Gerald Ford was right. It was years before I understood that.
I was 17 years old on the day in 1974 when the 38th president pardoned the 37th, Richard Nixon, for his crimes in the Watergate affair. Like millions of others — like Ford’s own press secretary, who resigned in protest — I was disgusted by this largesse.
It wasn’t until ...Read more
I am not disappointed in Donald Trump.
For there to be disappointment at childish behavior presumes an expectation of adult behavior. No such expectation exists where Trump is concerned. So his weeks of sulking and floating bizarre conspiracy theories since he lost the election, while embarrassing in the extreme, doesn’t really let me down so...Read more
Greed is good.
That, you may recall, was the mantra of corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film, “Wall Street.” It came to symbolize the rapacious gluttony of that era - and its rejection of the dewy-eyed idealism of the 1960s.
Well, 1987 was a long time ago, but Gekko’s cynical watchword feels as timely now as it ever did. ...Read more
“The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.” — Rush Limbaugh
“One day, it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Donald Trump
“The risk to the average person does remain quite low” — Laura Ingraham
The American death toll from the novel coronavirus will soon pass 250,000. That’s a quarter of a million people lying ...Read more
Dear Price Wallace:
There was a time I would have reasoned with you. There was a time I might even have pleaded.
Back then, I’d have been shocked and appalled to see a Mississippi state lawmaker advocate secession from the Union as you did in a Twitter exchange with former state representative Robert Foster a few hours after the presidential...Read more
We turn, one last time, to Hans Christian Andersen.
Over the past four years, many observers, this one included, have found one of the Danish writer’s most famous tales irresistible for explaining both Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s slavish sycophancy toward him. In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a monarch parades through town ...Read more
Allow me to explain.
On Thursday night as a Biden victory was beginning to look inevitable, I had a brief Twitter exchange with a Republican blogger who complained that, in cheering the fall of Donald Trump, the “media elite” were “insulting those who supported him.”
Let’s just say I wasn’t sympathetic.
Whereupon someone else ...Read more
Forgive me for being the ant at the picnic.
Certainly, this is a glad moment, an ecstatic and delirious moment. The election of 2020 has ended at last. Joe Biden is finally the president-elect and Donald Trump is finally consigned to the dank well of ignominy he so richly deserves.
As Gerald Ford once said in the aftermath of a less dire ...Read more
Bruce Springsteen is wrestling with death.
You hear him as you float high above leafless trees dusted with snow. The scene, captured in creamy tones of black and white, is one of beauty almost unbearably elegiac, sacred in its stillness. Then he speaks, giving words to a truth all too familiar to anyone who has lived long enough to see skin ...Read more
America is not guaranteed.
There is, in other words, nothing foreordained about this country someday returning to anything approximating normal. That’s important to keep in mind as we await results of the most critical U.S. election since 1860, when Abraham Lincoln came to power in an America pulling apart. Not unlike the America we live in ...Read more
Dear Jared Kushner:
So I see where you think you’ve figured out what’s wrong with Black people. Monday, you shared it on Fox “News.”
”One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community,” you said, “which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems ...Read more
Allow me, please, a point of personal privilege.
Folks keep telling me how easy Donald Trump has made my job. For four years, I’ve had these discussions where we ruminate on the singular awfulness of that man and then the other person says, by way of consolation, “At least you never have to worry about finding something to write about.”
You did not stand up.
Granted, America faced neither enemy bombers nor terrorist plot, but the threat to her was — still is — no less real. Your country needed you.
And you did not stand up.
You told yourself party was more important. You told yourself the courts were more important. You told yourself tax cuts were more important. And you...Read more
“Jared Kushner is under federal investigation for diverting money to terrorist organizations according to a guy I met at the gas station who told me he works for the FBI” is something I would never be allowed to publish.
“Donald Trump Jr. has an escalating cocaine dependency problem according to a woman I ran into at the supermarket who ...Read more
White people often do not understand white people.
Granted, that’s a counterintuitive claim. But it is regularly reinforced whenever one hears decent white Americans attempt to rationalize the misbehavior of their less decent kin.
One such effort turned up on social media a few days ago. Walker Bragman, a freelance journalist for, among ...Read more
“I didn’t know.”
Those were the first words my friend, a white guy named Dave, spoke to me the day after the first episode of “Roots,” which depicted the capture and enslavement of an African boy named Kunta Kinte. This was 43 years ago.
So you can perhaps imagine my frustration last year when the HBO miniseries “Watchmen” ...Read more
“Are you not entertained?” — Maximus, in “Gladiator”
It helps if you think of it as a show.
Certainly, that’s the way the man in the middle of it does. So just consider last weekend the latest bizarre episode in Season Four of the Donald Trump presidency. Call it “The One With COVID-19.”
Granted, it’s a favored conservative ...Read more
Asked about race at last week’s presidential debate, one candidate gave a very disappointing answer.
The other was Donald Trump.
Which is not to suggest Trump had satisfactory answers. To the contrary, asked by moderator Chris Wallace why America should trust him to heal its racial wounds, he was, as is his norm, nonsensical and miles wide ...Read more
“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
I received the news that Donald Trump and his wife had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in a text from a family member. It came with 31 laughing emojis, the kind with tears squeezing out of both eyes.
“It is what it is,” I texted back. This, of course, was an echo of Trump��...Read more
Just last week, the headlines were inescapable.
They stemmed from a story in The Atlantic detailing what amounts to the Republican Party plotting a coup. Which is to say, cooking up Electoral College schemes designed to keep Donald Trump in office even if voters turn him out. Even worse, Trump himself explicitly refused to say he would respect ...Read more