Today's Liberal News

David A. Graham

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.

Arizona’s Audit Continues to Be a Chaotic Mess

If you’ve forgotten about the Arizona “audit” of Maricopa County’s votes in the 2020 election, you can be forgiven. At times, it seems like the audits’ backers have forgotten about it too.Arizona state-Senate Republicans launched the process this spring as a response to false claims of election fraud spread by several of themselves, as well as former President Donald Trump.

The Strange, Sudden Silence of Conservative Abortion Foes

Few political issues inflame passions so much as abortion. The issues of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy (for abortion-rights advocates) and the sanctity of life (for their opponents) are so elemental that scant room exists for compromise, conciliation, or cool analysis.Yet something strange has happened since a new Texas law that practically bans abortion after six weeks went into effect this week, with the passive assent of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Noisy Minority

The connection between Republican political views and skepticism about COVID-19 precautions, such as mask mandates and vaccine passports, is clear but not intuitive.While not all unvaccinated people are Republicans, nearly half of Republicans have yet to receive even a single shot, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from late July.

Biden’s ‘America First’ Policy on Afghanistan

As Kabul fell and the Taliban reclaimed power in Afghanistan over the last two days, the 44th and 45th presidents of the United States bickered over who was to blame. President Joe Biden, in a statement, put the onus on a deal made by former President Donald Trump; Trump fired back “Never would have happened if I were President!” even as Biden followed the path Trump had laid out.That feud was a sideshow.

The Insurrection Was Just Part of the Plot

For raw emotional content, Tuesday’s hearing of the new House select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection was nonpareil. Four police officers who fought to hold back armed hordes seeking to disrupt Congress told stories of physical injury, racist abuse, and post-traumatic distress. Even for Americans who paid close attention to the crisis, these stories added new texture and horror.

Suddenly, Conservatives Care About Vaccines

Updated at 8:06 p.m. ET on July 20, 2021Conservatives are not necessarily vaccine-hesitant, to paraphrase John Stuart Mill, but most vaccine-hesitant Americans people are conservatives. Resistance to vaccines has been concentrated among Republican voters, and led by GOP politicians and various leading lights in conservative media.And that makes the past day or so one of the stranger stretches in recent pandemic politics.“Just like we’ve been saying, please take COVID seriously.

The Rise of Anti-history

In June, Marjorie Taylor Greene visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The visit was, by her own account, revelatory. Earlier in the spring, the Georgia member of the U.S. House compared Food City, a grocery chain that identified vaccinated employees on their name tags, to the Nazis, who forced Jews to wear Stars of David. A few days later, she compared Democrats to Nazis.Now she was contrite. “When you make a mistake, you should own it.

The Rise of Anti-history

In June, Marjorie Taylor Greene visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The visit was, by her own account, revelatory. Earlier in the spring, the Georgia member of the U.S. House compared Food City, a grocery chain that identified vaccinated employees on their name tags, to the Nazis, who forced Jews to wear Stars of David. A few days later, she compared Democrats to Nazis.Now she was contrite. “When you make a mistake, you should own it.

Trump’s Fantasy Legal World

Just like you, Donald Trump has some big summer plans, though his are probably more grandiose: He’s going to be reinstated to the presidency by August, and he’s going to sue Facebook, Twitter, Google’s YouTube, and their respective CEOs for violating his First Amendment rights. The first of these is impossible. The second, which Trump announced during a press conference this morning, is only marginally more likely to succeed.

Joe Manchin Was Never a Mystery

The failure of the For the People Act in the Senate yesterday evening didn’t provide much drama. All 50 Democrats backed the voting-rights bill, but with no Republican support, they didn’t have enough votes to break a filibuster. That Democrats didn’t have the votes was clear from the start of the Congress.But journalism requires drama, which means that over the past few months Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been the subject of extensive coverage.

Janet Malcolm the Magician

There are two kinds of magicians: Those who purport to be doing something truly supernatural, drawing on the paranormal, and those who are honest with their audiences about fooling them.Janet Malcolm, who died last week at 86, was of the second type. Her journalism was filled with instances in which she alerted readers that she would be playing with their minds; she then did so effortlessly. Knowing you were being messed with was no protection.

Trump’s DOJ Was More Dangerous Than We Knew

Sometimes, the actions a government takes look bad at the time, but posterity treats them kindly. Other times, a president might look good in the moment but see his reputation sink in retrospect. Then there’s the Trump administration, and especially its Justice Department, which looked bad when it was in power and now looks even worse.

The Frightening New Republican Consensus

Former President Donald Trump has been speaking publicly about running to reclaim the White House in 2024, but he’s also reportedly expecting to make a comeback before then. “Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August,” Maggie Haberman, the New York Times’ ace Trump reporter, tweeted Tuesday.

Democracy Defeated, 35–54

Three times in the past year, American democracy has been tested. Once, and most consequentially, it emerged victorious. The subsequent two tests have not turned out as well, and that is a bleak omen for whenever the next test arrives.The first test came after last fall’s election, when more Americans voted for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, than for any other presidential candidate in history.

George Floyd’s Murder Changed Americans’ Views on Policing

President Joe Biden likes to recall a conversation he had with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s daughter, at Floyd’s funeral last summer. “Daddy changed the world,” she told Biden. If the first step to changing the world is changing people’s minds, Floyd’s murder one year ago did that—though just how much, and with what long-term effects, remain unclear.

The Unfolding Disaster in Arizona

Of all the flaws in the perplexing “audit” of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, Arizona, the hypocrisy shines through most clearly.As Donald Trump and his allies grasped at straws to cast doubt on the results of last year’s presidential race, they settled on a few common complaints.

Tucker Carlson, Unmasked

Social media has so conditioned people to expect hyperbole that there’s a perverse satisfaction when a clip is truly as bad as advertised. Last night, a viral tweet claimed that Fox News’s Tucker Carlson had told his audience to harass people on the street wearing masks—and to “call the police immediately; contact child protective services” if they saw a child wearing one.Surely, this couldn’t be a fair description; naturally, it was.

It’s Not Vaccine Hesitancy. It’s COVID-19 Denialism.

Several years ago, two sociologists researched whether Americans were willing to take a novel vaccine during a pandemic. Taking poll data from the midst of the 2009 H1N1 swine-flu outbreak, they broke out hesitancy by race, age, and partisanship, among other factors.

Chauvin’s Conviction Is the Exception That Proves the Rule

Updated on April 20 at 8:26 p.m.Jurors in Minnesota took barely 10 hours to convict Derek Chauvin in the May 2020 death of George Floyd on all three charges against him, offering a quick and decisive verdict in the most-watched police-misconduct case in years.The speedy result, announced in a Minneapolis courtroom this afternoon, is a sign of how unusual the case is.

General Override

Who lost Afghanistan? Generations of diplomatic and military historians will debate that question, and there will be blame to share among presidents, members of Congress, generals, and statesmen. Here’s an easier question: Who lost the debate over when to leave Afghanistan? The military did.On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would fully withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, exactly two decades after the attacks that incited the American invasion.