Matt Taibbi says “Trump made idiots of us all.” He covered the campaign for Rolling Stone—and his new book is Insane Clown President.
Also: The Women’s March last Saturday was glorious—what’s the next step? Joan Walsh comments—and responds to David Brooks’s argument that the marchers focused on the “wrong issues”: reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change—which, he said, are only “for upper-middle-class voters in university towns and coastal cities.”
And Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Law School at UC Irvine, is suing Donald Trump—for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits officials from taking money or gifts from foreign governments. To determine whether and how much he has received from foreign governments, the plaintiffs are seeking Trump’s tax returns.
Fran Piven argues that social movements need to “make trouble” to effectively challenge Trump—starting with sanctuary movements that will enlist large numbers of people in resisting his deportation efforts.
Plus, David Cole says defending First Amendment freedoms to criticize the president will be a major task in the coming year.
And Katha Pollitt talks about the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, and about the danger of underestimating Trump.
Trump is vicious, but vulnerable: that’s what GARY YOUNGE says—he writes for The Guardian and The Nation.
Also: what’s wrong with the Democrats—a big topic! HAROLD MEYERSON of The American Prospect talks about what the party needs to do to regain power.
And we’re still thinking about Obama – today we want to talk about what happened with his hopes to transform America’s relationship with the rest of the world – for that we turn to ADAM SHATZ, he’s a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. He writes for the New York Review and the New York Times magazine.
Gary Younge says Trump’s victory shows the weakness of the Republican Party, not its strength—and argues that progressives must avoid despair and channel their anger into an effective resistance.
Plus: Obamacare has changed America, and that makes it hard for the Republicans to simply repeal it. David Dayen explains.
And Joy Reid of MSNBC talks about Obama’s rhetoric on race and what it suggests for the coming fight against Trump and white nationalism. Her new book is We Are The Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama.
Today in Washington: the Jeff Sessions confirmation hearings for Attorney General, the Rex Tillerson confirmation hearings for Secretary of State, and then Trump’s wild press conference: John Nichols comments–John of course is National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation magazine.
Also: Black life and death in the Age of Obama: Kai Wright of The Nation talks about what might have been–if Obama had been willing to address the racial divide in America directly.
Plus: The case for a pardon for Edward Snowden: Ben Wizner of the ACLU argues that Obama ought to bring Snowden home.
Obama Didn’t Talk Much About Race. Did that Open the Door to Trump?
Kai Wright on TheNation Podcast 1/5/2017
Obamacare saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of black people, but Obama never mentioned that fact—his rhetoric throughout his presidency was always more “race-neutral” than not. And the Obama years also saw the resurgence of white supremacy. Kai Wright asks whether there’s a connection.
Plus: Amy Wilentz comments on Michelle Obama’s White House years—her passion and eloquence in the face of Donald Trump, and also how big food and agribusiness defeated her campaign against childhood obesity.
And Harold Meyerson examines what Democratic control of California has achieved this year, and explains the forces that have made Republicans powerless in state politics.
The Republicans started out their new era not by abolishing Obamacare but by trying to abolish the House ethics office. JOHN NICHOLS comments–he says the popular response showed how mobilization outside of Washington can have a powerful effect.
Also: Legendary trial attorney MARTIN GARBUS makes the case for clemency for Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist who has been in federal prison for 41 years.
And David Cole assesses Obama’s achievements on civil rights and his failures on civil liberties — David’s new job is National Legal Director of the ACLU.
ohn Nichols says 2016 wasn’t all bad. With this year’s Progressive Honor Roll, we remember some of the people who fought the good fight, and sometimes even won; activists who pointed the way in the resistance to come.
Also: David Cole looks back on Obama’s achievements in civil rights, and his mixed record in civil liberties, over the last eight years.
And, from the archives, Hunter S. Thompson talking with Studs Terkel in 1966—about Hell’s Angels, the motorcycle gang that was the subject of the book he had just published. What Hunter Thompson had to say fifty years ago about Hell’s Angels is amazingly prescient in anticipating the support for certain hellish people in American politics today.
Michelle Obama‘s greatest political moment came in October, when she spoke about Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood groping tape. During the preceding eight years, she limited herself to campaigning against childhood obesity — but even on that seemingly innocuous feminine topic, she was defeated — by Big Food and agribusiness. Amy Wilentz wrote about Michelle in 2008 for the Washington Post.
Also: Andrew Bacevich reviews eight years of Barack Obama’s wars and foreign policies, starting with Iran and Afghanistan and including cyberwar. Bacevich wrote about the topic for The Nation’s special issue on “The Obama Years.”
And Harold Meyerson talks about Trump’s choice for secretary of labor — fast food exec Andy Puzder (or is it “Pudzer”?), who wants to replace workers with robots — and about what mainstream economists learned –too late — about the effects of free trade on the once-industrial midwest. Harold wrote about it for The American Prospect, where he is executive editor.
Could Republicans be right when they say taxes on business hurt the economy, and low wages help? Robert Reich says there’s an easy way to find out: compare economic growth in high-tax, high-wage California, with Texas.
Also: Legendary attorney Marty Garbus argues that Obama should grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist who’s been in prison for 41 years.
And, as the horrible year of 2016 comes to an end, Amy Wilentz talks about some of the year’s worst moments—and some of the best.