pepper goatee, draped in a baggy shirt or hoodie. Oh, and he’s a shorts guy too.Fetterman easily won today’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, and will run in November in a race that could decide control of the chamber.

The Email That Shows the Absurdity of the Paperwork Coup

One of the most dangerous elements of Donald Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 election is how it collapsed the gap between two distinct functions: electioneering and election administration. Both are political, insofar as elected officials oversee elections, but they begin from different premises.

The Art of the Dealer

Long ago, before J.D. Vance started doing his best to sound like every other MAGA candidate in the country, he had an ear for a metaphor.Reflecting on how heroin and prescription opioids had ravaged his home state of Ohio, Vance worried that a certain Republican candidate for president would have a similar effect. “[Donald] Trump is cultural heroin. He makes some feel better for a bit.

The Tragedy of the Congress

Mitch McConnell isn’t known for his joyousness, but the dour Senate Republican leader was able to find delight even in the bleak aftermath of the January 6 insurrection: This, at long last, was the end of Donald Trump.“I feel exhilarated by the fact that this fellow finally, totally discredited himself,” McConnell told the New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin late that night, according to Martin’s forthcoming book with Alex Burns, This Will Not Pass.

Kevin McCarthy’s Sloppy, Artless Lie

Almost all politicians lie, but only some are demonstrably liars. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is not only a demonstrable liar; he’s also a sloppy and inartful one.The clever dissembler knows that it’s wiser to sow doubt and confusion than to deny something outright—and that if you must deny it, be sure the denial can’t be definitively and humiliatingly debunked within hours. McCarthy broke both of those rules yesterday.

The Punt Presidency

At the start of his career, Joe Biden was a young man in a hurry: the sixth-youngest senator, an ambitious force in Washington, and a repeat presidential candidate. Now, at the pinnacle and close of his career, the president prefers to procrastinate.Although every leader comes to a decision he or she would rather not make, delay has become a signature tactic of this presidency.

Dianne Feinstein Is the Future of the Senate

Look, it’s right there in the name: Senate, borrowed from the Romans and meaning a “council of elders.” More than ever, the label fits. This is the oldest Senate, by average age, in American history, at 64 years. Jim Inhofe and Richard Shelby, both 87, have announced plans to retire. Chuck Grassley, 88, is running for reelection this fall. But even he is a shade younger than Dianne Feinstein, also 88.

Dianne Feinstein Is the Future of the Senate

Look, it’s right there in the name: Senate, borrowed from the Romans and meaning a “council of elders.” More than ever, the label fits. This is the oldest Senate, by average age, in American history, at 64 years. Jim Inhofe and Richard Shelby, both 87, have announced plans to retire. Chuck Grassley, 88, is running for reelection this fall. But even he is a shade younger than Dianne Feinstein, also 88.

Trump Is a Flat Circle

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” the ancient proverb goes. Less known is the Trump corollary: Even when my friend’s enemy is also an alleged war criminal and my country’s geopolitical enemy. It’s harder and harder to be shocked by Donald Trump, but asking Russia’s leader to interfere in American politics to help him, in the midst of a brutal and illegal war condemned by most of the world, might just do it.

A Federal Judge Just Told the Truth About Trump

“The illegality of the plan was obvious.”Attorneys, as a class, are not typically well regarded for their writing; not for nothing do we call sentences that are incomprehensible, jargon-laden, or obfuscatory “legalese.” Yet what makes an order from federal Judge David Carter today important is less its legal ramifications than the simple clarity of the view it offers of former President Donald Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 election.

Democrats Are Still Delusional About Trump

Six years into the Trump era in American politics, many of his critics still believe they can find a silver bullet to end it. On Wednesday, the House committee on January 6 filed a brief in a federal court in California that, depending on your interpretation, was either an attempt to compel documents from a reluctant witness or an omen of Donald Trump’s imminent imprisonment.

Biden Seizes the Center

If it’s not quite morning in America, President Joe Biden tried to persuade Americans during his first State of the Union address, we might be starting to see glimmers of the dawn.“There’s something happening in America,” Biden said tonight. “Just look around and you’ll see an amazing story.” That message is a tough sell. Polls show that Americans are not happy about what they see around them—or how the president is governing.

Putin’s Useful Idiots

Mike Pompeo is of two minds about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On the one hand, the former secretary of state is critical of America’s failure to deter the attack. “President Biden has been weak toward Putin, unstable and unclear—he doesn’t understand what is at stake in the fight against Russia and doesn’t know that it takes strength to defend America and keep us out of war,” he wrote in a Fox News column Thursday.

A Raid by Nancy Pelosi’s Gazpacho Police

Today, speaking about investigations into the January 6 insurrection, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, referred to “Nancy Pelosi’s gazpacho police.”The knock at the door caught me with the spoon still in my mouth, and I felt a chill run down my spine—though I couldn’t quite tell whether that was my nerves or the tart slurp I’d just taken.“Who is it?” I called, swallowing hard.

The End of the Republicans’ Big Tent

The best way to understand a controversial new resolution from the Republican National Committee censuring Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger is not, as some people have suggested, to legitimize the January 6 attack on the Capitol, but as something more primal: Trump service. The resolution hardly changes a thing—the two lawmakers are already personae non gratae in the party—but it seems designed to pacify the angry ochre god-king and his acolytes.

The End of the Republicans’ Big Tent

The best way to understand a controversial new resolution from the Republican National Committee censuring Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger is not, as some people have suggested, to legitimize the January 6 attack on the Capitol, but as something more primal: Trump service. The resolution hardly changes a thing—the two lawmakers are already personae non gratae in the party—but it seems designed to pacify the angry ochre god-king and his acolytes.

Does Being a Victim of Crime Shift a Politician’s Views?

A neoconservative, Irving Kristol famously joked, is a liberal mugged by reality. What, then, is a liberal who has been mugged by, well, muggers—or rather, carjackers?The question isn’t academic. Last month, in separate, unrelated events, two Democratic lawmakers were carjacked at gunpoint. On December 21, Illinois state Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford had her car stolen in suburban Chicago. The next day, U.S.

The Bad Deal Democrats Should Take

This week, several high-profile Republicans have suddenly become interested in reforming the infamously incomprehensible Electoral Count Act of 1887, which lays out the process for certifying the results of presidential elections. Most prominent among them is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, in his typically animated way, said Wednesday that the law “obviously has some flaws. And it is worth, I think, discussing.

What Mark Meadows Is Learning the Hard Way

One of the emblematic phenomena of Donald Trump’s presidency was the weeks (or sometimes fortnights) of chaos, when it seemed like the administration was struck by a new crisis every day, like watching a Wile E. Coyote supercut, except occasionally with real ordnance.Trump is out of the White House, and those weeks of utter turmoil left when he did, but former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is having one of those stretches all on his own.

Chris Cuomo Must Go

Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as governor of New York might have been a godsend for CNN. The network faced a nearly intractable conflict of interest: The governor was a major national figure, but his brother, Chris, was also one of CNN’s prime-time stars. Instead, the fallout from Andrew Cuomo’s departure has made Chris Cuomo’s position untenable. He should resign; if he doesn’t, CNN should sack him.

The Rittenhouse Trial Could Never Have Been What Americans Wanted

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET on November 19, 2021.A jury has found Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot three men during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the summer of 2020, not guilty of the charges against him. Jurors deliberated for more than three days before delivering the verdict this afternoon, accepting his attorneys’ argument that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense.

The Right’s Total Loss of Proportion

You can tell a lot about a group of people by what makes them angry.Consider the furious way many conservatives are reacting to the passage last week of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill backed by President Joe Biden—and then compare it with their reaction to the January 6 insurrection.[Peter Wehner: Republicans own this insurrection]After some House progressives refused to vote for the package, Speaker Nancy Pelosi relied on 13 Republicans to help eke the plan through.

Republicans Are Grabbing Power Because SCOTUS Said Go for It

This week, Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly approved new maps for electing state legislators and U.S. representatives. The results are what you’d expect for a red state: Of the 14 U.S. House districts, including a new seat added after the latest census, Republicans can expect to win nine, 10, or perhaps 11; they can also expect strong and possibly veto-proof majorities in the state legislature.The problem is that North Carolina isn’t really a red state.

Josh Mandel Might Be Craven Enough to Win

Back when the Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was a young man in politics, he had a spiel in his stump speech about bristling when people told him to wait his turn. Now, as Mandel approaches middle age, it seems that those people were onto something: Mandel just had to wait for the right moment, when his brand of cynicism would be the mainstream of Republican politics.Much national attention has focused on Mandel’s primary opponent J. D.

You’ve Never Heard John Coltrane Like This Before

One Saturday in October 1965, John Coltrane did something unusual: He picked up his tenor saxophone and led his band into a performance of his masterpiece, A Love Supreme, a work he rarely played live. That evening in Seattle, the ensemble unfurled a revelatory rendition—looser and more raucous than the recorded version, losing none of its devotion but trading solemnity for ecstasy.

All Is Not Well That Ends Well in Arizona

The so-called audit of votes in Maricopa County, Arizona, will confirm that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election there, and all it took was five months, millions of taxpayer dollars to replace voting machines tainted by the audit, and a full-frontal assault on faith in elections, the foundation of American democracy.

Murders Are Spiking in America

If 2020 was a year of death, COVID-19 was not the only culprit. Last year saw the largest increase in murders on record, according to new federal-government data.There were some 21,500 murders in 2020—nearly 5,000 more than in 2019. That’s a 29 percent spike, far outpacing the previous record increase, 12.7 percent, set in 1968.

The Democrats’ Greatest Delusion

Democrats in Congress are divided on a slew of important issues right now, leaving President Joe Biden’s signature $3.5 trillion spending plan in jeopardy. What unites them is the illusion that the way they handle the plan will make or break the party’s fortunes in next year’s midterms.If only things worked that way. The election is almost certainly a lost cause for Democrats, and, if it’s not, it’s likely out of their control either way.