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Democracy in Crisis: Alabama’s special election and Trump’s attack on Kaepernick point to an even more racist Republican future

Last week, the populist theocratic authoritarian former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore beat Luther Strange in a special election to fulfil the rest of Jeff Sessions’ term in the Senate. Strange, who had been filling the seat, was endorsed by President Trump, even though Moore, who pulled a gun out at a rally right before the special election, is far more Trumpian than Strange. In some ways, he is even more Trumpian than Trump. Moore’s closest analogue may be fascist former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom the president recently pardoned. […]

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Democracy in Crisis: The Juggalos March on Washington eclipses pro-Trump ‘Mother of All Rallies’

The political heat of 2017 has finally boiled all the political chants down to their essence. “Fuck that shit!” More than a thousand juggalos — fans of the horror-art rap group the Insane Clown Posse (ICP) — chant this perfect refrain for our insane era in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, Sept. 16. Many of them are wearing clown paint on their faces or sporting tattoos or other signs that they are down with the clown. […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Trump’s America is not “not normal”

Trump was right when he said the system was broken. He is proof of that. He is a product of our normal, its culmination. It’s not normal that a psycho rich guy like Trump takes over the office to make profit for his family. But it is normal for rich guys to hold the office.
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Democracy in Crisis: Activist Medea Benjamin raises hell in the halls of power

Medea Benjamin, the firebrand activist and author of a dozen odd books, looks surprisingly small in the midst of the lunchtime crowd jostling one another in the basement cafeteria of the the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Her pale face is framed by straight-cut bangs that are pretty darn close to pink in […]

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Democracy in Crisis: A prominent conservative signs on for an attempt to change the Constitution

In the early years of the Obama era, then-Senator Jim DeMint embodied a series of contradictions in the American character. The hard-jawed and bitter-faced sandlapper was simultaneously a theocrat, a cynic and a salesman. What he sold, as salvation, was hate and fear. He realized before the rest of us that it does not matter what politicians say or do as long as they can demonize their enemies, turning them into villains that the American people can love to hate. […]

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Democracy in Crisis: A queer dance party descends on McConnell’s house following anger over health care bill

A swanky stretch of C Street near the Capitol in Washington D.C. is blocked by a raucous crowd dancing in front of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s house on an unseasonably cool summer evening. As music blasts from loudspeakers, the scene resembles a Pride block party as about 50 members of the LGBTQ community and their allies attempt to dance away their fears and anger over McConnell’s so-called health care bill, which was negotiated in secret. […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Press Briefs — Sad little scenes from the White House briefing room

1. The White House briefing room feels like a mansion’s pool house, but with the carpet of a church basement. On the eve of the summer solstice, after a week without an on-camera press briefing, the room smells like a grill doused with too much lighter fluid. Cameramen and techies move around in loose clothes […]

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Democracy in Crisis: The indictment of journalist Aaron Cantú portends grim future for First Amendment

Dozens of defendants, each sitting with their own lawyer, fill a Washington, D.C. courtroom, looking like college students wearing their nicest clothes for a job interview. It is far more serious than that. They are all facing charges of felony rioting, conspiracy to riot and destruction of property on the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration, when they were scooped up en masse by police with a controversial crowd-control technique which corrals protesters in a “kettle.” […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Amid Comey chaos, lessons from the history of America’s secret police

Hundreds of people lined up in the marble hallways of a Senate office building, hoping to get one of the 88 public seats in Room 216, where James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired over the Russia investigation, was scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. That was at 8:30 a.m. More came. Some of the […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Reinventing the underground part 1 — A countercultural exorcism

Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, poet and provocateur Ed Sanders shouts “Out demons, out!,” his arms raised in clenched fists above his head, a computer bag hanging from the shoulder of his powder-blue sports coat. With a wild halo of white hair exploding from his balding pate, small glasses perched upon his crinkled button nose and a drooping mustache, Sanders looks like a wild elder statesmen, the Benjamin Franklin of an alternate United States. […]

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