David Cole’s paean to Anthony Kennedy outdid itself in being fair-minded and respectful toward this “moderating force” who “this term…voted with the conservatives in all 14 of the Court’s 5–4 decisions” [“Anthony Kennedy’s Legacy,” July 30/August 6]. However, looking back at Kennedy’s support for Citizens United, and his willingness to mangle the Affordable Care Act and dismember the Voting Rights Act, I am not at all surprised that the justice decided to retire well before the midterm elections this year. Surely he knew, with foresight and the courage of his primarily conservative convictions, that giving Trump another appointee on the Supreme Court will utterly destroy any hope of moderation in the Court for generations to come. Cole entirely missed referencing this most tellingly significant judgment of Kennedy’s entire career.
America’s War Habit
The articles in your special issue “Needed: A New Foreign Policy” [July 16/23] exaggerate the potential for a public challenge to militarism and the readiness of the public even to do so. Unfortunately, US exceptionalism and militarism have created an addiction to war, and the American public doesn’t seem to know or care about the need for cuts in defense spending and overseas bases and deployments. Twenty years ago, then–Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was featured on a Time magazine cover in a flight jacket under the headline “Albright at War.” Albright personified this addiction when she arrogantly proffered: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”
Center for International Policy
As poetry editors, we hold ourselves responsible for the ways in which the work we select is received. We made a serious mistake by choosing to publish the poem “How-To” [July 30/August 6]. We are sorry for the pain we have caused to the many communities affected by this poem. We recognize that we must now earn your trust back. Some of our readers have asked what we were thinking. When we read the poem, we took it as a profane, over-the-top attack on the ways in which the members of many groups are asked—or required—to perform the work of marginalization. We can no longer read the poem in that way.