Today's Liberal News

Ronald Brownstein

The GOP Has Crossed an Ominous Threshold on Foreign Policy

The long decline of the Republican Party’s internationalist wing may have reached a tipping point.
Since Donald Trump emerged as the GOP’s dominant figure in 2016, he has championed an isolationist and nationalist agenda that is dubious of international alliances, scornful of free trade, and hostile to not only illegal but also legal immigration.

The GOP Has Crossed an Ominous Threshold on Foreign Policy

The long decline of the Republican Party’s internationalist wing may have reached a tipping point.
Since Donald Trump emerged as the GOP’s dominant figure in 2016, he has championed an isolationist and nationalist agenda that is dubious of international alliances, scornful of free trade, and hostile to not only illegal but also legal immigration.

Biden’s Hidden Economic Success

President Joe Biden’s economic agenda is achieving one of his principal goals: channeling more private investment into small communities that have been losing ground for years.
That’s the conclusion of a new study released today, which found that economically strained counties are receiving an elevated share of the private investment in new manufacturing plants tied to three major bills that Biden passed early in his presidency.

Trump Is About to Steamroll Nikki Haley

If one word could sum up Nikki Haley’s ambivalent challenge to Donald Trump in the New Hampshire Republican primary, that word might be: if.
If as used by New Hampshire’s Republican Governor Chris Sununu, Haley’s most prominent supporter in the state, when he concluded his energetic introduction of her at a large rally in Manchester on Friday night. “If you think Donald Trump is a threat to democracy, don’t sit on your couch and not participate in democracy,” Sununu insisted.

What Trump’s Victory in Iowa Reveals

Donald Trump’s victory in the Iowa caucus was as dominant as expected, underscoring the exceedingly narrow path available to any of the Republican forces hoping to prevent his third consecutive nomination. And yet, for all Trump’s strength within the party, the results also hinted at some of the risks the GOP will face if it nominates him again.

The Two Republican Theories for Beating Trump

The latest GOP presidential debate demonstrated again that Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are pursuing utterly inimical strategies for catching the front-runner, Donald Trump.The debate, on Wednesday evening, also showed why neither approach looks remotely sufficient to dislodge Trump from his commanding position in the race.DeSantis delivered a stronger overall debate performance than Haley.

What the DeSantis and Newsom Debate Really Revealed

The best way to understand last week’s unusual debate between Governors Gavin Newsom of California and Ron DeSantis of Florida is to think of them less as representatives of different political parties than as ambassadors from different countries.Thursday night’s debate on Fox News probably won’t much change the arc of either man’s career.

How Biden Might Recover

A press release that President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign issued last week offered a revealing window into his advisers’ thinking about how he might overcome widespread discontent with his performance to win a second term next year.

The Only Sin That Republicans Can’t Forgive

The fall of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy today demonstrated again that the one sin that cannot be forgiven in the modern Republican Party is being seen as failing to fight the Democratic agenda by any means necessary.Of all the accusations that could be leveled against McCarthy, the notion that he was insufficiently committed to battling Democrats would not seem high on the list.

Red States Are Rolling Back the Rights Revolution

The struggle over the sweeping red-state drive to roll back civil rights and liberties has primarily moved to the courts.Since 2021, Republican-controlled states have passed a swarm of laws to restrict voting rights, increase penalties for public protest, impose new restrictions on transgender youth, ban books, and limit what teachers, college professors, and employers can say about race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Why Biden Just Can’t Shake Trump in the Polls

Like so many bands of wind and rain, hurricane-strength squalls of bad news have battered former President Donald Trump all year. Since April, he’s been indicted four times, on 91 separate felony charges, compared with zero counts for all of his White House predecessors. Trump often likes to claim that anything associated with him is the most spectacular, even when it’s not, but when it comes to accumulating criminal charges, he’s the undisputed champ of former presidents.

Trump Is Beatable in Iowa

The recent history of the Iowa Republican caucus offers the candidates chasing former President Donald Trump one big reason for optimism. But that history also presents them with an even larger reason for concern.In each of the past three contested GOP nomination fights, Iowa Republicans have rejected the candidate considered the national front-runner in the race, as Trump is now.

Abortion Is Inflaming the GOP’s Biggest Electoral Problem

The escalating political struggle over abortion is compounding the GOP’s challenges in the nation’s largest and most economically vibrant metropolitan areas.The biggest counties in Ohio voted last week overwhelmingly against the ballot initiative pushed by Republicans and anti-abortion forces to raise the threshold for passing future amendments to the state constitution to 60 percent.

Trump’s Threat to Democracy Is Now Systemic

The long-awaited federal indictment of Donald Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election may be necessary to contain the threat to American democracy that he has unleashed. But it’s unlikely to be sufficient.The germ of election denialism that Trump injected into the American political system has spread so far throughout the Republican Party that it is virtually certain to survive whatever legal accountability the former president faces.

Biden’s ‘Big Build’

When President Joe Biden visits South Carolina to tout a new solar-energy-manufacturing facility today, he will underscore a striking pattern: Some of the biggest winners from his economic agenda have been Republican-leaning places whose political leaders have consistently opposed his initiatives.

The Post-Racial Republicans

The sharp exchange between former President Barack Obama and two nonwhite 2024 GOP presidential candidates captures how diverging perceptions about racial inequity have emerged as a central fault line between the Republican and Democratic coalitions.In their presidential campaigns, Republican Senator Tim Scott, who is Black, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is Indian American, have repeatedly insisted that systemic or structural racism is no longer a problem in America.

The GOP’s ‘Abusive Relationship’ With Trump

It’s a measure of Donald Trump’s hold on the Republican Party that his unprecedented criminal indictment is strengthening, not loosening, his grip.Trump was on the defensive after November’s midterm election because many in the GOP blamed voter resistance to him for the party’s disappointing results.

Abortion Pills Will Be the Next Battle in the 2024 Election

The next front is rapidly emerging in the struggle between supporters and opponents of legal abortion, and that escalating conflict is increasing the chances that the issue will shape the 2024 election as it did last November’s midterm contest.President Joe Biden triggered the new confrontation with a flurry of recent moves to expand access to the drugs used in medication abortions, which now account for more than half of all abortions performed in the United States.

Liz Cheney Already Has a 2024 Strategy

The defiant speech from Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming after her defeat in yesterday’s Republican primary could be reduced to a single message: This is round one.Cheney didn’t specify how, or where, she intends to continue her struggle against former President Donald Trump, after Harriet Hageman, the candidate Trump endorsed, routed her by more than two to one in the primary for Wyoming’s lone congressional seat.

Democrats Might Avoid a Midterm Wipeout

If Democrats avoid the worst outcome in November’s midterm elections, the principal reason will likely be the GOP’s failure to reverse its decline in white-collar suburbs during the Donald Trump era.That’s a clear message from yesterday’s crowded primary calendar, which showed the GOP mostly continuing to nominate Trump-style culture-war candidates around the country.

Is Biden a Man Out of Time?

The White House’s response to last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 established a constitutional right to abortion, once again has exposed the tension between the conciliatory instincts President Joe Biden developed during his long career in Washington, D.C., and the ferocity of the modern combat between the two major political parties.

The Democrats’ New Spokesman in the Culture Wars

On May 4, two days after Politico rocked Washington by revealing the draft of a Supreme Court decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, California Governor Gavin Newsom delivered remarks at a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood office—and triggered a small earthquake of his own.Newsom pledged that, however the Court ruled, California would ensure legal access to abortion.

Is This the End of the George Floyd Moment?

Since the massive nationwide protests that erupted in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, the debate over crime and public safety in the Democratic Party has been dominated by urgent calls for reforming police departments and confronting entrenched racial inequities in the criminal-justice system. History might record yesterday’s elections in San Francisco and Los Angeles as the end of that moment.

No, Ann Coulter, I Am Not Responsible for the ‘Great Replacement’ Theory

Ann Coulter, in so many words, thinks that I am responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo in mid-May.Not me alone. After the shooting, Coulter wrote a column dismissing the idea that Republican politicians and commentators had popularized the “Great Replacement” theory, a conspiracy theory that the young, white Buffalo shooter cited as a motivation before killing 10 people at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

The Real Reason America Doesn’t Have Gun Control

After each of the repeated mass shootings that now provide a tragic backbeat to American life, the same doomed dance of legislation quickly begins. As the outraged demands for action are inevitably derailed in Congress, disappointed gun-control advocates, and perplexed ordinary citizens, point their fingers at the influence of the National Rifle Association or the intransigent opposition of congressional Republicans.

Biden’s Chance at Redemption

Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine confronts President Joe Biden with complex challenges at a time when he is already beleaguered—but it also presents him with an opportunity for a reset on the core foreign-policy promise he made to voters during his 2020 campaign.As a candidate, Biden offered voters not so much a change in specific international policies as an alternative approach to interacting with other nations.

The Challenges of an Electric-Vehicle Revolution

Judging by the ads during last weekend’s Super Bowl, electric vehicles are poised to imminently dislodge gasoline-powered cars and trucks from their privileged place on America’s roadways.An escalating dispute among President Joe Biden’s administration, congressional Democrats, and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over modernizing the Postal Service’s vehicle fleet shows why the transition may not come quite that quickly.

Does Biden Have a Second Act?

Ronald Reagan did it. So did Bill Clinton. Barack Obama did as well.Can Joe Biden do it too?After a difficult first two years in the White House, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama each rebuilt enough public support to win a second term—not long after many observers had labeled them fatally damaged by their early setbacks.

The Fate of Bobby Kennedy’s Assassin

Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, one of the nine surviving children of the late Robert F. Kennedy, was at the family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, with a gaggle of his relatives and siblings last August when the California Board of Parole Hearings unexpectedly recommended the release of the man who assassinated his father, Sirhan Sirhan.“We were devastated,” Maxwell told me yesterday. “I was shocked, deeply dismayed, emotional.