My friend Carter Yasutake played trumpet with the Binky Griptite Orchestra at a Brooklyn Waldorf School fundraising dance last weekend.
If the controversy over the firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, has done anything, it has confirmed my decision on Nov. 9 to leave the Republican Party after a lifetime as a loyal member.
While the president has the authority to fire the F.B.I. director, to do so under these circumstances and for these reasons is a gross violation of the trust citizens place in the president to ensure that the laws “be faithfully executed.” If this is not a prima facie case of obstruction of justice — an impeachable offense — it’s hard to know what is.
Republicans would understand this and say so if these actions were taken by President Hillary Clinton. But when it comes to President Trump, they have checked their principles at the Oval Office door.
Are there even three principled Republicans left who will put their devotion to the Republic above their fealty to the Republican Party?
Signs point to no. If Trump bragging about serial sexual assault wasn’t enough to keep them from supporting him, legal abuses of power seem unlikely to do so.
Sixty-eight percent of white working-class voters said the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence. And nearly half agreed with the statement, “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.”
Nearly two-thirds of the white working class say American culture has gotten worse since the 1950s. Sixty-eight percent say the U.S. is in danger of losing its identity, and 62 percent say America’s growing number of immigrants threaten the country’s culture. More than half say discrimination against whites has become just as problematic as discrimination against minorities.
Yep, it’s hard out there for us white people. One time, there was a black guy and he was president.
But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish.
In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast.
A desire for transgression is all that’s left of the American right.
The white families sent their children to college with their home equities; they were able to take care of their parents in old age and not depend on their children. They’re able to bequeath wealth to their children. None of those advantages accrued to African-Americans, who for the most part were prohibited from buying homes in those suburbs.
I remember Bill O’Reilly arguing with Jon Stewart about how African Americans just need to make better choices to get ahead in the world. He grew up in Levittown.
I joined a few friends from New York for a daytrip to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. It was a good reminder that the United States has made progress toward fairness and justice, but it requires enormous effort because of those who benefit from institutionalized discrimination and those apathetic toward it.
Jordan Edwards spent his last moments in a car driven by his 16-year-old brother in a Dallas suburb. The teens in the car — Jordan, his two brothers and two friends — had no weapons, and they were not drunk. None of them has been charged with any crime.
At first, Balch Springs Police Department Chief Jonathan Haber claimed that one of his officers, later identified as Roy Oliver, fired at the teens’ car because it was backing down the street in an “aggressive manner” toward officers called to break up a teen party.
Hours later, the police chief walked that story back, saying body camera footage showed the car driving away when the officer raised his rifle and began shooting.
“After reviewing the video,” Haber said, “I don’t believe that (the shooting) met our core values.”
The Dallas County medical examiner has ruled Jordan’s death a homicide. Cause of death: gunshot wound to the head. The police officer has been fired. We await further news about what happens next.
Saturday, May 6 update
A police officer in a Dallas suburb was charged with murder on Friday, six days after he fired his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party, killing a black 15-year-old in the front passenger seat.
The second [mirage] is that Trumpcare is a health-care bill. It’s not. It’s a trillion dollar tax cut for the top 2 percent that’s paid for with a trillion dollars of health-care cuts for the poor and middle class. Or, as Trump would call it, “something terrific.” He just left out that that’s only for people making $200,000 or more.
Trump may be the first president whose plunge to 40 percent approval was marked by stories about the voters who still loved him. And Clinton may be the only politician who can talk about the need for rural broadband — at this point, an almost banal priority of rural politicians — and be accused of snobbery.
Messaging isn’t the same thing as governing. Activity doesn’t always reflect accomplishment. But they often look similar from a distance, and Trump’s presidency so far amounts to a bet that most of the public can’t tell the difference.