Forget Nixon. Trump is more like Andrew Jackson than Tricky Dick—and the consequences of his crimes will be for more devasting. Donald Trump’s stunning decision to fire FBI Director James Comey brought inevitable comparisons to the “Saturday Night Massacre,” that evening in October 1973 when President Richard Nixon, enmeshed in the throes of Watergate, ordered independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox fired, and then accepted the resignations of both Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus when they refused to carry out his instructions. With Nixon (and future Trump) henchman Roger Stone unavailable, Solicitor General Robert Bork was Read More


Dear Red-State Trump Voter, Let’s face it, guys: We’re done. For more than 80 years now, we—the residents of what some people like to call Blue America, but which I prefer to think of as the United States of We Pay Our Own Damn Way—have shelled out far more in federal tax monies than we took in. We have funded massive infrastructure projects in your rural counties, subsidized your schools and your power plants and your nursing homes, sent you entire industries, and simultaneously absorbed the most destitute, unskilled, and oppressed portions of your populations, white and black alike. All Read More

The Soul of a New Machine

Political machines were corrupt to the core–but they were also incredibly effective. If Democrats want to survive in the modern age, they need to take a page from their past.   Some time before the First World War my grandfather, Jack Baker, went to work for “Bathhouse John” Coughlin, the blustery Democratic boss of the infamous political machine in Chicago’s First Ward. Jack had been sent to farm an Indiana homestead, along with his brother and sister, after their mother died. There they were worked half to death, a common fate for hired-out children of the time. My grandfather and Read More