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Remembering my friend, Joe Lieberman

I remember exactly when Joe Lieberman became my friend — after he scolded me for not heeding the commands of my Jewish mother.

In 2017, I was working on a series of articles for Salon about “centrism,” a once-dominant but rapidly fading force in American political life. That May I had interviewed two of the most most prominent remaining centrists, both of whom had to some degree become outcasts from their own political parties....

Originally posted on salon.com

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Lessons of the Radical Republicans: Race, revolution and Reconstruction

Donald Trump and Abraham Lincoln | Illustration of the storming of Fort Wagner during the American Civil War, and the death of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (atop the hill). Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Once upon a time in a country somewhat resembling this one, the Republican Party had a radical faction — and not because it believed in bizarre theories about election fraud or wanted to undermine democracy....

Originally posted on salon.com

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Can Democrats break the midterm curse? Maybe — consider the example of 1934

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Now that Joe Manchin has sounded the death knell — at least for the moment — for Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package, Democrats are doomed in the 2022 midterm elections.

Or, wait: Are they? Sometimes the “laws” of politics (or economics) are characterized as immutable, akin to the laws of physics....

Originally posted on salon.com

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Are Democrats the “real racists”? Well, they used to be: Here’s the history

Woodrow Wilson, Joe Biden and Donald Trump Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Republicans have an obvious race problem — one they prefer not to admit, even to themselves. The party’s voter base is overwhelmingly white, and Republicans are now actively trying to suppress Black voters (and other voters of color) through a range of Jim Crow tactics....

Originally posted on salon.com

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An “alarming finding,” but no surprise: Many Republicans now ready to support violence

Protesters gather on the second day of pro-Trump events fueled by President Donald Trump’s continued claims of election fraud in an to overturn the results before Congress finalizes them in a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

New public opinion research from the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute, part of its 12th annual American Values Survey, has returned alarming findings. ...

Originally posted on salon.com

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Joe Manchin throws last-minute wrench in Democrats’ infrastructure negotiations

Joe Biden and Joe Manchin Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — who has, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, emerged as one of the two most prominent Democrats to hold up President Joe Biden’s legislative package — signaled on Monday that he may not be ready to back the already-watered down agenda....

Originally posted on salon.com

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Twitter’s algorithm amplifies conservatives. It might be the mockery they inspire

Laughing at Twitter Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Twitter acknowledges publicly that its algorithm tends to disproportionately amplify right-wing politicians — and social media experts are quick to blame human nature for engaging more with right-wing populism than dry news coverage for the disparity.

But what if that’s not the whole truth, either?...

Originally posted on salon.com

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Joe Biden’s Nixon moment: A policy agenda that could change history — and the media yawns

Richard Nixon and Joe Biden Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

American media, and especially the political press corps, has a history of failure when it comes to explaining the policies that could change people’s lives. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised eyebrows when she blamed the media for failing to do enough to “sell” Biden’s Build Back Better legislation....

Originally posted on salon.com

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FDR once tried to purge disloyal Democrats — would it work for Biden to do the same?

Joe Biden, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Allan Lichtman has a track record of accurately predicting presidential elections, and is generally an astute observer of the American political scene. So I paid attention when Lichtman, a political science professor at American University, told me it would be disastrous for President Biden to go war against Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and the other centrist Democrats jamming him up in Congress. ...

Originally posted on salon.com

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