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What Growing Up Under Apartheid Taught Me About Trump’s ‘Fine People’

August 16, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When I heard Donald Trump say in his Tuesday press conference that there were “fine people” among the marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, who protested the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, it brought me back. Read more…

The Atlantic »

What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa

August 16, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In his Tuesday press conference, Donald Trump talked at length about what he called “the alt left.” White supremacists, he claimed, weren’t the only people in Charlottesville last weekend that deserved condemnation. “You had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” he declared. “Nobody wants to say that.” Read more…

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The Rise of the Violent Left

August 9, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Since 1907, Portland, Oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The U.S. Government’s Fight Against Violent Extremism Loses Its Leader

July 31, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

George Selim, the federal counterterrorism official who works most closely with the organized American Muslim community, tendered his resignation on Friday. His ouster is a victory for Trump officials like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who see mainstream Muslim organizations as Islamist fronts, and for those American Muslims who oppose any counterterrorism cooperation with Washington. “There were clearly political appointees in this administration who didn’t see the value of community partnerships with American Muslims,” Selim told me. It is the clearest sign yet that government cooperation with Muslim communities, which has proved crucial to preventing terrorist attacks, is breaking down. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Anthony Scaramucci’s Empty Feud With Reince Priebus

July 28, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has been called President Trump’s “mini-me.” In his phone call Wednesday night to New Yorker reporter  Ryan Lizza, he proved it. Read more…

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Beware The Jewish Republicans Who Embrace Far-Right Bigotry

July 27, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If you want to understand American Jewish politics in the Donald Trump era, pay close attention to the skirmish last week between the Anti-Defamation League and Ohio Republican State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel. It’s a foretaste of things to come. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Why Trump Might Fire Robert Mueller

July 25, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why do Donald Trump and his advisors keep floating the possibility of firing Robert Mueller, an act that would spark the greatest constitutional crisis since Watergate, perhaps the greatest in modern American history? Read more…

The Atlantic »

Donald Trump’s Defenders on the Left

July 23, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When it comes to possible collusion with Russia, Donald Trump’s most interesting defenders don’t reside on the political right. They reside on the political left.

Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich aren’t defending a principle. They’re defending a patron. Until recently they were ultra-hawks. Now, to downplay Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections, they sound like ultra-doves. All that matters is supporting their ally in the White House.

For left-wing defenders like Max Blumenthal and Glenn Greenwald, by contrast, ideology is king. Blumenthal and Greenwald loathe Trump. But they loathe hawkish foreign policy more. So they minimize Russia’s election meddling to oppose what they see as a new Cold War. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Anything They Can Do, Trump Can Do Better

July 20, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The transcript of Donald Trump’s interview yesterday with the New York Times runs over 7,000 words. But you can boil down its essence to two words: I’m better. No matter what the subject, Trump finds someone to compare himself to. And in every comparison, he comes out the winner. Read more…

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Why Is Bibi Aligning Israel With An Anti-Semitic Populist Who Demonizes George Soros?

July 18, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When Benjamin Netanyahu begins an official visit to Hungary today, he will mark one of the most remarkable alliances in world politics: The alliance between a prime minister of the Jewish state and a group of would-be authoritarians who exploit anti-Semitism for political gain. Read more…