Category: Peter Beinart

From The Atlantic:

Monday’s horrors—the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin and the assassination of a Russian diplomat in Ankara—offer a natural experiment. Since they occurred during the brief window every four or eight years in which America has both a president and a president-elect, they provoked two sets of statements, one from the outgoing administration and another from its soon-to-be successor. The differences are revealing.

The first difference, unsurprisingly, is that the Obama administration exercised caution. It said the Berlin atrocity “appears to have been a terrorist attack.” Team Trump, by contrast, simply called it a “horrifying terror attack.” The White House avoided speculation about the Turkish assassin’s motive. Team Trump, by contrast, called him a “radical Islamic terrorist.”

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From The Atlantic:

Glenn beck looks like the dad in a Disney movie. He’s earnest, geeky, pink, and slightly bulbous. His idea of salty language is bullcrap.

The atmosphere at Beck’s Mercury Studios, outside Dallas, is similarly soothing, provided you ignore the references to genocide and civilizational collapse. In October, when most commentators considered a Donald Trump presidency a remote possibility, I followed audience members onto the set of The Glenn Beck Program, which airs on Beck’s website, theblaze.com. On the way, we passed through a life-size replica of the Oval Office as it might look if inhabited by a President Beck, complete with a portrait of Ronald Reagan and a large Norman Rockwell print of a Boy Scout.

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From The Atlantic:

Last week, Donald Trump advisor Stephen Moore, who has built his career advocating tax cuts for the rich and the privatization of America’s welfare state, said something startling to congressional Republicans. He said Republicans are no longer the party of Ronald Reagan. “Just as Reagan converted the GOP into a conservative party,” Moore reportedly declared, “Trump has converted the GOP into a populist working-class party.”

What does that mean? On its face, it seems fairly clear. Trump says he opposes NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and will prevent companies from leaving the US. During the campaign, he came out against overhauling Medicare and Social Security. He’s called for new spending on infrastructure. In each case, he ostensibly supports government intervention in the economy, which runs counter to the gospel of Reagan.

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From The Atlantic:

Americans talk about democracy like it’s sacred. In public discourse, the more democratic American government is, the better. The people are supposed to rule.

But that’s not the premise that underlies America’s political system. Most of the men who founded the United States feared unfettered majority rule. James Madison wrote in Federalist 10 that systems of government based upon “pure democracy … have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” John Adams wrote in 1814 that, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.”

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From The Atlantic:

“I saw quite a change,” said CBS’s Lesley Stahl after interviewing Donald Trump for 60 Minutes on Sunday. “He was much more subdued, much more serious.”

Really?

Consider Trump’s comments on abortion. “Are you looking to appoint a Justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?” Stahl asked. Trump’s response: “I’m pro-life, the judges will be pro-life.”

With that statement, Trump casually blew up decades of conservative legal argument. For years, conservatives have excoriated liberals for supposedly imposing their personal moral views rather than interpreting the Constitution. But asked whether his Supreme Court justices would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump didn’t even feign interest in whether there’s a right to abortion in the Constitution. He said he’s against abortion personally and promised that his appointees would be too. Constitutional interpretation be damned.

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From The Atlantic:

At 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, once it became clear Donald Trump would be America’s next president, the conservative, anti-Trump, commentator Erick Erickson posted “An Open Letter to the Democrats.” He asked them not to rebuke Trump’s supporters. “Instead of condemning them and labeling them all bigots and racists and deplorables,” he wrote, “I hope you will try to relate to them, connect to them, and recognize their legitimate concerns.” Since Trump’s victory, other commentators have said similar things.

Sorry, but I disagree. Reconciliation is important. But not at the expense of truth.

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From The Atlantic:

I don’t respect this election result. I must abide by it, of course. But I don’t respect it. I respect the people who voted for Donald Trump. As private individuals, they’re no better or worse than anyone else. But I don’t respect their decision to elect a man who blames vulnerable minorities for America’s problems. Who threatens journalists for reporting the news. Who castigates judges for requiring him to abide by the rule of law. Who boasts about his enthusiasm for torture. Who cheers on his supporters on when they beat protesters. I don’t respect that. I won’t pretend the people possess infinite wisdom. I’m a Jew. We know better.

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