Tag Archives: Politics

How the ‘Culture War’ Could Break Democracy – POLITICO

Thirty years ago, sociologist James Davison Hunter popularized the concept of culture war. Today, he sees a culture war that’s gotten worse—and that spells trouble for the future of the American experiment.

By ZACK STANTON, 05/20/2021 05:30 PM EDT

POLITICO illustration; Photos: Getty; AP

In 1991, with America gripped by a struggle between an increasingly liberal secular society that pushed for change and a conservative opposition that rooted its worldview in divine scripture, James Davison Hunter wrote a book and titled it with a phrase for what he saw playing out in America’s fights over abortion, gay rights, religion in public schools and the like: “Culture Wars.”

Hunter, a 30-something sociologist at the University of Virginia, didn’t invent the term, but his book vaulted it into the public conversation, and within a few years it was being used as shorthand for cultural flashpoints with political ramifications.

He hoped that by calling attention to the dynamic, he’d help America “come to terms with the unfolding conflict” and, perhaps, defuse some of the tensions he saw bubbling.

Source: How the ‘Culture War’ Could Break Democracy – POLITICO

The Republicans Who Backed Trump’s Election Lies Are Hatching a Plot to Take Over | Vanity Fair

Trump wasn’t able to steal the 2020 election because enough state and local officials held firm against his anti-democracy efforts—but what happens if the ex-president’s allies nab key roles in future contests?

By Eric Lutz, May 24, 2021

Donald Trump arrives at a Pennsylvania rally in November.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump put United States democracy through a grueling stress test in the last election, forcing Americans to consider all sorts of chilling “what if” questions and underscoring how little a process that relies heavily on the honor system can constrain someone who has none.

It’s tempting to view the fact that the country passed—Trump eventually did leave office and Joe Biden took his place—as a testament to the strength of our institutions. To some extent, it was.

–from article

But the fate of those institutions depends on the people who comprise them, and it’s possible they could have fared worse were it not for several key officials who resisted Trump’s demands. Indeed, what would have happened to Biden’s victory in Georgia had Brad Raffensperger, a pro-Trump conservative, not stood his ground and declined to “find” 12,000 votes for the incumbent?

What if election officials in places like Pennsylvania and Arizona hadn’t won out over the will of Trump and GOP state legislators, who insisted, without basis, that the vote had been marred by fraud? Could Trump’s relentless attempt to undo his loss have worked?

Source: The Republicans Who Backed Trump’s Election Lies Are Hatching a Plot to Take Over | Vanity Fair

Unemployment Benefits Are Not Creating A Worker Shortage | HuffPost

While some employers may be struggling to hire for one reason or another, economists say generous unemployment benefits are not the cause.

By Arthur Delaney and Dave Jamieson, 05/04/2021 10:41 am ET Updated 1 day ago

MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images via Getty Images Wages may have risen a bit faster than average this year in the hospitality industry, according to the government’s employment cost index, though state minimum wage laws may have played a role.

As the U.S. economy bounces back from the COVID-induced downturn, some employers say they’re having a hard time finding workers.

GOP lawmakers like Rep. David Rouzer (N.C.) blame the safety net.

“This is what happens when you extend unemployment benefits too long and add a $1400 stimulus payment,” Rouzer said on Twitter last week, posting a photo from a Hardee’s that said it was closed for lack of staff.

“Right when employers need workers to fully open back up, few can be found.”

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Unemployment Benefits Are Not Creating A Worker Shortage | HuffPost

Report: Trump’s Inner Circle Is Terrified the Feds Are Coming for Them Next | Vanity Fair

To be fair, they probably should be.

By Bess Levin, May 3, 2021

President Donald Trump at the White House on December 7, 2020.by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

If you haven’t been keeping up with the legal affairs of Donald Trump of late, what you should know is that the guy is very likely f–ked.

With the ex-president facing no fewer than 29 lawsuits and three criminal investigations, his tax returns are currently in the hands of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose team is also working to flip the Trump Organization employee who knows where all the bodies are buried and has both (1) cooperated with prosecutors in the past and (2) made some rather interesting comments about the company’s legal dealings.

At the same time Rudy Giuliani had his home and office raided by the feds last week, a turn of events that former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara has said is very, very bad news for the NYC mayor turned Trump lawyer/cautionary tale.

All of which reportedly has the rest of the 45th president’s inner circle extremely concerned about their own legal exposure.

Source: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/05/trump-inner-circle-raid-fears

Why the Republican Party Has No Agenda; Why the GOP Is Ideologically Lost

By Eric Levitz @EricLevitz, April 30, 2021 | New York Magazine, Intelligencer, Conservatism

Outraged and confused. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

American conservatism has long been an incoherent and hypocritical creed.

There is nothing new about Republicans preaching balanced budgets while practicing fiscal profligacy; or prescribing laissez-faire for the indigent while expanding welfare for conservative constituencies; or equating public investment with communism while fighting to expand the most centrally planned sector of the economy. Ronald Reagan was a “small-government” conservative in the streets, but a Keynesian in the balance sheets.

Nevertheless, the ideological incoherence of the contemporary GOP is unusually severe. The Reaganites could not practice what they preached; post-Trump Republicans can’t settle on a catechism to hypocritically recite.

The party has a set of unwavering transactional commitments (to reactionary billionaires, provincial capitalists, and the Christian right). And some of its factions harbor intelligible agendas. But these contingents are no longer united by any overriding account of how public policy must change. Today’s GOP insists that corporate titans are “job creators” entitled to low taxes, but also “woke” traitors deserving of state persecution. It calls for an end to American nation-building in the Middle East, but also for Joe Biden to push for regime change in Iran. It derides welfare programs as invitations to dependency, but also evinces some interest in expanding refundable tax credits for working-class families. It wants to reassert American economic sovereignty by reshoring supply chains and protecting domestic manufacturing, but also to give multinational firms veto power over U.S. tax policy.

Source: Why the Republican Party Has No Agenda