Trump is the New __________

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Every historian worries over presentism — the tendency for contemporary sentiment to distort the study of the past. Some call it projection. In graduate school, it’s teleology, or what the French historian Marc Bloch dubbed “the most unpardonable of sins: anachronism.” And so, lightly we tread, tippy-toed, when formulating aContinue reading “Trump is the New __________”

The Art of the -Gate

A different version of this article appeared in The New Republic on May 16th. And so it seems we do have Dick Nixon to kick around some more. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, Jr., once again and in force, the shade with the five-o-clock shadow returned to hauntContinue reading “The Art of the -Gate”

A TRUMP FOR THE PEOPLE: the first of two essays re-evaluating the 2016 presidential election

The dust has settled on the 2016 presidential election and many conclusions have been drawn as the first draft of history is all but written. The New Republic called it the “Democrats’ Biggest Disaster.” The Washington Post wrote of the “Decimation of the Democratic Party.” But wait, before the ink dries, let us consider, justContinue reading “A TRUMP FOR THE PEOPLE: the first of two essays re-evaluating the 2016 presidential election”

a brief interlude, I

      Recipe for a Donald Serving Size: 1 Litre Cooking Time: 4 Years 1,984 cals Directions: 1. In a large skillet, melt a generous portion of Jacksonian populism (clarifying, not necessary.) 2. Coat a yuuge slab of T Rex’s grandiosity with a glaze of Taft’s ample appetite. 3. On the side, whip up Wilson’sContinue reading “a brief interlude, I”

Drawing a Red Line: Mnuchin’s Racist Resume

From his time overseeing credit default swaps as a partner at Goldman Sachs in Manhattan to his job heading foreclosure filings at OneWest Bank in Pasadena, Steve Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, has been tagged by Sen. Elizabeth Warren the “Forrest Gump of the financial crisis.” The disclosure of OneWest’s pernicious foreclosureContinue reading “Drawing a Red Line: Mnuchin’s Racist Resume”

Fascism in the USA, A Rebuttal

You can hear the bass drum pounding away as you read the headline of Paul Krugman’s latest New York Times editorial: “How Republics End.” Hitler, Franco and Mussolini. Here we have the other Big Three, the degenerate offspring of the 1920s and 1930s, and the list to which Krugman proposes to add President-elect Donald Trump…

Madman 2017: The Dawn of a New Nixonian Era

Richard Nixon sent 18 bombers, loaded with thermonuclear payloads, to threaten the borders of the Soviet Union. They flew aggressive patterns for three days. For Nixon had an idea. He called it his “Madman Theory.” And he believed it could win, or at least end, a war in Vietnam that had stretched nearly five years.Continue reading “Madman 2017: The Dawn of a New Nixonian Era”

The Misogynist and the Manager

The great irony (or perhaps paradox) of the 2016 presidential campaign was that Donald J. Trump, the grand wizard of misogyny, the dean of sexism, won his election by subordinating his campaign to a woman. On August 17th, an unruly and undisciplined Trump campaign hired Kellyanne Conway as its campaign manager. And now, amidst the wide-ranging disappointment over the defeat of the first possible female president, barely acknowledged has been the fact that Conway’s leadership stood as a milestone in American democracy…