Scott Pruitt finally resigns

James Comey

Chris Strohm, “Mueller Taps More Prosecutors to Help With Growing Trump Probe,” Bloomberg, July 5, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-05/mueller-said-to-tap-more-career-prosecutors-as-trump-probe-grows


Nonviolence

I will grant David Greenburg one point. Neoconservatism arose in response to the tumult of the 1960s and early 1970s, as a rejection of every liberation movement, and as an embrace of so-called “law and order” (whose law? whose order?). The success of a backlash to these movements doomed what may have been our last chance as a species to save ourselves.

However, there is much, much more to be said about the fetishization of nonviolence, including in a passage imprecisely cited by Martin Luther King, Jr., “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”[1] Remember to consider that latter quotation as we hear ever more about family separations:

These are little kids we are talking about. Some younger than 5. As the father of two kids under age 10, I can’t even imagine the terror these kids — and their parents — must be feeling. One time when my older son was 4, I couldn’t find him in an outdoor mall for 10 minutes. I was absolutely panicked. So was he. That was 10 minutes. We are talking about days and week in some cases here.[2]

Incrementalism, which Greenburg thinks we should settle for,[3] simply may not be fast enough in a situation that the powers that be (functionalist conservatives), being wed to the status quo as a means of protecting their own positions, refuse to treat as an emergency, even when, as with climate change or nuclear weapons, the threat is existential for all of humanity. It certainly isn’t fast enough when people are right now being killed or seriously injured.[4]

David Greenburg, “Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Left Got Nasty,” Politico, July 5, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/05/democrats-civility-1960s-violence-218948


Polarization

E. J. Dionne, Jr., relies heavily on survey data,[5] which I have substantial reason to distrust,[6] but also, when he emphasizes that “Republicans have moved significantly further to the right than Democrats have moved to the left,”[7] I’m not sure what he means, at least by ‘right.’ He seems to assume that left-right polarization is on a single axis, where I see seven different tendencies of conservatism.[8] So I’m left guessing which of those tendencies he refers to.

E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The centrist heavenly chorus is off-key,” Washington Post, July 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-centrist-heavenly-chorus-is-way-off-key/2018/07/04/a656f13a-7ed7-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html


Unauthorized migration

Chris Cillizza, “Donald Trump has no answers for the border crisis. And things are about to get worse,” CNN, July 5, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/immigration-separation-border-trump/index.html

Taryn Luna, “California beats Trump in sanctuary state battle’s first round,” Sacramento Bee, July 5, 2018, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article214374659.html


Scott Pruitt

Timothy Cama and Miranda Green, “Embattled EPA head Pruitt resigns,” Hill, July 5, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/395667-embattled-epa-head-pruitt-resigns


  1. [1]Martin Luther King, Jr., attributes this passage only to “one of our distinguished jurists” in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” University of Pennsylvania, April 16, 1963, http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html. Under the circumstances—the man was in jail—it’s hard to fault the lack of a precise citation.
  2. [2]Chris Cillizza, “Donald Trump has no answers for the border crisis. And things are about to get worse,” CNN, July 5, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/immigration-separation-border-trump/index.html
  3. [3]David Greenburg, “Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Left Got Nasty,” Politico, July 5, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/05/democrats-civility-1960s-violence-218948
  4. [4]Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Nonviolence as Compliance,” Atlantic, April 27, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/nonviolence-as-compliance/391640/; David Edwards, “Activist smacks down Wolf Blitzer: ‘You are suggesting broken windows are worse than broken spines’,” Raw Story, April 28, 2015, http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/activist-smacks-down-wolf-blitzer-you-are-suggesting-broken-windows-are-worse-than-broken-spines/; Benji Hart, “Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy,” Salon, April 28, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/04/28/baltimores_violent_protesters_are_right_smashing_police_cars_is_a_legitimate_political_strategy/;
  5. [5]E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The centrist heavenly chorus is off-key,” Washington Post, July 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-centrist-heavenly-chorus-is-way-off-key/2018/07/04/a656f13a-7ed7-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html
  6. [6]David Benfell, “On a nine percent response rate,” May 28, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/05/28/nine-percent-response-rate
  7. [7]E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The centrist heavenly chorus is off-key,” Washington Post, July 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-centrist-heavenly-chorus-is-way-off-key/2018/07/04/a656f13a-7ed7-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).

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