All posts in the ‘ The Atlantic ’ Category


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The Nationalism That Trump Can’t See

January 8, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Iran’s missile attack last night on bases where American forces in Iraq are stationed offered the latest evidence that the Trump administration has done something extraordinary. By killing Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military leader, at a Baghdad airport, it has turned both Iranian and Iraqi nationalism against the United… Read the Rest »

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The Embassy Attack Revealed Trump’s Weakness

January 1, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Over the past 18 months, Donald Trump has picked a fight with Iran that he won’t end and can’t win. That fight has had horrifying consequences for the Iranian people, led Tehran to restart its nuclear program, and now left parts of the American embassy compound in Baghdad in flames…. Read the Rest »

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The Left-Right Divide Isn’t the One That Matters

December 23, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Locked in a close race for first place in both Iowa and New Hampshire with only weeks to go before Democratic presidential-primary voting begins, Pete Buttigieg, along with his advisers, is talking about bringing people together. In a recent New Yorker profile, Benjamin Wallace-Wells quoted Buttigieg as welcoming “future former… Read the Rest »

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Progressives Have Short Memories

December 4, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

A bitter irony underlies Kamala Harris’s exit from the presidential campaign. She lost, in part, because she couldn’t forthrightly defend her record as a prosecutor. She couldn’t forthrightly defend that record because party activists deemed it insufficiently progressive. They portrayed her as complicit in the unjust incarceration and killing of… Read the Rest »

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Cory Booker Blew It

November 27, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Near the end of the latest Democratic debate, Cory Booker did something unusual for a presidential candidate: He admitted that his campaign was in trouble. “I have not yet qualified for the December stage,” the senator from New Jersey confessed, “If you believe in my voice and that I should… Read the Rest »

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The GOP Won’t Disavow Trump, but Nikki Haley Has Another Strategy

November 15, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Nikki Haley has a theory about the post–Donald Trump GOP. It’s that Republicans will want to move on from Trump without repudiating him. They’ll want a candidate who promises healing without accountability. Haley auditions for that role in her new memoir, With All Due Respect. A former South Carolina governor… Read the Rest »

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When the Staff Can’t Tell the Candidate What’s Wrong

November 13, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

What the Ukraine scandal reveals about Donald Trump is by now well known: He elevated his political interest above the national interest and demanded foreign interference in an American election. What’s received less attention is what the scandal reveals about Joe Biden: He showed poor judgment because his staff shielded… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Elizabeth Warren Couldn’t Be Luckier

November 8, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Imagine you’re Pete Buttigieg. You had the best October of any candidate in the Democratic presidential race. On September 15, you trailed Joe Biden in Iowa by more than 20 points and both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders by at least 10. Kamala Harris was beating you, too. Now, by… Read the Rest »

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The Utter Emptiness of Trump’s Populism

November 5, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

President Donald Trump is a big fan of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, which, like him, demonizes immigrants and the press. Trump traveled to Warsaw to meet the party’s leaders less than six months after taking office, before he visited Britain, Germany, or France. In September 2018, one day… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Democrats Are Hypocrites for Condemning Trump Over Syria

October 18, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Tuesday night, the Democratic presidential candidates vied with one another to offer the harshest condemnation of President Donald Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria. Joe Biden called it “the most shameful thing that any president has done in modern history … in terms of foreign policy.”… Read the Rest »