Also, what happened to Rachel Maddow?

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I keep meaning to log off social media, but someone asked me to comment on the idea that if you hope Trump dies you’re as bad as he is. Which, okay, let’s do this.

Try this: “Whatever you think of his politics, Hitler is a human being first. Wishing that bomb under the table had killed him makes you as bad as he is.”

One of the most damaging things in politics over the past fifty years is the liberal fetish for civility, for the self-satisfied knowing that they have taken the “high road” and refused to stoop to the level of the opponent.

“When they go low, we go high.” I despise that saying and the smugness that accompanies it. At root, it is entirely selfish. It’s about politics as an aesthetic experience in which the goal is to feel good, noble, better than the other side — no matter the harm being perpetrated on much more vulnerable people. …

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Flickr user Phil Roeder (cc)

One of the terrible truths about racism in America is that the violent deaths of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and so many others were not enough for most Americans to demand radical change. Now, as millions of white people have, at long last, woken up in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, we should ask ourselves why it took so long.

If we’re honest, we see that we are complicit. The governors, mayors, cops, and district attorneys work for us, and they have been carrying out the centuries-old agenda of our policing system, which is to protect white people and property and to intimidate and incarcerate Black people. And you need only to look at the Democratic presidential primary, which included several candidates who built their careers on being “tough on crime,” to see that both parties have participated in the oppression and mass incarceration of Black people. …

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Gage Skidmore on Flickr (cc)

Do you remember a few months ago when Elizabeth Warren delivered the knockout punch to Bloomberg over his history of sexual harassment? Do you remember Kirsten Gillibrand pressuring Al Franken to resign over allegations of sexual harassment?

That’s all gone now. #MeToo has been sacrificed to political ambition and expediency, and Democrats will never again have the moral authority to criticize predatory men in either party.

Misogyny played a central role in this year’s Democratic primaries. …

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Some final thoughts on the election, especially for Biden supporters and others terrified of a Trump reelection.

Millions of people of all ages got off the couch and volunteered for Bernie Sanders. They canvassed, made enormous numbers of phone calls, sent huge numbers of texts, and gave millions of donations. It was the most racially and economically diverse campaign ever seen in this country. Its top donor categories were teachers, nurses, fast food employees, and Walmart and Amazon workers.

These people campaigned as though their lives were on the line — because they were. This was life or death for the people who are never heard from on CNN or MSNBC and whose stories most comfortable Americans have long ago tuned…

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Michael Vadon on Flickr

As Bernie Sanders has taken a commanding lead in the Democratic primary race, pundits and the other candidates have increasingly attacked the senator for not promoting “unity.”

Elizabeth Warren worries about “the fight between factions,” the Washington Post called Buttigieg “the unity candidate,” and Amy Klobuchar appeals to those “tired of the extremes in our party.”

Warren stepped up her criticism this week, saying, in a swipe at the Sanders campaign, “We do not build on a foundation of hate.” …

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Flickr user Lorie Shaull

This was originally one long article but I’ve updated it and broken it into three parts. Read Part I in this series here and Part II right here.

7. He’s wrong about free college (and he knows it).

Pete made news recently by running an ad criticizing Warren and Sanders for their tuition-free college plans because letting rich kids go to college for free would be a handout to millionaires and billionaires. It’s the same argument Hillary Clinton used, and it’s clearly wrong. Free college would not be a giveaway to the rich if it were paid for by higher taxes on the very rich.

Buttigieg is smart. He knows that it is easy to make a college program progressive and not a regressive tax on the poor. It’s simply good public policy for many reasons, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained. …

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This was originally one long article but I’ve updated it and broken it into three parts. Read Part I in this series right here.

4. His advisors tell us who he is. Believe him.

There are a number of things to not like about Buttigieg’s team (his national policy director is a Google executive, for example, and a climate change advisor has taken fossil fuel money), but let’s just look at two key advisors.

Lis Smith, his senior campaign advisor for communications, is best known for helping a group of rogue New York state Democrats who caucused with Republicans to keep the GOP in power in Albany even though they had fewer seats. …

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pete Buttigieg is talented, is the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, and is liked by a lot of people. He is also absolutely not the right candidate for this election. Here, gathered in one convenient place, are some of the reasons why, based on excellent reporting from dozens of journalists.

1. He’s running on his resumé. It’s pretty thin!

Pete Buttigieg likes to refer to himself as “effectively the CEO of a 1,200 person, $250 million corporation which is the city of South Bend.”

That’s great, but Buttigieg is mayor of the forty-seventh largest city in the Midwest, he received 8,515 votes last election, he’s only had the job since 2012, and he has made the shocking admission that he “worked for years under the illusion that our schools in my city were…

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My Dad’s dementia has been advancing since January, and he’s in a nursing home now, in a wheelchair, his body having almost entirely given up at the age of ninety-one. Still, there are some sweet moments. I brought my Mom to see him recently and he pulled an envelope out from under his sweater with autumn leaves in it for her.

Then he had me wheel him around so he could case the joint for a way out.

Occasionally it’s a little funny like this, but mostly it’s heartbreaking, because my Dad doesn’t know why he’s there and will never understand why he can’t be home. But I’ve just come back from filming about climate change in Alaska, so to distract him I pull up a video of humpback whales breaching near our boat. …


Chris Landry

Writer, filmmaker, consultant to organizations working on climate change and justice issues.

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