Tag Archives: Jonathan Chait

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Propaganda: The Real Source of Trump’s Power

“Conservative media could take its cues from the party’s congressional leadership, but its most influential figures have personal ties to the president. As Gabriel Sherman has reported, Trump communicates so frequently with Fox News he is serving in some sense as its de facto editorial director. To the extent Trump deserves credit for his takeover of the party, it is through his canny playing of the inside media game, wooing powerful insiders in the right-wing media to make him (rather than Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell) the protagonist of their drama.”

Jonathan Chait

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Transcripts Reveal Trump Is as Stupid as He Appears to Be

“The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public.”

Jonathan Chait</h2>

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GOP Healthcare Bill Is Not Getting Better with Time

“The Republicans have spent eight years insisting that they could produce a better health-care-reform plan if they had the chance. They have come to realize that this promise was false. The only thing they can do is rip away the benefits Obamacare has given millions of Americans. Their sole objective now is to do so with the minimum level of transparency or accountability.”

Jonathan Chait

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The Resistance Is Ascendant

If Trump has a plan to crush his adversaries, he has not yet revealed it. His authoritarian rage thus far is mostly impotent, the president as angry Fox-News-watching grandfather screaming threats at his television that he never carries out. The danger to the republic may come later, or never. In the first month of Trump’s presidency, the resistance has the upper hand.

Jonathan Chait

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Donald’s Team of Rivals, er, Racists

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign bludgeoned modern norms about the acceptability of racism. The candidate proposed a religious test for immigrants, and called a federal judge unfit on the grounds of his heritage. Trump could have decided to put the racial demagoguery of the campaign behind him, and it could have been remembered as a divisive ploy to win that did not define his administration, like George Bush’s manipulation of white racial panic to defeat Michael Dukakis in 1988. But Trump, perhaps predictably, is making a different choice. His early staffing choices are redefining the boundaries of acceptable racial discourse in Republican politics.

Jonathan Chait

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Republicans Didn’t Win a Mandate

Last night, Paul Ryan, jubilant with the prospect that his long dream of dismantling the state may be finally at hand, called the election ‘a repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies.’ This morning, going further, he insisted Trump ‘just earned a mandate.’ The rule of law entitles Ryan and his party to exercise the power they have won. But Ryan is seeking something more — the deference of a party that is seen as embodying the will of the people. He is not entitled to that. … Trump’s election cannot be called a decision by the voters to repudiate the liberal status quo because, for one thing, it was not a decision by the voters at all. The voters supported Clinton over Trump. The decision was made by the Electoral College, which as a matter of opinion can be called archaic, and as a matter of objective fact can be called anti-democratic. Again, the rules are the rules. But it remains the case that Ryan and his party have power not because of the will of the voters but despite it.

Jonathan Chait

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Debate Showed Trump at His Worst

If you’re a Republican who has been clinging to the wan hope that Donald Trump might somehow, in his eighth decade on Earth, develop into a plausibly competent president of the United States, the first debate should have been your moment to abandon ship. Trump displayed the factual command of a small child, the emotional stability of a hormonal teen, and the stamina of an old man, staggering and losing the thread as the 90 minutes wore on.

Jonathan Chait

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Trump’s Hitlerian Rise Is Attributable to Mainstream GOPers

Like Hitler, Trump is a radical, authoritarian figure who lies outside the normal parameters of his country’s conservative governing class. Thus, there is a parallel between the two men’s unexpected rise to power that is worth considering: Why would traditional conservatives willingly hand power to a figure so dangerous that he threatened their own political and economic interests? Why, having failed in their halfhearted efforts to nominate an alternative candidate during the primaries, don’t they throw themselves behind a convention coup, a third-party candidacy, or defect outright to Hillary Clinton? Why do so many of them consider Trump the lesser rather than the greater evil?

— Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine/h2>

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Three Reasons Why Liberals Should Support Trump

There are three reasons, in descending order of obviousness, for a liberal to earnestly and patriotically support a Trump Republican nomination. The first, of course, is that he would almost certainly lose… Second, a Trump nomination might upend his party … About half of Republicans favor higher taxes on the rich, a position that has zero representation among their party’s leaders. And those Republicans are the most likely to support Trump. … The third reason to prefer a Trump nomination: If he does win, a Trump presidency would probably wind up doing less harm to the country than a Marco Rubio or a Cruz presidency. It might even, possibly, do some good.

— Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine

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Want a ‘Know Nothing’ President? Vote for Carson

The candidate’s advisers are saying on the record he doesn’t know anything, has trouble learning anything, and cannot seem to recall even what little information he has managed to assimilate. I don’t see how a Carson presidency could go wrong.

— Jonathan Chait, in New York Magazine.