Zack Beauchamp
Zack Beauchamp
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Study: Republican control of state government is bad for democracy

Study: Republican control of state government is bad for democracy

New research quantifies the health of democracy at the state level — and Republican-governed states tend to perform much worse.In late March, Georgia passed a restrictive new voting law that, in effect, to put partisan operatives in charge of disqualifying ballots in Democratic-leaning precincts. The law is one of at least from GOP lawmakers in state legislatures around the country for increasing partisan influence over electoral administration — and one of that would curtail voting rights in one way or another.New political science research suggests this wave of attempts to restrict the...

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Zack Beauchamp
Apr 5
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The conservative movement is rejecting America

The conservative movement is rejecting America

against American democracy is often subtle, expressing itself through without a full-throated acknowledgment of what lawmakers are actually doing. But sometimes, the mask slips — and someone in the conservative movement openly tells you what’s really going on.One such slippage took place last week when the American Mind — a publication of the Claremont Institute, an influential conservative think tank based in California — published arguing that the country has already been destroyed by internal enemies.“Most people living in the United States today — certainly more than half — are not...

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Zack Beauchamp
Apr 1
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The filibuster’s racist history, explained

The filibuster’s racist history, explained

“It’s been a tool used overwhelmingly by racists,” says Kevin Kruse, a historian of race and American politics at Princeton University.The question of what to do about the filibuster — the once-arcane Senate rule that creates a de facto 60-vote threshold for major legislation — is arguably the most important topic in Washington, DC, right now. It is the main thing blocking Senate Democrats from approving President Joe Biden’s sweeping policy agenda on party lines; as such, it has become a subject of fierce partisan (and intraparty) dispute.Most recently, this debate has centered on racism...

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Zack Beauchamp
Mar 25
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Georgia’s restrictive new voting law, explained

Georgia’s restrictive new voting law, explained

The very worst provisions enable partisan Republicans to seize control of election boards in Democratic counties.Georgia’s , signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday night, is a small-d democrat’s nightmare.The bill, known as SB 202, gives state-level officials the authority to usurp the powers of county election boards — allowing the Republican-dominated state government to potentially . It criminalizes the provision of food and water to voters waiting in line, in a state where lines are notoriously long in heavily nonwhite precincts. It requires ID for absentee ballots and limits...

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Zack Beauchamp
Mar 26
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Democrats could reverse years of neglecting unions — if they’re bold enough

Democrats could reverse years of neglecting unions — if they’re bold enough

Republicans have systematically undermined a key democratic constituency. Fighting back requires a kind of hardball Democrats aren’t typically willing to play.Last week’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill proved that Democrats are .But another bill, , poses a different kind of test for the party: Just how willing are Democrats to use their newfound power to reshape the foundations of American politics in their favor?The PRO Act, passed by the House last Tuesday and currently languishing in the Senate, would be the most significant pro-labor legislation passed since the New Deal. Its most...

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Zack Beauchamp
Mar 17
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The Republican revolt against democracy, explained in 13 charts

The Republican revolt against democracy, explained in 13 charts

The Republican Party is the biggest threat to American democracy today. It is a radical, obstructionist faction that has become hostile to the most basic democratic norm: that the other side should get to wield power when it wins elections.A few years ago, these statements may have sounded like partisan Democratic hyperbole. But in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and Trump’s acquittal in the Senate on the charge of inciting it, they seem more a plain description of where we’re at as a country.But how deep does the GOP’s problem with democracy run, really? How did things get...

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Zack Beauchamp
Mar 1
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Marjorie Taylor Greene’s space laser and the age-old problem of blaming the Jews

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s space laser and the age-old problem of blaming the Jews

Why conspiracy theorists always end up pointing the finger at Jews — and why that’s a problem for the GOP.Let’s get this out of the way: First-term Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s claim that the 2018 California wildfires were , is objectively ridiculous. It’s okay to laugh about it.And yet it is, at the same time, kind of horrifying. It’s the latest in a long line of conspiracies about the Rothschild family, and those conspiracies are always, at root, anti-Semitic: , people have used claims that this one particular wealthy family controls the world to cast aspersions on Jews in general.Nor is...

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Zack Beauchamp
Jan 30
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Trump is gone. But the threat of right-wing violence that arose under his watch remains.

Trump is gone. But the threat of right-wing violence that arose under his watch remains.

That the United States made it through President Joe Biden’s inauguration without any major act of violence is a relief. But the fact that we had to be seriously worried about it — to the point of deploying 25,000 National Guard troops to secure Washington, DC — illustrates that the threat of far-right violence is here to stay.Indeed, on January 27, t issued a bulletin warning that the threat from right-wing extremists “will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration” — that extremists “may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building...

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Zack Beauchamp
Jan 20
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Republicans own this

Republicans own this

On the morning of January 6, first-term Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican chiefly notable for , tweeted that the efforts to overturn the 2020 election results amounted to a new American Revolution.“Today is 1776,” she wrote.It turned out that describing Wednesday as a violent revolution was more apt than Boebert may have intended. Several hours later, on the heels of a speech by the president decrying the 2020 election as stolen, a pro-Trump mob descended on the US Capitol, overwhelming Capitol Police and storming the building. Trump supporters waved Confederate flags and seized...

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Zack Beauchamp
Jan 8
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Yes, the Georgia election law is that bad

Yes, the Georgia election law is that bad

The debate over whether Georgia’s law really suppresses voting reveals just how imperiled American democracy is.Georgia’s new election law SB 202, which many experts decried as , was compared to Jim Crow by . Now some observers are pushing back, arguing the bill falls well short of a democratic apocalyptic.In , Nate Cohn concluded that “the law’s voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances.” Slate’s Will Saletan notes that some provisions really are troubling, but that the bill also contains good provisions and that critics have “” their concerns. ,...

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Zack Beauchamp
Apr 6
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