The Drumbeat Continues

The move to censure and/or banish Senator Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party is well underway. The latest rhetorical outrage comes from Ken Dixon of the Connecticut Post, who begins his indictment with this:

Joe Lieberman is a politician without a state. The long-time Democrat, now a party of one who is accused of crimes against the Democratic State Central Committee, thinks he transcends state lines. In reality, he’s now the senator from John McCain — and Israel.

Lieberman’s Communications Director Marshall Wittmann writes in response that the bolded comment

was an outrageous anti-Semitic slur unworthy of being published in any honorable newspaper.  Disagreeing about policies is part of a healthy democratic debate, but playing the old anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty and attacking someone because of their Jewish religion is absolutely disgraceful. From the Dreyfus Case in France in the 1890s to purges of Jews in the Soviet Union, the dual loyalty charge has been used by anti-Semitic bigots to try to oppress and intimidate the Jewish Community. It was terrible to see your paper join this ignoble tradition, and for it your newspaper owes an apology to Senator Lieberman, to the Jewish community, and to all fair-minded citizens of Connecticut.

But, as we have come to see, this is increasingly standard fare for blogosphere and for MSM outlets that wade through the swamp of such rhetoric.

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The Drumbeat Continues

Must-Reads from Magazine

Polish Democracy in the Balance

Democracy dies while the president looks the other way.

Past U.S. presidents have used their bully pulpit to campaign for human-rights and democracy. By encouraging the unprecedented wave of democratization that has swept the world since 1945, their words and actions had consequences. That’s not something that Donald Trump does. Far from it; he positively praises dictators. His words have consequences, too, and they are not good.

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How Corruption Cripples American Universities

Are the rewards worth the costs?

Universities may be non-profit, but they are big business. At the end of fiscal year 2015, for example, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton’s endowments were $38 billion, $26 billion, and $22 billion respectively. Those are correspondingly equivalent to the gross domestic products of Mongolia, Cyprus, and the West Bank and Gaza. University presidents make salaries on par with and often higher than corporate CEOs. Fundraising—traveling the world glad-handing alumni and lobbying—rather than academe has become the primary function of many university presidents.

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Republicans Need to Prepare for the Worst

Expect the impossible.

If the 2016 presidential election cycle demonstrated anything, it was that Republicans suffer from a crippling lack of imagination. That ordeal should have established that the unprecedented is not impossible. Even now, Republicans seem as though they are trying to convince themselves that their eyes are lying to them, but they are not. The tempo of the investigation into President Trump is accelerating, and a nightmare scenario is eminently imaginable. Only congressional Republicans can avert disaster, and only then by being clear about the actions they are prepared to take if Trump instigates a crisis of constitutional legitimacy.

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Can Turkey be Trusted with F-35s?

Are the warplane's secrets safe?

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the newest generation air platform for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Lockheed-Martin, which builds the F-35, describes it as “a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.” For both diplomatic reasons and to encourage sales, Lockheed-Martin subcontracted the production of many F-35 components to factories abroad. Many program partners—Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, for example—are consistent U.S. allies.

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The Trump Right’s Martyrdom of Kim Guadagno

Too many martyrs make a movement.

If the GOP is to be converted into a vehicle for politicians who evince Donald Trump’s brand of pragmatic center-right populism, Trump will have to demonstrate his brand of politics can deliver victories for people other than himself. Presidential pen strokes help to achieve that, as do judicial appointments. Nothing is so permanent, though, as sweeping legislative change. On that score, the newly Trumpian Republican Party is coming up short. If the passive process of transformational legislative success fails to compel anti-Trump holdouts in the GOP to give up the ghost, there is always arm-twisting. It seems the Republican National Committee is happy to play enforcer.

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