The politics of white resentment (a slice of local history)

Here’s a slice of very local politics from the 1970s that starkly parallels our national politics in 2016. This is from my daughter’s research on a Philly public housing battle during the Rizzo administration, but it illustrates the way that baldly racist segregationist policies get euphemized and repackaged as supposedly race-neutral policies today. [Read more…]

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Are the good times really over for good?

Merle Haggard wrote and sang some terrific songs, and he collaborated and hung out with some of my favorite artists in the world of country music, but I had a hard time getting past his angry right-wing tribalism (whether he meant any of that, or if he was just selling records, isn’t clear, but also doesn’t really matter). [Read more…]

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Donald Trump did not know the Standard Answer on criminalizing abortion

The Standard Answer is this: “Of course no one is talking about putting women in jail. No one has ever said that’s what should be done. We would only punish the abortionists, not the women.” That’s not intended to provide an answer for the question. It’s intended to prevent the answerer from having to think about it. [Read more…]

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South Carolina GOP threatens evangelical churches

South Carolina Republicans are pushing a bill that would hold churches criminally and financially liable if any refugees they resettle should ever — at any point in the future — be involved in or accused of negligence or violent crime. The S.C. GOP hopes this bill will intimidate churches into turning their backs on refugees. And they’re hoping that other states will adopt similar legislation. [Read more…]

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Educated men who are almost as ignorant about insurance as they are about human reproduction

Men who don’t understand how sex works or what contraception does are now suing the government, taking their case before a bunch of male Supreme Court justices who have no idea how health insurance works or what contraception does. And this group of ridiculously ignorant men would like to rewrite our laws regarding contraception and health insurance. What could go wrong? [Read more…]

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Heels

Pat McCrory really, really wants to look in your young daughter’s pants. And the North Carolina governor’s fascination with inspecting the private parts of private citizens is going to wind up costing residents of his state millions of dollars defending the lawsuits that will inevitably 1) challenge, and 2) overturn the law he just signed, which was hastily drafted and passed by Republicans in the state legislature in a special session yesterday. [Read more…]

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In the politics of resentment, resentment comes first

Marco Rubio got it backwards in his concession speech when he warned that “the politics of resentment” could produce “a nation where people literally hate each other because they have different political opinions.” It’s the other way around — those politics of resentment means that those political opinions are the result of people literally hating each other. [Read more…]

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That wasn’t a whistle (and everyone knows it wasn’t the dog)

That ploy never really fools anybody, but it provides a thin buffer of semi-plausible deniability. We all know it wasn’t the dog, but when you loudly say, “Good Lord, pooch, what did you just do?” and direct everyone’s attention to the innocent creature, the dog will respond in some doggy fashion, doing something with its eyes, ears and tail that might be interpreted as indicating guilt, or relief, or shameless pleasure. [Read more…]

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