And a Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you. Here’s the MSN impeachment tracker. And here’s FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate.
The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts
A dispute between a small group of scholars and the authors of The New York Times Magazine’s issue on slavery represents a fundamental disagreement over the trajectory of American society.
The clash between the Times authors and their historian critics represents a fundamental disagreement over the trajectory of American society. Was America founded as a slavocracy, and are current racial inequities the natural outgrowth of that? Or was America conceived in liberty, a nation haltingly redeeming itself through its founding principles? These are not simple questions to answer, because the nation’s pro-slavery and anti-slavery tendencies are so closely intertwined.
The letter is rooted in a vision of American history as a slow, uncertain march toward a more perfect union. The 1619 Project, and Hannah-Jones’s introductory essay in particular, offer a darker vision of the nation, in which Americans have made less progress than they think, and in which black people continue to struggle indefinitely for rights they may never fully realize. Inherent in that vision is a kind of pessimism, not about black struggle but about the sincerity and viability of white anti-racism. It is a harsh verdict, and one of the reasons the 1619 Project has provoked pointed criticism alongside praise.
Americans need to believe that, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, the arc of history bends toward justice. And they are rarely kind to those who question whether it does.
Letter to the Editor: Historians Critique The 1619 Project, and We Respond
Five historians wrote to us with their reservations. Our editor in chief replies.
Olivia Nuzzi/Daily Beast:
A Conversation With Rudy Giuliani Over Bloody Marys at the Mark Hotel
As we sped uptown, he spoke in monologue about the scandal he co-created, weaving one made-up talking point into another and another. He said former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom he calls Santa Maria Yovanovitch, is “controlled” by George Soros. “He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents.” I told him he sounded crazy, but he insisted he wasn’t.
“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” he said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DA’s in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”
Sarah Pulliam Bailey/Washington Post:
Journalist leaves Christian Post amid its plans to attack Christianity Today
Journalist Napp Nazworth, who has worked for the Christian Post website since 2011, said he quit his job Monday because the website was planning to publish a pro-Trump editorial that would slam Christianity Today. Nazworth, who sits on the editorial board as politics editor, said the website has sought to represent both sides and published both pro- and anti-Trump stories.
“I never got the gist they were gung-ho Trumpian types,” Nazworth said. “Everything has escalated with the Christianity Today editorial.”
Nazworth, who has been critical of Trump and suggested leaders who supported him have “traded their moral authority,” said he doesn’t know what he will do next.
“I said, if you post this, you’re saying, you’re now on team Trump,” he said. He said he was told that’s what the news outlet wanted to do.
4 false claims in under 30 words: Kevin McCarthy’s IG report tweet is an exercise in gaslighting
The Republican leader used a sting of lies to mislead people into thinking the FBI had it out for Trump.
It is not the case that the FBI “broke into” the Trump campaign
McCarthy’s claim that that FBI “broke into” the Trump campaign appears to refer to a conspiracy theory that has gained steam in Trumpworld about Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who Papadopoulos says approached him, claimed to be working for the Russian government, and offered the Trump campaign “dirt” on Clinton.
Trump defenders have claimed that Mifsud was actually working on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, and in that capacity set up the Trump campaign. But as my colleague Jen Kirby detailed earlier this month, the inspector general found no evidence to support this conspiracy theory:
The Nationalist's Delusion
Trump’s supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination.
Thirty years ago, nearly half of Louisiana voted for a Klansman, and the media struggled to explain why.
It was 1990 and David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, astonished political observers when he came within striking distance of defeating incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, earning 43 percent of the vote. If Johnston’s Republican rival hadn’t dropped out of the race and endorsed him at the last minute, the outcome might have been different….
During the final few weeks of the campaign, I asked dozens of Trump supporters about their candidate’s remarks regarding Muslims and people of color. I wanted to understand how these average Republicans—those who would never read the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer or go to a Klan rally at a Confederate statue—had nevertheless embraced someone who demonized religious and ethnic minorities. What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters’ most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked.
It was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed Duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—to the one staring them in the face. The frequent postelection media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trump’s most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are a direct outgrowth of this mistake. These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.
Republican senators run the risk of being shamed by Trump himself
Specifically, they threaten to conduct a trial without witnesses, which wouldn’t be a trial at all. In civil or criminal litigation in a jury case, the only way for a defendant to avoid a trial is for a judge to rule that there was no evidence from which the jury could find for the other side. However much the Republicans may pretend otherwise, that isn’t the case here — the president isn’t entitled to summary judgment. The evidence against him is far too strong. No doubt that is the real reason they wish to avoid a full-blown trial.
Additionally, judicial trials traditionally give parties the right to subpoena all relevant witnesses, even witnesses who haven’t given evidence before. Indeed, the Senate’s standing impeachment rules provide for the issuance of subpoenas at the request of either side. Even at the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, which involved much simpler facts, and where a complete evidentiary record had been developed by an independent counsel before a federal grand jury that heard the testimony of all witnesses, including Clinton, the Senate allowed videotaped deposition testimony to be taken and introduced into evidence.