Tag American politics

Looking to the Past to Find Ourselves

Michael Hattem– For a few decades, American history has played a prominent role in the most current iteration of culture wars in the United States. We saw this most recently in some of the ways that President Trump motivated his base in the 2020 presidential election. These included holding “the

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What Kinds of “Supreme Court Reform” Could Rebalance the Supreme Court?

Mark Tushnet— Progressives both in Congress and outside it have begun to talk seriously about “Supreme Court reform” in the aftermath of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing and her replacement—as it now seems—by Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Discussions have focused on three possible methods of “rebalancing” the Supreme Court: enlarging

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The Chances of a 4-4 Supreme Court Split on Election Issues is Not a Reason to Rush a Supreme Court Confirmation; it’s a Reason to Wait to Confirm a Justice

Rick Hasen— Within minutes of the announcement of Justice Ginsburg’s death, we started seeing the argument advanced that a Supreme Court confirmation needs to be rushed so that a Justice is in place before the election, so as to break a potential 4-4 tie on an 8-Justice Supreme Court. President Trump made

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Trump, Sanders, and the Historical Mantle of “Populism”

Gregg Cantrell— In the current American election campaign, the headlines invoking “populism” just keep coming. “Trump and Sanders lead competing populist movements, reshaping American politics,” trumpets a typical piece from the Washington Post. Such headlines beg the question: What is this thing called “populism?”   Clearly it’s not a political ideology, for few

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The End of Conservatism

Paul W. Kahn— Project and system are two competing narrative forms that organize the way we imagine the nature of legal order. A project gains its principle of order from the intentional act of a free subject. A system gains its principle of order immanently and spontaneously. To write a

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Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death

Lillian Faderman— Harvey Milk—charismatic, eloquent, a wit and a smart aleck—was one of the first openly gay men to be elected to any political office anywhere. On November 18, 1977, soon after he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, he made three tape recordings that he

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A Century of Moscow’s Meddling in US Politics

David Brandenberger— Allegations of Russian dirty tricks in the 2016 US presidential campaign often treat the issue of interference as if it were a historic, unprecedented transgression. But although the means used for such meddling (WikiLeaks, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) may have been new in 2016, the meddling itself was much

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Choosing the Leader

Matthew N. Green and Douglas B. Harris— Party leaders in Congress matter. They shape the agenda and the rules of their chamber, control lawmakers’ access to internal information, and assemble and enforce collective agreements within the legislature. They negotiate on behalf of their colleagues with interest groups and elected officials

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Syria, the Kurds, and the Left

Michael Walzer— When, where, and how to use force is the hardest question in foreign policy debates, and it is especially hard for liberals and leftists, who mostly just want to say no. The ongoing American involvement in the Syrian civil war has posed these questions in the most difficult

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The Politics of Civility: From George Washington to Donald Trump

Richard D. Brown & Richard L. Bushman— A century ago, a grandson and great-grandson of presidents, Henry Adams, observed, “the progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.”  Today, considering the succession from Washington to Trump, it appears Darwin has not merely been

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