The rightwing backlash against Trayvon Martin

For a brief and wondrous moment, America engaged in something akin to a lucid and thoughtful conversation on race, a dialogue sparked by the tragic and unjust killing of Trayvon Martin. Across lines of color, class and political ideology, commentators and ordinary citizens weighed in on the stereotypes and prejudices that may have prompted so-called […]

Trayvon Martin and the prejudices of the law enforcement establishment

There are few black families who don’t have a personal story about an unsettling encounter with the police, usually one involving male relatives. For all the encouraging — astonishing, really — racial progress over the last 50 years, the relationship between black Americans and white law enforcement officers remains fraught with fear, suspicion and, let’s […]

Why the GOP doesn’t want everybody to vote

  The Republican Party has a demographic dilemma. Its largest dependable constituency comprises older white people, a group who vote reliably but who are unlikely to be around in large numbers two decades from now. You’d think that would prompt Republicans to start courting younger voting blocs with enthusiasm. But one of the fastest-growing blocs […]

What do Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have in common?

Though it’s a safe bet that Newt Gingrich won’t win the Republican nomination, he has done well enough in the primaries to spare himself the embarrassment of abject failure. He has not made a fool of himself — or, at least, no more a fool than he does in the regular course of pontificating, lecturing […]

GOP is too nutty for Olympia Snowe

    Who can blame Olympia Snowe for giving up on the U.S. Senate? It has become a dysfunctional institution, infected by the same virulent partisanship that long ago claimed the House, hamstrung by rules that elevate petty politics over policy and stripped of the reasoned debate and thoughtful compromise that once characterized its work. […]