In a movie where virtually all the characters live in a gray zone of morality, should the journalists be exempt? Do we have to choose between defending ourselves from a demagogue and reckoning with our role in having created him?
Ten years ago last month, I wrote a long cover story for the New York Times Magazine titled: “Is Obama the End of Black Politics?” The central point of the essay, which featured dozens of black leaders and provoked no shortage of debate, was that Barack Obama’s nomination in 2008 marked a turning point
It’s easy enough to highlight the superficial similarities between Trump’s White House scandal and Watergate. But the more consequential parallel lies several levels deeper, in a dark seam of self-delusion.
Right now, at a time when Democrats are frantically searching for the anti-Trump, Bernie is starting to look strangely like a reverse image of the president, instead.
Trump doesn’t lie because he thinks the truth will be politically calamitous. He lies because he’s pretty sure he can make you believe whatever he wants you to believe, and there doesn’t seem to be a penalty for trying.
It may not have been textbook treason for Trump to ally himself with a foreign despot against his own government. But that the question couldn’t be immediately dismissed made clear that he had set a new low for the presidency.
If you make the case that America is wasting too much money to defend foreign borders, then you also ought to have an argument for how reversing that policy can help us here at home.
Some people have compared the disgraceful caging of children on the southern border to the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942. But the internment was qualitatively different from what we’re seeing today.
If this isn’t a time for the five living ex-presidents to put basic American values above the tradition of not criticizing their successors, then what would such a moment look like?
The Justice Department exists to enforce constitutional protections — none more than the right to free expression. And too many college presidents seem to have forgotten that they exist to teach students the value (and sometimes the cost) of those protections.
What’s the truth behind that strange aircraft spotted off the coast of San Diego in 2004? Go ahead and laugh. But in the age of entertainment, we can no longer differentiate what’s entirely superfluous from what seems superfluous but might really matter.
Judging from its jokes about black Americans and immigrants, “Roseanne” was aimed at culturally affronted white Americans who feel robbed of their heritage. So it was a good bet that its star would stumble her way into the hatred and bigotry that lurk all over social media.
Mike Pence is busy building his own political operation. But close as he is to the presidency, his chances of ever getting the job fall somewhere between remote and imaginary.
Despite what’s said about her, Melania Trump isn’t trapped. She’s the most liberated person in her husband’s entire dysfunctional orbit. Imagine what it could mean if she exercised that freedom.
The main problem with the White House Correspondents’ Dinner isn’t the ugly humor or the God-awful food. It’s the display of vanity, pretension and tribalism that reinforces the worst idea of what political journalism is all about.
Trump’s critics would argue that this moment must be met with extraordinary measures. The danger is that with each extraordinary measure they risk defining down the presidency.