Republicans have no plan or intention to curb corporate power, they simply want to use it for their own purposes.

A black-and-white photo of a sheep; a red rectangle containing a wolf’s snarling mouth is pasted over the sheep’s face.
A black-and-white photo of a sheep; a red rectangle containing a wolf’s snarling mouth is pasted over the sheep’s face.
Getty / Adam Maida / The Atlantic

Republicans are ready to take on “woke capital.”

After losing elections for president and U.S. Senate, Georgia Republicans passed a series of restrictions that specifically targets the voting methods used disproportionately by Democratic constituencies during the unusual circumstances of the pandemic.

Whether those restrictions will have the desired effect of either placating the conservative base, which regards any election loss as definitionally fraudulent, or granting Republicans a partisan advantage at the polls remains unclear. …


America has tried to solve its immigration problem for decades through brute force. It doesn’t work.

A person in military fatigues forcibly guiding two immigrants and their two small children through some brush.
A person in military fatigues forcibly guiding two immigrants and their two small children through some brush.
Photo: Adrees Latif / Reuters

What is the border crisis? Is it the recent surge of migrants, or is it the treatment of those migrants in detention facilities? The answer to that question — or whether you consider the situation at the border to be a crisis at all — most likely determines what you think the Biden administration should do about it.

For conservatives, the answer is clear: Democrats invited the increase in migrants with their permissive, open-borders immigration policies. …


The future of American democracy depends on the president’s ability to show that even when the Republican Party loses, Americans who vote Republican do not.

President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room following the passage of the American Rescue Plan in the U.S. Senate at the White House on March 6, 2021. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Donald Trump was a punishment.

Conservatives saw him that way, and Trump saw himself that way, too. After his upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, some conservatives started to respond to any perceived liberal excess with a simple phrase: “This is why Trump won.” If that was a convenient deflection, a way to rationalize Trumpian malice as the left’s responsibility, it was also a concise expression of Trump’s appeal to them.

The Trump administration moved quickly, if not always efficiently, toward its paramount goal of punishing Democratic-leaning constituencies. Early in his administration, Trump banned travelers from several…


All presidents do.

Black-and-white photo of Biden’s face in three-quarter view.
Black-and-white photo of Biden’s face in three-quarter view.
Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

All presidents lie. Even so, the Trump administration weaponized dishonesty to a remarkable degree.

Donald Trump did not merely lie to exaggerate his accomplishments, or smear his opponents. For Trump and the Republican Party, lies were a loyalty test. To reject Trump’s lies or exaggerations, even if they contradicted prior assertions by the now-ex-president, was to express disloyalty, the only Trump-era sin that was unforgivable by his faithful. This allowed the president to fashion for his supporters alternate realities whose tenets could not be questioned, such as his false allegations of voter fraud.

That was not the only lie of…


The business owners, real-estate brokers, and service members who rioted acted not out of economic desperation, but out of their belief in their inviolable right to rule.

A leather briefcase with a Trump sticker tucked under the flap, next to what looks like a canister of tear gas.
A leather briefcase with a Trump sticker tucked under the flap, next to what looks like a canister of tear gas.
Photoillustration: The Atlantic; source: Getty Images

They were business owners, CEOs, state legislators, police officers, active and retired service members, real-estate brokers, stay-at-home dads, and, I assume, some Proud Boys.

The mob that breached the Capitol last week at President Donald Trump’s exhortation, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, was full of what you might call “respectable people.” They left dozens of Capitol Police officers injured, screamed “Hang Mike Pence!,” threatened to murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and set up a gallows outside the building. …


To succeed, the president-elect will have to do more than address the pandemic and revive the American economy.

The Statue of Liberty shooting a red flare gun into the air, creating a trail of pink smoke.
The Statue of Liberty shooting a red flare gun into the air, creating a trail of pink smoke.
Image: Paul Spella/The Atlantic/Shutterstock

The 2020 campaign was long and brutal, unfolding before a backdrop of death and economic decline. When all the votes are counted, a challenger will have unseated an incumbent president for only the 10th time in American history. Donald Trump’s presidency is over.

Blinded by their contempt for Hillary Clinton, much of the 2016 electorate failed to see the danger Trump posed to popular sovereignty. Since taking office, the president has used the levers of government to enrich himself and his allies; purge those who resisted his schemes; turn the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies against his enemies…


Whatever happens Tuesday, Democrats have put the Lone Star State in play

Supporters listen as Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at First Saint John Cathedral on October 30, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

By Adam Serwer

No one knows what is going to happen in Texas on Election Day.

And it’s been decades since anyone could say that.

“The raw numbers in Texas, and the year-to-year or the election-to-election increase [in voter turnout] is really, you know, fairly stunning,” James Henson, the director of the Texas Politics Project, told me. “Texas is competitive this year, and it’s much more competitive than we’ve seen for 20 years.”

Texas’s electoral votes haven’t gone to a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter won the state in 1976. No Democrat has won a statewide election since 1994…


Without activists like Lewis and C. T. Vivian, America would remain a white republic, not a nation for all its citizens

Image: Getty / The Atlantic

The Alabama that John Lewis was born into in 1940 was a one-party authoritarian state. Forty years before Lewis was born, the white elite of Alabama, panicked by a populist revolt of white and Black workers, shut Black men out of politics in a campaign of terror, fraud, murder, and, finally, disenfranchisement.

“We had to do it. Unfortunately, I say it was a necessity. We could not help ourselves,” Alabama Governor William C. Oates confessed. In 1901, the Montgomery Advertiser announced that with the new state constitution, “the putrid sore of negro suffrage is severed from the body of the…


America’s political dysfunction is rooted not in ideological polarization, but in the Republican Party’s conviction that it alone should be allowed to govern

Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

By Adam Serwer

Deep into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Republican leaders had one question for President Barack Obama, as his administration sought nearly $1 trillion in funds from Congress: How are you going to pay for this?

The unemployment rate was greater than 7 percent in January 2009, and would rise above 8 percent by February. Mitch McConnell, then the Senate minority leader, insisted, “The question is not doing nothing versus doing something,” but “the appropriateness of an almost $1 trillion spending bill to address the problem.”

Others in his caucus made similar points. “If you…


In a series of tweets attacking four Democratic congresswomen, the president reiterated his belief that only white people can truly be American

Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

When President Donald Trump declared himself a “nationalist,” he was telling the truth, but he was inadequately specific.

On Sunday morning, the president told four members of Congress to “go back” to the countries “from which they came.” The remark, a racist taunt with a historic pedigree, inspired a flurry of fact-checking from mainstream journalists who were quick to note that Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar are American citizens, and that only Omar was born abroad, in Somalia. It was a rather remarkable exercise in missing the point.

When Trump told these women to “go back,”…

AdamSerwer

Senior Editor @theatlantic.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store