This week, I argued in the Washington Post that the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, now in its tenth year, could imperil President Obama’s reelection. Let’s not forget that the success of Obama’s 2008 campaign was bolstered by his opposition to the war in Iraq and commitment to a speedy withdrawal. As I wrote, antiwar sentiment is at the heart of Obama’s base — and also of his appeal to independent voters. The human and financial costs of America’s longest war coupled with plummeting support on both sides of the aisle are clear indications that it’s time for the president to declare victory and get out of Afghanistan. You can read the piece here.
Also this week….
WELCOME: Liliana Segura as Associate Editor
We’re pleased to welcome Liliana Segura as The Nation’s new Associate Editor. Liliana is a journalist and editor with a focus on social justice, prisons and the criminal justice system. A graduate of Barnard College, she has written for The Nation, AlterNet, and numerous other publications. Her article, “‘Justifiable Homicides’ Are on the Rise: Have Self-Defense Laws Gone Too Far?” was published in The Best American Legal Writing 2009, edited by Dahlia Lithwick. She is on the board of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank, and has spent the past year working on a project about the death penalty and life without parole. A former Nation intern and then a program associate at The Nation Institute, Liliana has been a part of the Nation family for some time. After leaving the Institute, where she worked on several projects with Nation Books, she went on to work as an editor at AlterNet, where she was responsible for civil liberties and international coverage.
BLOG: The Trump Sideshow
On Wednesday, President Obama appeared before the press to put an end to the odious and absurd controversy over the origins of his birthplace. In finally revealing his long-form birth certificate, Obama reminded Americans that we cannot address the MANY challenges before us if we’re distracted. He relegated the birther hogwash to a “sideshow” and attributed it to “carnival barkers.” But no sooner did Obama deliver his remarks than Trump was back at it his carnival routine.
Correspondent Ari Melber is right to point out in “Confronting the Coded of Racism of Donald Trump,” that Trump’s most recent volley, questioning how a “bad student” got into Columbia and then Harvard is “a putatively non-racial, vaguely constitutional way to challenge the legitimacy of the first black president and appeal to racists without sounding officially racist.” In a press conference, Trump declared that he’s “looking into it,” demanding Obama to show his school records.
Columnist Melissa Harris-Perry argues in “For Birthers, Obama’s Not Black Enough,” that this controversy isn’t about documentation; it’s about deeply held beliefs, even faith claims, about who is and is not a legitimate citizen. Read her column here.
But Trump isn’t the only one to blame. As I pointed out in “Emperor Trump Has No Clothes,” for a media obsessed with infotainment, they’re largely playing the role of cheering spectator for Trump’s self-aggrandizing parade. Who’s asking the ostensible GOP frontrunner the tough questions about his finances—three bankruptcies and tax evasion? Who’s asking Trump about the serious fiscal challenges facing the country? It’s time to put an end to this charade and set our focus back on real policy issues.