America is on fire. We are all confused and in pain. If no one exactly foresaw the national explosion of outrage that followed the vicious police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, none of us can claim it comes as a total surprise. We were already at a moment of crisis in the United States, and have been there for the last four years, if not longer.
It's obviously asinine to proclaim that the Democratic presidential campaign has reached a turning point in the middle of February, after one disputed election that involved about 175,000 voters and will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. But on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, with its long history of launching some presidential contenders and sending others to their doom, that's exactly where we are.
A great artist is someone who captures the deranged spirit of his time. MAGA propaganda painter Jon McNaughton is the real deal
If I tell you that Jon McNaughton, the pro-Trump propaganda artist whose lurid, overwrought, literal-yet-symbolic and strangely compelling works have been reproduced in thousands if not millions of social media posts, is the most important painter of our time — perhaps the only important painter of our time — what exactly do I mean by that?
So what do you think: Is Donald Trump on drugs? It's a question that has hovered around this president since well before he took office, and cropped up all over again — at least on the internet — after Trump's address to the nation following the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the subsequent Iranian missile attack on a U.S. base in Iraq.
If consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, as Emerson famously observed, then maybe Donald Trump really is the "stable genius" he has proclaimed himself. Certainly our president's vanity and narcissism are such that he'd enjoy seeing himself on Emerson's list of the great and misunderstood giants of history: "Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh." At least, Trump might appreciate that if he knew who even half those people were. Or if he could read.
Nothing captured the peculiar character of Donald Trump’s impeachment quite like the images we saw right after the votes concluded last Wednesday night, when members of Congress milled around on the House floor taking pictures of the scene with their cellphones. On one level, it was an understandable reaction, one we’ve all felt on a smaller scale: I’m a part of this supposedly historic moment; might as well capture it for Instagram. I might have done the same thing, had I by some grotesque misfortune been elected to Congress.
Precisely as Donald Trump is being impeached by the U.S. Congress, British voters go to the polls on Thursday in a history-shaping national election, the U.K.’s third in less than five years. It has numerous echoes and resonances of the forthcoming U.S. presidential election, starting with the charismatic but abominable incumbent prime minister, Boris Johnson, who resembles Trump translated into Upper-Class Twit. But the differences are also striking, none more so than the fact that despite the enormous stakes in this election, in which Johnson’s Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have vowed to take the nation in dramatically different directions, the entire campaign has been confined to six weeks.
Maybe this was exactly what the Democrats needed at the end of an explosive day of testimony in the impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill: a relatively frictionless debate which adequately made the point that virtually all of the 10 candidates assembled on stage in Atlanta — we can agree to disagree on the precise number! — would be better at presidenting than You Know Who.
Watching the incoherent, 52 Pickup-style performance of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday — which seemed less calculated to defend President Trump for his obvious crimes than to convince onlookers that President Trump is a fictional character, crimes are not crimes and that nothing, strictly speaking, can be said to exist at all — I was reminded of two things. Neither of them was directly relevant, but that’s where we are.
Impeachment in the hall of mirrors: This isn't about Democrats vs. Republicans. It's about whether our democratic institutions have any mojo left
With startling suddenness, the political and moral climate in Washington has shifted over the past few weeks. President Trump now faces the imminent threat of impeachment, apparently over a single blatant act of extortion, even though Democrats had previously decided it wasn’t worth trying to hold him to account for an extensive list of offenses. Why in God’s name is this happening now?