Catalan Nationalists Are Not Campaigning “On Backs of the Dead”

Barcelona Spain demonstration
Catalans demonstrate for independence from Spain in Barcelona, July 10, 2010 (Wikimedia Commons/Josep Renalias)

Ramón Pérez-Maura has a blistering op-ed in Politico, where he takes the Catalan independence movement to task for “campaigning on the backs of the dead” of the recent terrorist attacks.

This is ludicrous. Read more “Catalan Nationalists Are Not Campaigning “On Backs of the Dead””

Charlottesville and a Country Coming Apart

United States flag
Flag of the United States in Washington DC (Unsplash/Chris Hardy)

A lot of the news is focused on President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn this weekend’s racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and rightly so.

Given the opportunity to denounce white supremacists who carried Confederate flags and torches through the university town and chanted “Jews will not replace us” as well as the Nazi slogan “blood and soil”, Trump equivocated, saying he blamed “hatred, bigotry and violence that’s on many sides, on many sides” — suggesting that the people who came out to protest against the neo-Nazis were just as responsible for the altercations that occurred.

When asked if he considered the murder of one counterdemonstrator by a white man in his car an act of terrorism, Trump — to the delight of his alt-right fanboys — refused to say anything and walked off the stage.

Compare this with his insistence on using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” whenever a Muslim commits an act of violence — and his insinuation that anyone who doesn’t must be an appeaser or sympathizer of radical Islam. Read more “Charlottesville and a Country Coming Apart”

Republicans Think Democrats Are Worse Than Russia

How can Republicans still support Donald Trump now that there is proof of collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia?

Several users on Twitter have suggested that the right-wing media would have gone berserk if this story was about Hillary Clinton. They’re right. Instead of giving Donald Trump Jr. a softball interview, Sean Hannity would be screaming bloody murder.

We know, because that’s what he did during the phony Clinton email scandal.

And perhaps that helps answer our question: The hard right has convinced itself that Democrats are such a threat to America that it justifies collaboration with a foreign power. Read more “Republicans Think Democrats Are Worse Than Russia”

Election Divides Kingdom as Parties Consolidate Their Base

British parliament London
Westminster Palace in London, England (Unsplash/Matt Milton)

There is still a lot to digest from last week’s British election. The promised Conservative landslide never materialized. Labour gained seats, including in affluent constituencies like Kensington that it won for the first time, but it also fell short of a majority. Theresa May remains in power but has been weakened. She must rely on the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland for a majority, which threatens to upset the delicate balance of power in Ulster.

We can nevertheless say two things with certainty:

  1. The trends spotted in last year’s Brexit vote are accelerating.
  2. The new poles in British politics are consolidating and that leaves the center wide open. Read more “Election Divides Kingdom as Parties Consolidate Their Base”

Support for Israel Has Become a Partisan Issue in the United States

I wasn’t expecting this to happen so soon.

Last month, I urged the Israeli right to stop hectoring President Barack Obama and the Democrats lest they politicize support for the Jewish state in America.

Turns out they already have.

The Pew Research Center finds that Democrats are now nearly as likely to sympathize with the Palestinians as they do with Israel.

74 percent of Republicans take Israel’s side. Only 33 percent of Democrats do, against 31 percent who say they sympathize more with the Palestinian people.

Republicans have for decades been more supportive of Israel, but until recently only one in five Democrats said they sympathized with the Palestinians. Read more “Support for Israel Has Become a Partisan Issue in the United States”

Party Asymmetry in the Age of Trump

Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats

Regular readers of the Atlantic Sentinel will be familiar with Matt Grossmann’s and David Hopkins’ theory of asymmetric politics. I’ve referenced their thesis to argue why Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, was the proper Democratic candidate in 2016 and how Republican anti-establishment sentiment wrecked American politics.

Now they have put their theory in a book, which goes into greater detail and explains how this asymmetry between the parties manifests itself in other areas, like the media and policymaking. Read more “Party Asymmetry in the Age of Trump”

Republicans Put Party Before Country in Election Hack

Since The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA believes Russia intervened in the election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, more damning revelations about his party have surfaced.

We now know that President Barack Obama, wary of publicizing the CIA’s findings unilaterally lest it be seen as an attempt to help his chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, summoned leaders of both parties to the White House in hopes of presenting a united front against Russia’s mischief.

Democrats were in favor; Republicans split. Senate leader Mitch McConnell reportedly raised doubts about the intelligence and told Obama he would consider it an act of partisan politics if the administration revealed to the public that a foreign power was manipulating the electorate to the advantage of his party’s candidate.

This is appalling. Read more “Republicans Put Party Before Country in Election Hack”

Donald Trump Voters Live in Alternate Reality

Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, October 29 (Gage Skidmore)

Here is some insight into why millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump: they are convinced things have got worse under Barack Obama, the outgoing president, although the facts say otherwise.

A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found that two-thirds of Trump voters believe unemployment has increased since Obama came to power in January 2009.

In fact, the unemployment rate has steadily fallen since then: from 7.8 to 4.6 percent.

Nearly 40 percent of Trump’s voters believe the stock market has gone down under Obama. The reality is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11,000 points since the beginning of his presidency: more than double where it was. Read more “Donald Trump Voters Live in Alternate Reality”

Liberal America Unwittingly Radicalized Trumpland

Donald Trump
Portrait of Donald Trump in West Des Moines, Iowa, January 23 (Tony Webster)

When it became clear Tuesday night that Donald Trump was going to defeat Hillary Clinton in the big industrial states of the American Midwest — Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — I thought of the way Barack Obama had triumphed there four years ago.

His opponent, Mitt Romney, was a decent and thoughtful man who I supported for president. It bothered me at the time that Democrats were portraying him — insincerely, it seemed to me — as a heartless plutocrat. But that’s how Obama won over the white working class in the very states Clinton lost on Tuesday.

I sensed there was a connection between the vilification of Mitt Romney and the victory of Donald Trump, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I read this quote from a conservative voter in The Atlantic:

Give people the impression that you will hate them the same or nearly so for voting Jeb Bush as compared to voting for Trump and where is the motivation to be socially acceptable with Jeb?

It is now starting to sink in that liberal America unwittingly radicalized Trumpland. Read more “Liberal America Unwittingly Radicalized Trumpland”