Corruption and Asymmetry

Once again Greg Weiner has raised the bar for superb writing and thinking for this new venture, The Constitutionalist. I am honored to be mentioned in his stunningly well written essay. The idea corruption of corruption is original and brilliant. Following his lead, I would like to jump off of his essay, adding some thoughts prompted by it rather than argue with it. I agree with his synoptic depiction and with the advice he gleans from it. At this moment in American political history, it is also important to note the striking asymmetry of partisanship in the United States. For … Continue reading Corruption and Asymmetry

Response to Self-Pardoning

Adam Carrington makes an excellent case against President Trump attempting a self-pardon. Crucially, he does so on the ground of prudence rather than legal argument. (Carrington also provides a gem of a definition for prudence, which is the combination of “right principle and real life.”) At the risk of being the guy around here who quotes Burke at every turn, I want to raise a different, but compatible, element of prudence in this context. Carrington notes that constitutional and legal scholars have made compelling arguments on both sides of the self-pardon question. I agree, though I side with those who … Continue reading Response to Self-Pardoning

Response to “What Now of the Authoritarian Threat”

A terrific essay, as usual, from Laura, and her first for The Constitutionalist. She revisits the question of how to describe Trump’s anti-constitutional behavior and its potential consequences for the future. She paints a sobering picture — one that may be even more fraught than she imagines. In her telling the Biden win was decisive. It was. More than 8 million votes nationally and a solid Electoral College lead. But it also was closer than his win over Clinton in 2016. Very close. With just a shift of less than 30 thousand votes in Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin, Trump would … Continue reading Response to “What Now of the Authoritarian Threat”

Is Trump a Fascist, or “Almost the Complete Opposite”?

Given the discussion on this site (and elsewhere) about the relationship between Trump and fascism, you readers may be interested in this brief interview with Corey Robin in the Jewish Currents newsletter. Robin’s argument – which is interesting even if you find it unpersuasive — is that Trumpism is “almost the complete opposite of fascism.” For Robin, fascism is about the exercise of strength and will, and he sees Trump as an exceptionally weak leader. Continue reading Is Trump a Fascist, or “Almost the Complete Opposite”?