Category: Froma Harrop

Must We Care If You Don’t Get the Shot? for 06/08/2021

I’m fully vaccinated, and so is just about everyone I know. We feel mostly protected against COVID-19. And so if others don’t want to get the shot for political reasons or out of ignorance, must we care?

We read that many Republicans are refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine, while most Democrats are all in. The reasoning on the right seems to be that President Joe Biden wants us all to get vaccinated, therefore they won’t.

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Rethinking the Land of Plenty for 06/03/2021

Not that long ago, American shoppers cleaned store shelves of toilet paper. Pandemic panic had fueled the run on toilet paper, the point of it never clear.

The bicycle shortage, on the other hand, made some sense. With the lockdown forcing millions to stay at home, bikes offered exercise, safe outdoor activity. Many stores used to display every bicycle size, color, use and price range right on the sales floor. That wide practice has disappeared.

Pandemic disruptions made Americans question whether this is truly the Land of Plenty.

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Preserving Dignity in City Culture for 06/01/2021

Palm Springs, California, has a world-class art museum. And the museum building is itself a world-class example of midcentury modern architecture.

Thus, it was understandable that a group of Palm Springs residents would object to placing a kitschy 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe right in the museum sightlines. The “artwork” reproduces the famous scene in “The Seven Year Itch” in which Marilyn walks over a sidewalk grate and the rising air lifts her skirt way high. She’s seen bending over as she unsuccessfully tries to hold down her skirt.

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Republicans Actually Need the Jan. 6 Commission for 05/27/2021

It’s been a given that Democrats would benefit from an official probe into the Jan. 6 rampage on the Capitol and Republicans would not. The thinking goes that Democrats would use a commission report to bash Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections. It would certainly detail how former President Donald Trump incited his supporters to commit the outrage.

Where Republicans err is believing that without a report, Democrats won’t have the ammo to bash them effectively. But the trauma of that day is already seared in the American brain.

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Law and Order Should Not Be Political for 05/25/2021

The conversation started on a long Uber ride. The driver, originally from Colombia, said he knows a lot of Colombians living in the U.S. “without papers.” He argued that they are good people paying taxes and should be left alone. I responded that I believe they are good people paying taxes but our immigration laws should be respected.

He then said, to my surprise, “I kind of like Donald Trump.” Why, I asked. He went on heatedly about the riots that followed the killing of George Floyd. He thought Trump was more serious about restoring order.

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The 2022 Midterms Might Surprise Us for 05/20/2021

Tradition tells us that, come the midterms, the president’s party loses seats in the House. If this tradition holds in 2022, that could be bad news for Democrats, whose House majority now stands at only nine seats.

But history of late doesn’t seem to be commandeering the driver’s seat. Right after Joe Biden turned Georgia blue, Politico confidently stated that to win the state’s two Senate runoffs on Jan. 5, “the Democratic Party will have to defy a long track record of failure in overtime elections.

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Liz Cheney Is Not Going to the ‘Political Wilderness’ for 05/13/2021

Liz Cheney’s ouster from the House Republican leadership has prompted many observers to say that the Wyoming representative is headed to the “political wilderness.” This assumes that the Republican Party is itself a civilization and not some decaying political entity about to be buried under the lava of its craziness.

The Donald Trump personality cult may have gotten its way for now, but Cheney’s story is just beginning.

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Real Political Scandals Are Rarely About Sex for 05/11/2021

As the Trump presidency fades into the past, we are reminded of the sex scandal at its dawn. The Federal Election Commission has just dropped its probe into former President Donald Trump’s alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Charges that Trump broke campaign finance laws in 2016 by not reporting the $130,000 payment to Daniels — perhaps thinking that a tawdry affair would hurt his electoral chances — dominated the national conversation for weeks.

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Biden’s Economic Agenda May Be More Truman Than FDR for 05/06/2021

Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar plans to revive the economy, fix America’s infrastructure and ease poverty have spawned comparisons between him and Franklin D. Roosevelt. At the 100-day mark of the Biden presidency, David Gergen, who has advised presidents of both parties, wrote, “Biden is off to an excellent start — arguably, one of the best since Roosevelt.”

And Biden hasn’t discouraged such talk. He now has a giant portrait of FDR in the Oval Office, right across from the Resolute Desk.

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To Our Surprise, Face Masks Will Be Partly Missed for 05/04/2021

When told to wear face masks two COVID-plagued winters ago, we thought: “Can’t wait until this is over and we no longer have to wear a piece of cloth over our mouth and nose. It’s ugly. It interferes with breathing. It muffles voices and makes some conversations hard to follow.”

But wear face masks we did. And responsible people still do — without voicing complaint — in establishments that require them and in other social gatherings where they are recommended.

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Do Population Changes Help Red America or Blue America? for 04/29/2021

Growing populations are giving two additional seats in Congress to Texas and one to Florida. New York and California are each losing a seat, not because their head counts are falling but because they’re not rising as fast.

Do these population changes also alter the states’ politics? In many cases, yes, and that generally does not bode well for Republicans. Texas, for example, voted for Donald Trump in 2020, but many of its urban areas did not — and those are the parts of Texas booming with transplants from outside the state.

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More Proof That Democrats Prefer Their Moderates for 04/27/2021

A U.S. House special election in Louisiana just delivered victory to another Democratic moderate. Troy Carter defeated Karen Carter Peterson, who ran well to his left. Both candidates are state senators. Both are Black. The congressional district, weirdly drawn to connect urban New Orleans with Baton Rouge, is the only one in Louisiana that sends a Democrat to Congress.

Political tone was the main difference between these two Democrats, and once again, the voters showed a preference for the moderate over the left-wing alternative.

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