Political History

Trump Authorizes Release of JFK Assassination Documents

President Trump authorized the release of documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy despite concerns from the National Security Agency, the Washington Post reports.

“Earlier this week Trump confidant Roger Stone told Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that he spoke to Trump and urged the president to release all the documents.”

Most Think Trump Will Be One of the Worst Presidents

A new Marist poll finds that 58% of Americans believe Donald Trump will be remembered as either one of the worst presidents in the nation’s history.

Said pollster Lee Miringoff: “Deep into his first year as president, Donald Trump’s less than stellar approval rating has lowered expectations about how history will judge him. For history to treat him kinder, he will have to up his game.”

How Hitler Used Lies

Charles Blow: “It is a commonly accepted rule among those who are in the business of argument, especially online, that he or she who invokes Adolf Hitler, either in oratory or essays, automatically forfeits the argument.”

“That said, there are strategies that Hitler used to secure power and rise — things that allowed his murderous reign — that can teach us about political theory and practice. And very reasonable and sage comparisons can be drawn between Hitler’s strategies and those of others.”

“Trump is no Hitler, but the way he has manipulated the American people with outrageous lies, stacked one on top of the other, has an eerie historical resonance. Demagogy has a fixed design.”

Impeachment Was Designed for Someone Like Trump

Barbara : “Their writings and debates surrounding the creation of the Constitution make clear that the framers feared a certain kind of character coming to power and usurping the republican ideal of their new nation. Having just defeated a tyrant — ‘Mad’ King George III of England — they carefully crafted rules to remove such a character: impeachment. In the process, they revealed precisely the kind of corrupt, venal, inattentive and impulsive character they were worried about.”

“The very embodiment of what the Founding Fathers feared is now residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

“Again and again, they anticipated attributes and behaviors that President Trump exhibits on an all-too-regular basis. By describing ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ the grounds for impeachment, as any act that poses a significant threat to society — either through incompetence or other misdeeds — the framers made it clear that an official does not have to commit a crime to be subject to impeachment. Instead, they made impeachment a political process, understanding that the true threat to the republic was not criminality but unfitness, that a president who violated the country’s norms and values was as much a threat as one who broke its laws.”

For more: A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment.

Democrats Headed for a McGovern Redux?

Politico: “We’re a long, long way from 2020, but it’s abundantly evident that Trump will again run a Nixonian campaign, tearing down his opponent and presenting himself as the champion of an aggrieved coalition that Nixon called the ‘silent majority’ and Trump calls ‘the forgotten men and women’ of America.”

“Consumed by internecine battles and the idea of opposition, Democrats run the risk of again nominating someone like McGovern who pleases progressives but steers a course too far from the country’s center of political gravity to win, even as Trump continues his funhouse mirror impression of Nixon as the avatar of white cultural-grievance politics.”

LePage Claims Civil War Was Really About Land

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) defended monuments to the Confederacy, claiming that 7,600 Mainers fought for the South and that the war was initially about land, not slavery, CNN reports.

Said LePage: “What was the war? If you really truly read and study the Civil War, it was turned into a battle for the slaves, but initially — I mean, 7,600 Mainers fought for the Confederacy. And they fought because they were concerned about — they were farmers — and they were concerned about their land. Their property. It was a property rights issue as it began. The President of the United States, who was a very brilliant politician, really made it about slavery to a great degree.”

Why It’s Wrong to Commemorate Robert E. Lee

Josh Marshall: “What is Robert E. Lee known for? This is what I mean by the margins of the debate. Lee is known for one thing: being the key military leader in a violent rebellion against the United States and leading that rebellion to protect slavery. That’s it. Absent his decision to participate in the rebellion he’d be all but unknown to history. He outlived the war by only five years. There’s simply no positive side of the ledger to make it a tough call. The only logic to honoring Lee is to honor treason and treason in the worst possible cause.”

“Lincoln and his war cabinet had little question what Lee deserved. Look at Arlington National Cemetery. That’s Lee’s plantation. The federal government confiscated it and dedicated it as a final resting place for those who died defending the United States. It is a solemn, poetically rich, final and ultimately righteous verdict on his role in our national life. The entire project was very much by design: to punish Lee and shame him in public memory for betraying the United States… The generals… wanted to be certain the Lees would never be able to reclaim their estate. Making it into a hallowed national cemetery was a good way to accomplish that.”

Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism

Kristen Ghodsee: “A comparative sociological study of East and West Germans conducted after reunification in 1990 found that Eastern women had twice as many orgasms as Western women. Researchers marveled at this disparity in reported sexual satisfaction, especially since East German women suffered from the notorious double burden of formal employment and housework. In contrast, postwar West German women had stayed home and enjoyed all the labor-saving devices produced by the roaring capitalist economy. But they had less sex, and less satisfying sex, than women who had to line up for toilet paper.”

“This generational divide between daughters and mothers who reached adulthood on either side of 1989 supports the idea that women had more fulfilling lives during the Communist era. And they owed this quality of life, in part, to the fact that these regimes saw women’s emancipation as central to advanced ‘scientific socialist’ societies, as they saw themselves.”