Down in the Polls, Sanders Echoes Trump on Media Bias

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9, 2016
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9, 2016 (Gage Skidmore)

First, Bernie Sanders suggested the Democratic Party teamed up on him in 2016 to deny him the presidential nomination. (Of a party of which he is not even a member.)

Now he is suggesting The Washington Post is giving him negative coverage because he has been critical of its owner, Jeff Bezos.

America already has one party that regularly calls the legitimacy of institutions like universities, the FBI and NATO into doubt. It doesn’t need Democrats to do the same. Read more

Brexiteers to Parliament: Drop Dead

View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, April 9, 2010
View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, April 9, 2010 (Geir Halvorsen)

So much for the claim that Brexit was about restoring the sovereignty of British institutions.

According to a ComRes poll published in The Telegraph on Monday, more Britons would support Prime Minister Boris Johnson using any means necessary to take Britain out of the European Union than would oppose him — even if it meant suspending Parliament.

Of those with an opinion on the question, 54 percent of respondents said they agreed Johnson should do whatever it takes and prevent lawmakers from blocking Brexit. 46 percent disagreed.

If undecideds are included, the figures are 44 percent “agree” and 37 percent “disagree”. Read more

Sanders Should Stop Undermining Trust in the Democratic Party

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders makes a speech in Brooklyn, New York, April 8, 2016
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders makes a speech in Brooklyn, New York, April 8, 2016 (Timothy Krause)

Bernie Sanders is at it again, alleging that the 2016 Democratic primary was “rigged” against him.

It wasn’t, and Sanders should stop saying so. At a time when Donald Trump is calling the legitimacy of academia, science, the news media, the FBI, NATO and other multilateral organizations into question, the last thing the left needs to do is undermine trust in more institutions. Read more

Election in Georgia Clouded by Racial and Voting Controversy

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks with voters in Albany, Georgia, June 3, 2017
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks with voters in Albany, Georgia, June 3, 2017 (Team Abrams)

One of the most closely watched elections on Tuesday is in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp are competing for the governorship.

Abrams led Democrats in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017 and is the first-ever female African American gubernatorial nominee of a major political party in the United States.

Kemp has been the secretary of state of Georgia since 2010. That puts him in charge of overseeing the very election he is hoping to win. Read more

Kavanaugh Nomination Erodes Supreme Court’s Legitimacy

Building of the United States Supreme Court in Washington DC, June 12, 2014
Building of the United States Supreme Court in Washington DC, June 12, 2014 (Wikimedia Commons/Laura Choate)

Republicans’ determination to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court marks an escalation of the politicization of the judiciary in the United States.

Kavanaugh faces unanimous opposition from Democrats due to allegations of sexual assault, his extreme views on presidential power (Kavanaugh does not believe a sitting president can be indicted or tried) and his partisanship. Read more

Republicans Are Playing with Fire by Disparaging the FBI

View of FBI headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, in Washington DC, March 10, 2010
View of FBI headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, in Washington DC, March 10, 2010 (F. Delventhal)

Having undermined Americans’ trust in the media, the courts, public education, science and Congress, Republicans are now turning on one of the few institutions that still command wide respect: the FBI.

In their desperation to save Donald Trump from scandal, Republicans are concocting wild conspiracy theories of FBI agents scheming to overturn the 2016 election.

This hysteria will not be without consequence. When partisans become convinced that the institutions of government have been taken over by the other side, they stop listening to them. When those institutions are law enforcement, the dangers are obvious. Read more

Republicans Broke American Politics in These Three Ways

Washington DC at night
Washington DC at night (Pixabay/skeeze)

Political scientists Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein argue in The New York Times that the Democratic and Republican Parties don’t share the blame for the sorry state American politics are in.

Republicans are the ones who broke American politics, they write, in three ways:

  1. By demonizing government: Republicans have for decades attacked and dismantled institutions and flouted the norms of lawmaking, undermining the public’s trust in government.
  2. By opposing Barack Obama every step of the way: Even when he proposed policies Republicans once supported, like an individual health-insurance mandate. This radicalized conservative voters, who were told Republicans could bring the president to his knees if only they won a majority in Congress. The Obama effect had an ominous twist: an undercurrent of racism that was embodied in the “birther” movement led by Donald Trump.
  3. By creating a conservative echo chamber: From the rise of talk radio in the 1980s, Fox News in the 90s, right-wing blogs in the early 2000s and social media in our time, conservatives have created a media ecosystem in which “alternative facts” thrive and hostility to the “establishment”, immigrations and Democrats boosts ratings. Read more