How is Donald Trump “not a normal Republican”? Let New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait count the ways. Trump is “crudely ethno-nationalist,” wrote Chait in a Tuesday post, and he’s “personally ignorant and undisciplined in a manner that sets him apart not only from traditional Republicans but most human adults.” That’s pretty much it for Trump’s deviations from orthodoxy, according to Chait, who thinks current White House economic and fiscal proposals are “perfectly orthodox” by party standards, notwithstanding blasts at them from GOP-aligned sources such as National Review.
The New York Times provided more publicity for the anti-Trump resistance with “Bookstores Stoke Resistance With Action, Not Just Books – Places of Business, and Hubs of Protest.” Three weeks ago, the NYT was also using the self-indulgent liberal theme of books as rebellion, finding ‘eerie parallels' between dystopian Books Like '1984' and the Trump presidency, though iconoclastic journalist Brendan O’Neill suggests Orwell’s classic in fact better describes today’s authoritarian left, “the nannying, nudging, speech-policing, sex-panicking, P.C. culture that Trumpism is in some ways a reaction against.
Dissent may be the highest form of patriotism (when the GOP has power, anyway) but passing nasty drawings of political opponents has to be the lowest form of dissent. And that’s what the left’s giant temper tantrum has come down to.
Even though Donald Trump won the presidential election, thereby causing “pessimism about the liberal project,” Barack Obama is winning the post-election, and Obama’s “vision of the country…will ultimately win out,” asserted New York’s Jonathan Chait last Sunday. According to Chait, the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration and last weekend’s protests over his executive order on immigration “have drawn on powerful American ideals: inclusion, social mobility, and optimism. Obamaism may have lost control of the levers of government, but it has never lost the country.”
Hysterical liberals are rushing to buy dystopian novels like 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, regarding them as playbooks for the new Trump administration, and the New York Times is eagerly validating their fears: "...in recent months, [Handmaid's Tale author Margaret] Atwood has been hearing from anxious readers who see eerie parallels between the novel’s oppressive society and the current Republican administration’s policy goals of curtailing reproductive rights." But the NYT skipped a vital alternate reason why Handmaid is selling more of late: It's coming to Hulu this year.
Following the lead of CNN’s Brian Stelter, Thursday’s Situation Room touted the spike of sales in the book 1984 and strongly hinted that Americans view the Trump administration as the real-life version of Big Brother portrayed in George Orwell’s classic.
“The most important development of the last half-century in American politics,” believes New York magazine’s Chait, is “the Republican Party’s embrace of movement conservative ideology.” In a Thursday post, Chait cited six books, none of which was written by a conservative, that “help elucidate” this phenomenon. Among Chait’s choices: E.J. Dionne’s Why the Right Went Wrong; Richard Hofstadter’s Social Darwinism in American Thought (“scathingly dispatches a powerful right-wing idea that was destined to endure: the notion that the free market is a perfectly just mechanism for rewarding value and punishing failure”); and Paul Krugman’s Peddling Prosperity (“a powerful critique of supply-side economics…which Krugman aptly dispatches as simply crankery lacking any grounding in serious economic theory”).
The front of Monday’s New York Times presented some truly groundbreaking journalism: President Obama likes to read. Book critic and Obama idolizer Michiko Kakutani’s long farewell piece was plotted to make the departing president look like a thoughtful intellectual: “How Reading Nourished Obama During the White House Years.” It’s the sequel, awaited by no one, to her front-page report from January 2009 featuring then president-elect Obama on the eve of his inauguration, where she credited him for his "love of fiction and poetry” that “imbued him with a tragic sense of history and a sense of the ambiguities of the human condition," as opposed to departing president George W. Bush's "prescriptive" reading that merely provided a black-and-white "Manichean view of the world."
Next Tuesday, three days before the current POTUS becomes an ex-POTUS, Jonathan Chait’s Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail will be published. On Tuesday, New York magazine, where Chait is the chief political pundit, ran an excerpt from the book in which he claimed, “The truth is that Obama enacted careful, deep, and mostly popular solutions to a broad array of problems to which his opponents have no workable response.”
New York Times critic Dwight Garner wrote an embarrassingly florid tribute to first lady Michelle Obama, in the guise of a book review, on the front of Friday’s Arts section: “Eyes on a First Lady Unlike Any Other.” Garner was reviewing the work of 16 equally smitten liberals under “The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Out Own. He began by posing the question on everyone's lips: "Who will Americans miss more, Barack or Michelle Obama?"
Megyn Kelly is a journalist, but she’s also a sort of actress, suggested Isaac Chotiner in a Monday review of her new book, Settle for More. To Chotiner, Kelly’s a conservative who plays a nonpartisan on TV. She has “done her best to cloud her real agenda.” And it’s worked: she has “wide-ranging respect and admiration among a press corps generally (and rightly) suspicious and dismissive of Fox News.” Chotiner is much less respectful and admiring. “The Kelly File is quite clearly ideological and very rarely ‘open-minded,’” he argued. “It is guilty of the same race-baiting and fearmongering that the rest of the network practiced throughout the election, and indeed over the past two decades.”
Just in time for the upcoming presidential election, popular book publisher Simon & Schuster has just released a new book for children aged 4-8 years old about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She, of course, most recently made headlines for speaking out critically against presidential candidate Donald Trump, an action that was blasted by even liberals for stepping outside her impartial role as a Supreme Court Justice.