Monthly Archives: January 2024

The Amars Have Done it Again

The Amar brothers have filed a very fine amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s review of the Trump disqualification case, styled Trump v. Anderson. The argument is aimed squarely at ‘originalists’ by recovering critical history that shaped Art. 3 of the XIVth Amendment.

Here’s a portion of the summary:

Underlying Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, there resides […] an episode known to virtually all Americans in the 1860s and, alas, forgotten by most Americans today, even the learned. The episode has gone almost unmentioned in all previous scholarship on Section Three and in all previous briefing in this case. We believe that this episode is a key that can unlock many of the issues presented by today’s case.

In Part One of what follows, we briefly tell the story of the First Insurrection of the 1860s—the insurrection before the Second Insurrection of the 1860s, typically known today as the Civil War. In that First Insurrection, high-level executive officials in Washington, DC, violated their solemn constitutional oaths as part of a concerted plan not just to hand over southern forts to rebels, but also to prevent the lawful inauguration of the duly elected Abraham Lincoln. The parallels between this insurrection in late December 1860 and January 1861 and the more recent Trump-fueled insurrection of late December 2020 and January 2021 are deeply and decisively relevant to today’s case.

[…]
Today’s facts are remarkably similar to those of the First Insurrection of the 1860s.

(Italics in original.)

Posted in 1/6, Law: Constitutional Law | 7 Comments

Counterstrike

New ad from the Republican Accountability PAC.

Posted in 2024 Election | Leave a comment

Dates that will live in Infamy

President Franklin D. Roosevelt described December 7, 1941 as “a date which will live in infamy” in his speech the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 12/7 was a date seared into the memory of those who lived through it, although I think not nearly as meaningful to those who like me were born considerably later. Even infamy may have a half-life, and I suspect that today most people look at ‘Pearl Harbor Day’ on the calendar and don’t think that much of it.

We of the current generations have two dates of our own that live in infamy at least for now: 9/11 and 1/6. What these dates have in common with 12/7 is that they all represent thankfully rare dates on which the United States was attacked. But 1/6 isn’t quite like the others. The attack was from within not from a foreign power. And the evocative power of that date seems less universal, as some have taken to downplaying the significance of the sacking of the Capitol, and of the attempt to set aside the results of the Presidential election.

The January 6 Commission Report sought to nail down the history and to protect the popular memory, and the polity, from they-were-just-tourist revisionists and Big Lie conspiracists. In this, the Committee members were only partly successful, although the (multiple) juries are not just still out, but not even empaneled, as the Trump legal team tries to delay a formal reckoning of his and his associates’ conduct.

Here’s hoping the evocative power of those dates will fade with time in a normal, healthy way rather than being erased by lies or enshrined as the beginning of the end of the ‘American experiment’.1


  1. I was surprised to learn the this phrase, commonly attributed to Democracy in America, does not appear in the French original, but is apparently an invention of Tocqueville’s first English translator Henry Reeve. []
Posted in The Scandals, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

None Dare Call It By Its Name?

Press WatchMy brother Dan is very good at piercing through social niceties. Sometimes this can be a very good thing, as in his column today, at Press Watch, How much of Trump’s support is due to racism?.

Here’s a small taste:

There is one theory that fully explains the massive support that Trump continues to get among the Republican voting base: That they’re racist.

To be clear, this is a theory, not a conclusion.

But it’s certainly a likely enough theory that the mainstream media should be testing it to see if it’s true rather than avoiding the topic like the plague.

[…]

When mainstream journalists do address racism, they do so with euphemisms and denials. These days that means they understate the racist rhetoric from Trump and other leading Republicans, and they actively cover up the racism of his supporters and make excuses for them.

They don’t ignore racism entirely. What they do is worse: they normalize it.

The Washington Post, for instance, had a long, overdue front-page article on Sunday about how Trump and his fellow GOP candidates are taking overtly racist positions – except get this: They substituted the word “polarizing” for racist.

But there’s more, and even better, where that came from.

Posted in 2024 Election, Dan Froomkin, Trump | Leave a comment