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During a recent, and now somewhat notorious, House Armed Services Committee hearing to discuss the 2022 Defense Department Budget, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley responded to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) interrogating him on the teaching of critical race theory in the military by referencing the January 6 assault on the Capitol and excoriating Gatez’s seemingly anti-intellectual stance:

I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And it is important that we train and we understand. …


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After Americans paused last July 4 weekend to celebrate the nation’s historic step of declaring independence from its colonial overlord Great Britain 245 years ago, it is worth reflecting on the fact that a key element of the famous document was also a declaration of a different fundamental truth the founders hoped would be established as the bedrock principle upon which political and social life in America would be organized: the “self-evident” truth “that all men are created equal.”

It is also worth reflecting on the durability and vitality of that truth, on the nation’s vexed commitment to living by…


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“I want to find that out.”

“ . . . I want to understand it.”

These are the words of an inquiring, curious mind teachers should love to hear from students in their classrooms and democracy-loving Americans should love to hear from their fellow citizens.

The words exemplify the approach of open-minded individuals seeking to discover the truth and understand the complexities of our world without prejudice, without trying to map on to the world pre-formed conclusions before letting facts impact one’s mind.

Actually, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley spoke these words during an exchange…


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Once again, Republicans have announced themselves as the enemy of the American people, continuing to wage war against Americans still experiencing desperate need in part because of the ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This time the war is formalized in legal proceedings as the people are fighting back against Republican governors who prematurely eliminated the enhanced unemployment benefits offered through a pandemic relief program.

Unemployed workers in Texas, Maryland, and Indiana took their states to court for violating their own laws in canceling the benefits of the federal relief program otherwise scheduled to expire on September 6. …


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In a recent and perhaps now infamous op-ed in The Washington Post, Senator Kyrsten Sinema dug in her heels even further in defense of her obstinate refusal to eliminate the filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Of course, she adopted a pose of political moderation, fashioning herself as the promoter of a stable democracy, writing,

My support for retaining the 60-vote threshold is not based on the importance of any particular policy. It is based on what is best for our democracy. The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles.

This line of…


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Hailed as a “profile courage” in multiple articles, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been lavished with praise across the political spectrum, being praised alike by professors, “traditional” Republicans who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, and by Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar and House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer.

She is a truth-teller, supposedly, whose rejection of the “big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump somehow marks a serious and substantial rift in the Republican Party.

Let’s be clear. It doesn’t. I’ve analyzed in several articles for PoliticusUsa (here, here, and here, for example)…


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In an interview last April that aired on CNBC, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp praised the Augusta National Golf Club for not following in the footsteps of Major League Baseball and re-locating the prestigious Masters golf tournament it hosts. Major League Baseball, of course, in wake of the Governor signing voter suppression legislation into law, announced it would no longer hold its annual all-star game in Atlanta this year, choosing instead to schedule the game in Colorado.

The nature of Kemp’s praise revealed quite starkly what we need to understand as the Republican Party’s intense and open disdain for democracy…


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A term frequently used to describe Donald Trump’s behavior during his unfortunate and hateful presidency was “unprecedented.”

And it wasn’t meant in a positive way.

Indeed, Trump’s flouting of political norms, his overt racism and sexism and general peddling of hate, his naked abuse of the presidency to enrich himself and his family and to seek vengeance on his political enemies, his incessant lying, attacks on the free press, and more, were behaviors that in their extremity and flagrancy merited the descriptor “unprecedented.”

As I chronicled in periodic pieces in PoliticusUsa over the last four years, Trump’s presidency was, on…


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Earlier this month the Supreme Court, in a 7–2 opinion, turned back the third major legal assault on the Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare,” ruling not on the merits of the challenge itself but on the fact that the states and individuals who brought the challenge did not have legal standing to do so.

Those seven justices may very well have done Republicans an unsolicited political favor, saving them from another possible exposure as the autocratic, anti-democratic emperors with no clothes that they are. Should the Republican challenge have successfully persuaded the court that the ACA was in fact…


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In the iconic scene from Casablanca when the casino at Rick’s café is being raided, the character Captain Renault, played by Claude Rains, famously declares, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” At the same moment, of course, the croupier is delivering his winnings to him.

This classic moment offers the perfect analogy to the current righteousness and indignation of anti-Trump Republicans who have rallied behind and indeed lionized Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) for taking a supposedly principled stand against those who former RNC chair and now Lincoln Project Republican Michael Steele has termed the…

Tim Libretti, PhD

Professor of Literature, Political Economy enthusiast, Dad, always thinking about the optimal world

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