Start Making Sense

The Resistance to Trump: Year One–David Cole; plus Lawrence O’Donnell on 1968 and Steven Hahn on Hillbilly Elegy

In the year since Trump’s election, the president’s ability to do damage has been “substantially checked”—by the courts, and even more by citizen activism, says David Cole. He’s The Nation’s legal correspondent, and also legal director of the ACLU; he reviews the current state of Supreme Court litigation on voting rights, the Muslim travel ban, and other key issues.
Also: 2016 was a bad year in American politics, but 1968 was worse, says Lawrence O’Donnell, the MSNBC host. That was the year Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey, guaranteeing that the war in Vietnam would continue. O’Donnell’s new book is Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics.”
Plus: Hillbilly Elegy, the best-selling memoir by J.D. Vance, is often taken as a good explanation of the white working-class rage that led to Trump’s election. But Steven Hahn doesn’t agree—he says the book “has the feel of a college application essay,” a simplistic caricature of family dysfunction and the author’s efforts to escape and achieve. Hahn, professor of history at NYU, wrote about “The Rage of White Folks” for The Nation’s Fall Books issue.
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Can the Democrats Actually Beat Roy Moore in Alabama? Howell Raines, plus Adam Shatz on Trump and the Bomb, and Corey Robin on Trump and The Reactionary Mind

The legendary journalist Howell Raines reports from Alabama on the continuing Republican support for Roy Moore, the Senate candidate accused of molesting a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. Meanwhile, his Democratic opponent, the heroic civil-rights attorney Doug Jones, is running “the most vigorous Democratic campaign that’s been waged in Alabama in at least 30 years.”
Also, Trump and the bomb: We’re hoping the generals keep him from doing anything crazy, like starting a nuclear war with North Korea—but the system is set up to give the president control over nuclear weapons, rather than the military. Adam Shatz explains.
Plus: The reactionary mind of Donald Trump: Corey Robin talks about Trump’s place in the tradition of reactionary political thought—his book The Reactonary Mind: from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump is out now in a new paperback edition.
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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Russia, Trump, and the Democrats; plus George Zornick on the tax bill and Danny Meyer on the trouble with tipping.

Katrina vanden Heuvel reports on the dedication of Russia’s monument to victims of the Gulag, and comments on Robert Mueller’s investigations—which “must continue”—and on the lessons of Trump’s victory: the Democrats must overcome their failure to win working class voters.
Plus: The GOP tax bill faces problems in the House, and may never get to the Senate—where additional obstacles await. George Zornick explains.
Also: Legendary restauranteur Danny Meyer explains why he’s against tipping—he spoke at a dinner in honor of The Nation’s Food issue, held at his restaurant at the Whitney Museum, “Untitled.”
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Michelle Goldberg: Do Republicans Have the Guts to Go Against Trump? Plus Bob Dreyfuss on Mueller at work, and Tony Schwartz on Trump.

Republicans and Trump, after the indictments: Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist at The New York Times, looks at why some Senate Republicans have broken with Trump—and why the rest have not, even after special counsel Robert Mueller has made it clear he’s just getting started with criminal charges against Trump’s associates.
Also: Tony Schwartz knows a lot about Trump—in fact, he wrote Trump’s bestselling memoir The Art of the Deal. That classic of modern literature spent forty-eight weeks in 1987 on the Times best-seller list, and more than a million copies have been sold. When Mueller’s prosecutors close in on Trump, will he become more cautious and careful? Schwartz’s answer is a short one: “Not a chance in hell.”
Plus: The arrest of Trump’s campaign chief Paul Manafort on Monday on multiple felony charges is only the beginning of the results of the work of special counsel Robert Muller. The political implications for Trump are ominous. Bob Dreyfuss explains.
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Is Trump Crazy? Would Pence Be Worse? Jane Mayer on Pence, Amy Wilentz on Trump, plus Raj Patel on the problem with cheap food.

Would Pence be worse? Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reports—she interviewed more than 60 people in search of answers, including Pence’s mother. Several say he’s wanted to be president at least since high school.

Also: Is Trump crazy? Amy Wilentz talks about The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, edited by Bandy X. Lee, in which 27 psychiatrists and mental-health experts give their assessments of the president. The book is number four on the New York Times bestseller list this week.

Plus: The problem with cheap food: Raj Patel explains how we can get to a more just and equitable food future—he wrote about that for The Nation’s special issue on “The Future of Food.” His new book is A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things.
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How Much Time Could Women Reclaim If They Didn’t Have to Deal With Men’s Bullshit? Joan Walsh on Harvey Weinstein, plus John Nichols on Trump’s generals, and Zoë Carpenter on the future of food: The Nation podcast

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations of sexual harassment and assault, Joan Walsh talks about the torrent of #metoo stories, which reveal just how much time women spend dealing with male abuse.
Also: Will the generals save us from Trump’s impulsiveness, irrationality, ignorance, and aggression? Chief of Staff John Kelley, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are said to offer a “calming force” on the administration—but John Nichols is skeptical.
Plus: The Nation’s special Food Issue, out now, asks the question “How do we get to a more equitable and sustainable food system?” Zoë Carpenter comments—she was one of the editors of the issue.
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Ai Weiwei on Refugees: They Are Part of Us; plus David Dayen on JPMorgan and Amy Wilentz on Ivanka, Jared, and Don Jr.: The Nation Podcast

Human Flow is Ai Weiwei’s amazing documentary on the global refugee crisis. He’s our greatest political artist—here he talks about his first feature film, shot in 23 countries and dozens of refugee camps. It opens in New York and Washington on October 13 and Los Angeles October 20.
Plus: a special investigation conducted by The Nation: How America’s biggest bank paid its fine for the 2008 mortgage crisis—with phony mortgages. David Dayen reports on JPMorgan Chase.
Also: another chapter of The Children’s Hour: stories about Ivanka, Jared, and Don Junior. Today, the story of how Ivanka and Don Junior were almost indicted for fraud in 2012 over the failing Trump Soho project; while Jared had some unfortunate ideas about how to run his weekly newspaper, The New York Observer. Amy Wilentz has those stories.
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Say It Again: Donald Trump Did Not Win the Popular Vote E.J. Dionne on America after Trump, Ari Berman on gerrymandering, and Joan Walsh with Hillary: The Nation podcast

E.J. Dionne argues that Trump has mobilized progressive political forces that can transform America—and he reminds us that Trump never had a majority of voters, and is the most unpopular presidents in our history. E.J. is co-author of One Nation After Trump: A Guide to the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported.
Also: Ari Berman went to the Supreme Court on Tuesday to hear the arguments about political gerrymandering—he reports on the shocking facts behind the Wisconsin case, and the possibility that Justice Kennedy will join liberals on the bench in setting limits on this undemocratic practice. Ari is now a senior reporter for Mother Jones.
Plus: Last week Joan Walsh sat down with Hillary for a conversation about what happened in the election, and Hillary’s book What Happened. We have clips from their conversation, and comment from Joan about what it was like.
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Trump Is Inviting America Into the Torture Chamber: Sasha Abramsky, plus Katha Pollitt and D.D. Guttenplan on Hillary’s memoir.

 Sasha Abramsky talks about the way Trump cultivates fear to justify racist, violent, and criminal tactics. His new book is Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream
Also, two very different views of Hillary Clinton’s new campaign memoir, What Happened. According to Katha Pollitt, Hillary acknowledges that she never quite grasped what she was up against until it was too late, while D.D. Guttenplan says Hillary points to the wrong future for the Democratic Party—a future tied to big donors and the party elite.

Trump’s Campaign Chief Paul Manafort Faces Indictment: Bob Dreyfuss, plus Sarah Leonard on Hillary’s book and Todd Gitlin on Ken Burns’s Vietnam.

Bob Dreyfuss reports the big news in the Russiagate scandal: the first indictments. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has told Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort that he’s about to be indicted. And not only that: Manafort has been the subject of a court-ordered wiretap for years.
Also: Hillary’s new campaign memoir ‘What Happened’ has its engaging moments, says Sarah Leonard of The Nation, but the former candidate still doesn’t really understand the populist political forces responsible for her loss.
Plus: Todd Gitlin responds to critics of Ken Burns’s 18-hour documentary for PBS on the Vietnam war. It makes the anti-war case powerfully, he says; it presents Vietnamese understandings of the war brilliantly, and it’s fair to the anti-war movement.
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