The Atlantic »

The Flawed Nationalism of Donald Trump

February 20, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The astonishing thing about Donald Trump’s response to Robert Mueller’s recent indictments is his inability to recognize that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election is about something bigger than him. Look closely at Trump’s tweets. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Democrats Keep Capitulating on Defense Spending

February 18, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Since earlier this month, when Congress passed a budget deal that massively boosts both defense and non-defense spending, liberal commentators—and even some Republican politicians—have accused the GOP of hypocrisy. Republicans, they noted, are supposed to loathe debt. They’re supposed to loathe government spending. Yet, in large numbers, they voted for much more of both. Read more…

The Atlantic »

It’s Not Illegal Immigration That Worries Republicans Anymore

February 18, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

A few weeks ago, the contours of an immigration compromise looked clear: Republicans would let the “Dreamers” stay. Democrats would let Trump build his wall. Both sides would swallow something their bases found distasteful in order to get the thing their bases cared about most.

Since then, Trump has blown up the deal. He announced on Wednesday that he would legalize the “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, only if Democrats funded his wall and  ended the visa lottery and “chain migration.” He would support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants only if Congress brought the number of legal immigrants down. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Weirdest—and Possibly Best—Proposal to Resolve the North Korea Crisis

February 8, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

“Washington has a long habit of painting its enemies 10 feet tall—and crazy,” as Fareed Zakaria once noted. Thus, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in December called North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program—which according to American intelligence still probably lacks the capacity to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon—“the most destabilizing development, I think, in the post-World War II period.” More destabilizing, evidently, than Stalin or Mao’s far larger nuclear arsenals; or the break-up of the British, French, and Soviet empires; or the rise of China; or a changing climate that could soon make major cities uninhabitable. If Pyongyang’s nuclear program is allowed to proceed, McMaster continued, North Korea—whose GDP is one-50th the size of South Korea’s and which spends one-fifth as much on its military—might “reunify the [Korean] peninsula under the red banner.” Read more…

The Forward »

You Don’t Need Jewish Values To Denounce Israel’s Treatment Of Asylum Seekers

February 7, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last week, Isabel Kershner, The New York Times’ estimable Israel correspondent, wrote an article about the Netanyahu government’s decision to either expel Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to third countries or indefinitely lock them up. The article ran under the headline, “Israel Moves to Expel Africans. Critics Say That’s Not Jewish.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Is Trump Preparing for War With North Korea?

January 31, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The more closely you read Donald Trump’s comments about North Korea in his State of the Union address, the more plausible it becomes that he is preparing for war. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Establishment Strikes Back

January 26, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Since Donald Trump became president, pundits have wondered what it would take for the Republican establishment to stand up to him. Now we know. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Why America Is Fighting About Immigration

January 26, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Government shutdowns are a useful window into what really matters to politicians. It’s one thing to say you care about an issue. It’s another to care about it enough to tell hundreds of thousands of federal employees to stay home, and to risk the political blowback that arises when their absence starts wreaking havoc on ordinary Americans’ lives. Read more…

The Forward »

What Happens To Israel When There Are More Muslims In America Than Jews?

January 8, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Since the 1990s, American presidents have provided Israel the military capacity and diplomatic immunity to control millions of Palestinians who lack basic rights. Yet, at the same time, American presidents have insisted that Palestinians deserve those basic rights — that, in the words of George W. Bush, “it is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

American Conservatives Are Contradicting Themselves on Iran

January 4, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Wednesday in The Washington Post, Vice President Mike Pence contrasted his boss’s response to protests in Iran to President Obama’s response in 2009. Obama, he said, had “stayed silent” and “declined to stand with a proud people who sought to escape from under the heavy weight of a dictatorship.” But “under President Trump,” Pence crowed, “the United States is standing with them.” Read more…