The political news cycle is fast, and keeping up can be overwhelming. Trying to find differing perspectives worth your time is even harder. That’s why we have scoured the internet for political writing from the right and left that you might not have seen.
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• Kevin D. Williamson in National Review:
“To call it ‘economic nationalism’ would be too grand: It is merely a very narrow form of special-interest politics consisting of backdoor handouts to favored corporate interests.”
Kevin Williamson takes issue with President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order. Connecting the protectionist economic policy to the “corporate welfare” of the Obama administration, he argues that the order is nothing but “another exciting distraction,” that might result in “perfectly legal corruption.” Read more »
• John Carney in Breitbart:
“The wealth and welfare of a country consist of more than its income.”
John Carney, making the “libertarian case” for President Trump’s executive order, rejects the view that it will lead to crony capitalism. Mr. Carney, who recently joined Breitbart News from The Wall Street Journal, explains that it merely represents Americans expressing “their spending policy preferences.”
Taken together, Mr. Williamson and Mr. Carney’s articles reflect a stark divide in how conservative columnists have reacted to the order. Read more »
• Matthew Continetti in The Washington Free Beacon:
“What connection does Tim Cook have to the cause of a free press other than in suppressing it for profit?”
Earlier this week, the Newseum awarded Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, an award for free speech. Matthew Continetti sees hypocrisy in granting Mr. Cook this award after Apple acquiesced to a Chinese government request to remove The New York Times from the Chinese version of the App Store. And he notes that Apple is a “platinum sponsor” of the Newseum’s Free Expression awards. Read more »
• Bill Donohue in Newsmax:
“What are they afraid of? That the playground is going to be converted into some kind of grand venue for Bible readings?”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that may have resounding implications for the separation of church and state. At the heart of the case is whether the state can deny funds to a religious organization that seeks to use them for secular purpose. In 2012, a Missouri church sought state money to resurface a playground and was denied. Bill Donohue, who leads the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, argues that the brief filed against the church “has an air of paranoia to it,” and misunderstands the historical context behind the Missouri Constitution’s religious provisions. Read more »
• John Nichols in The Nation:
“Democrats cannot simply say ‘no’ to Donald Trump; they must provide a clear and coherent progressive populist alternative to [his] ‘billionaire populism.’”
John Nichols is cautiously optimistic about the new alliance between Senator Bernie Sanders and Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. While some on the left wing of the party worried that Mr. Perez would continue a Clinton brand of centrism, Mr. Nichols sees Mr. Perez’s history of labor rights advocacy as an asset. To defeat President Trump and other Republicans, Mr. Nichols writes, the Democrats must change and become more militant in their economic policy. Read more »
• Moira Donegan in The New Republic:
“The problem with using the tax returns as a symbol for all of Trump’s corruption is that the returns themselves may be less than earth shattering.”
Moira Donegan warns liberals not to put too much stock in potential revelations hidden in President Trump’s tax returns. She points out that the president’s base has overlooked many scandals that would have easily taken other politicians down. “Unless the returns show direct bank deposits from Vladimir Putin,” she writes, there’s little in them that is likely to remove the president from power. Read more »
• Ijeoma Oluo in The Stranger:
“It is white supremacy that told an unhappy and outcast white woman that black identity was hers for the taking. […] It is white supremacy that decided that it was worth a book deal, national news coverage, and yes — even this interview.”
Ijeoma Oluo didn’t want to write about Rachel Dolezal, the former head of a N.A.A.C.P. chapter who “passed” as a black woman for nearly a decade until she was “outed” as white. But we’re glad she did. In this profile, Ms. Oluo confronts a woman she believes profoundly misunderstands the nature of white privilege. In the process, Ms. Oluo lets go of her anger toward Ms. Dolezal and comes to a deeper understanding of the nature of white supremacy. Read more »
• Luke Savage in Current Affairs:
“‘The West Wing’ is an elaborate fantasia founded upon the shibboleths that sustain Beltway liberalism and the milieu that produced them.”
If you love Aaron Sorkin’s cult political drama, “The West Wing,” you might want to read Luke Savage’s critical perspective on the show. You’ll definitely want to read it if you hate the show. Mr. Savage explains how the show’s valorization of pragmatism and process, rather than any specific policy or ideological gains, is the idealized state of establishment liberal politics. It reflects the smug view that “politics is less a terrain of clashing values and interests than a perpetual pitting of the clever against the ignorant and obtuse.” Read more »
• Taffy Brodesser-Akner in GQ:
“How, in an age of lies, does a guy make righteous truth-telling so damn entertaining?”
Jake Tapper has been holding people in power accountable long before the video of his 11-minute interview with Kellyanne Conway went viral. It’s only now that people have begun to notice. In this profile of the CNN anchor, Taffy Brodesser-Akner introduces her readers to the man who criticized the Obama administration for attempting to deny Fox News access, the man who “has been doing outrage since back when you believed you lived in a free country.” Read more »
• Robert J. Samuelson in The Washington Post:
“Don’t be fooled: There is no strong consensus on trade.”
Are Americans done with free trade? It depends on whom you ask. Robert J. Samuelson explains how attitudes toward globalization are hard to pin down but easy to manipulate. The only thing we can be sure of? “Americans’ attitudes on trade seem confusing, inconsistent and variable because they are confusing, inconsistent and variable.” Read more »
• Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic:
“Nothing about this time is elevating. It’s just all of us — on the left and on the right — sworn to our bitterness and our anger.”
A new genre of political writing has emerged seeking to explain and, occasionally, assign blame for “the rise of Trump.” Caitlin Flanagan details the part that late-night comedy played. Political comedians like Samantha Bee or John Oliver, she writes, alienated conservatives and made liberal viewers too smug. Late-night satire reflects the hyperpartisan nature of our nation, “with all of us being judged by how well […] we can hate each other.” Read more »
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