The Weakness of Demagoguery over Summer Rolls

From a dinner of pho and vermicelli, I was walking to my Hyundai with a friend when she posed again the question of the day, the month, the past three years. Daubing a bit fiercely at a spot of hoisin on a button of her shirt, she asked how a man like Donald Trump couldContinue reading “The Weakness of Demagoguery over Summer Rolls”

The Silly Hunt for an Impeachment Smoking Gun

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The hunt is on for the definitive proof of President Trump’s election meddling by way of strong-arming Ukraine. Former White House Counsel John Dean declared that “we’ve already seen the smoking gun” in what Trump calls his “perfect” conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The news has saturated withContinue reading “The Silly Hunt for an Impeachment Smoking Gun”

The Deep State Did Not Begin with Trump

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Fears over the “deep state” have been chalked up to paranoia. And indeed the idea of a hidden counter-government has attracted the ranks of the paranoid. Conspiracies of a tentacled clique of career bureaucrats, wire diagrams of sinister assets and agents have piled up in the Trump era. Still, to writeContinue reading “The Deep State Did Not Begin with Trump”

How Paranoia about the ‘Deep State’ Brought down a President

WASHINGTON POST: With the Mueller report deposited (if not yet released), the right has set its sights on rooting out the “deep state” agents behind the alleged conspiracy to take down President Trump. They look for collusion behind the investigation of collusion. They dig for an illicit report buried even deeper than the report we cannot yet see…

The Irrational Rationality of Conservative Conspiracism

WASHINGTON POST: It is tempting to think of these conspiracies as a rejection of reason, part of the faith- or instinct-based anti-intellectualism of Trump and the right more broadly. And yet such a characterization misses the very nature of political conspiracy. For conspiracism does not reject rational thought, but actually metastasizes reason itself. Conspiracies are based on vast trails of evidence…

Speaking President

WASHINGTON POST: Republican leaders’ focus on Trump’s rhetoric is a striking deviation from how we are used to thinking of the power of the bully pulpit. The key–whether taboo or embraced–has been an unflagging view, a through-line in American history that maintains just how powerful the act of presidential speech is…[FULL ARTICLE]

The Case for Trump’s Nobel

WASHINGTON POST: Despite the popular association of the Nobel with great thinkers, diplomats and statesmen, the prize has also routinely rewarded the undeserving, the frauds and the criminals. By its very nature, the dogged determination to reward “great men” of their time has led to a list of recipients that is a mixture of theContinue reading “The Case for Trump’s Nobel”