The 2016 Presidential Candidates in a Word

W.J. Astore Continuing our election coverage, I thought I’d try to sum up each major candidate with a single word (excluding profanities).  I encourage readers to submit your own words for each candidate in the comments section below.   The Democrats Clinton: Compromised.  No candidate is more beholden to special interests and the establishment than…

The Republican Alternate Universe of Paranoia

W.J. Astore I watched last night’s Republican debate so you wouldn’t have to.  Leaving aside the usual mugging by Donald Trump, the usual jousting over side issues like whether Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen, I thought I’d take an impressionistic approach to the debate.  You can read the debate transcript here (if you…

The Age of the Demagogues Has Arrived

Chris Hedges (Courtesy of Truthdig) The increase in nihilistic violence such as school shootings and Friday’s lethal assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic, the frequent executions of poor people of color by police, and the rise of thuggish demagogues such as Donald Trump are symptoms of the collapse of our political and cultural institutions. These…

Today’s Republican Party: A Dystopian Carnival

Tom Engelhardt (Courtesy of TomDispatch.com) Here is what’s grimly fascinating in this year’s dystopian carnival of a Republican presidential primary. When it comes to what can be said in America, all bets are off. These days, the concept of “beyond the pale” couldn’t look more wan. All of a sudden, there’s nothing, no matter how…

How Republicans Talk About Foreign Policy

W.J. Astore At the New York Times, Robert Draper had a fascinating article last month on how Republican candidates for president are positioning themselves on foreign policy.  Rand Paul excepted, all of the Republican candidates are calling for a more “aggressive” U.S. foreign policy, one that promises more military interventions and higher military spending.  The…

Bernie Sanders — Halfway There?

Michael Brenner Is Bernie Sanders halfway there?  No – not to the nomination, much less the White House. What Sanders has done is to establish himself as a force in the Democratic Party’s selection process. He has done so by demonstrating two qualities that have largely disappeared from America’s political life over the past few…