Mariano-Florentino Cuellar (Stanford): From Doctrine to Safeguards in American Constitutional Democracy. Ajay Singh Chaudhary on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court: The system is working and that is the problem. Americans aren’t practicing democracy anymore: As participation in civic life has dwindled, so has public faith in the country’s system of government. Another big Democratic loss — and yet more complaints about a “rigged” system (and a response). Julie Novkov on Roger Taney, John Roberts, and the potential for Democratic reform. The midterm elections are about whether Republican power will be checked.

From PRRI, a special report on American Democracy in Crisis: The Challenges of Voter Knowledge, Participation, and Polarization. Democracy is a habit: Melvin Rogers on John Dewey on the culture democracy requires. Jeffrey C. Isaac on the courts, Kavanaugh, and constitutional hardball. Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century — they were wrong. Save global democracy by saving American democracy. This 70-year-old book about racist mass movements perfectly describes Trumpism. Marty Lederman on the vicious entrenchment circle: Thoughts on a lifetime with a Republican-controlled court.

The Senate looks away: Has the time come for a more democratic — and Democratic — chamber? Maria Farrell on one hell of a to-do list for saving democracy. Trump’s not alone in damaging our democracy. America’s slide toward autocracy: Democracy has taken a beating under President Trump — will the midterms make a difference? Can American democracy self-correct? The pervasive, distorting power of white-male privilege. John Judis on what needs to be done in the wake of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “1933”, or what Hitler’s ascendency teaches us about authoritarianism: Jurgen von Mahs on 10 historic lessons for the age of Trump.

Is democracy really dying? Why so many commentators share an overly grim view of America’s fate. Christopher R. Browning on the suffocation of democracy: “Trump is not Hitler and Trumpism is not Nazism, but regardless of how the Trump presidency concludes, this is a story unlikely to have a happy ending”. Jacob T. Levy on the counterminoritarian dilemma. Thread: “There’s been a lot of handwringing in the media pundit corps and centrist politicians these days about the loss of comity, post-Kavanaugh”. The Supreme Court is now a partisan institution: Kavanaugh’s confirmation means Trump controls all three branches of government — there’s only one check left on the president.

Scott McLemee interviews Salvatore Babones, author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts. Corey Robin on the scandal of democracy: Seven theses for the Socialist Left. So you want to change the Senate. Scott Jaschik interviews Jason Stanley, author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (and more and more). I thought the really hard work was over: “It turns out, my generation will get its time in the barrel after all. And the younger generations won’t ever know the kind of relative peace and calm we enjoyed for most of our lives”. An excerpt from Can Democracy Work? A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World by James Miller.

Think Trump and GOP minority rule is bad now? Here’s how it could get much worse.


Musa Al-Gharbi (Columbia): The Jury’s Still Out on What Constitutes a Microaggression. Crispr can speed up nature — and change how we grow food. The deadly limousine crash didn’t have to turn out the way it did: It’s part and parcel of the lax regulations surrounding all sorts of aspects of American life. Taylor Swift’s Instagram post has caused a massive spike in voter registration (and more). Nikki Haley was never the adult in the room (and more). The case for climate pessimism: A frightening report on climate change has some experts pondering the perils of optimism about the future. Dire climate warning lands with a thud on Trump’s desk. “Tech won’t save us, part 547”.

Do Trump’s scandals actually matter? In the rush of news, big stories can get lost — that’s no reason for despair. The Mueller investigation is bigger than Rod Rosenstein. While Mueller stays quiet, suspicious Trump–Russia clues keep popping up. The one conspiracy theory that Republicans won’t believe: Many are quick to blame George Soros for the Kavanaugh protests — but Russian interference, huh? Republicans: Protesters are an unruly mob — unless they’re heavily armed and support us. The paranoid style in G.O.P. politics: Republicans are an authoritarian regime in waiting. Would Kavanaugh have been defeated if Democrats were more ruthless? Superior ruthlessness isn’t why Republicans control the Supreme Court. “Can we please stop with the ‘Rs play chess, Ds play checkers’ trope? Republicans have adopted illiberal tactics to maintain minority power. They aren’t more sophisticated, they are simply more destructive”.


From the People’s Policy Project, Matt Bruenig on a social wealth fund for America. Rachel Cohen on why a “social wealth fund” could be the next big idea. The big idea that could make democratic socialism a reality: An ambitious proposal to create an Alaska-style social wealth fund that could transform the global economy. Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya on why a social wealth fund must account for racial inequity. Mike Konczal: “I do not understand why the Left should want a sovereign wealth fund” (and a response). A radical idea for reducing inequality deserves more attention: A social wealth fund could narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.

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