Category: Ross Douthat

Ron DeSantis Is the Republican Autopsy

After the Republican Party suffered a surprising (well, to Republicans) defeat in the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee famously commissioned an autopsy that tried to analyze how the party had fallen short. It made a range of recommendations, but they were distilled by the headlines — and the wishful thinking of certain party elites — into a plan for the G.O.P. to win back the presidency mostly by shifting left on immigration.

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What Bidenism Owes to Trumpism

Because he’s a Democrat, there’s no anti-tax pledge to fall afoul of, so he can do all this while promising explicitly to raise taxes on the rich. But he’s also ditched the deficit anxieties of past Democratic administrations, he’s got a full-employment Federal Reserve behind him, and following Trump’s lead, he’s just going to run up deficits until inflation finally bites.

You can tell that these moves are well suited to the political moment because the Republicans don’t know how to counter them.

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‘Babylon Berlin,’ Babylon America?

Equally unfamiliar is the scope of viable-seeming political possibilities for the characters to embrace. In the course of the show we meet Stalinists and Trotskyists and White Russians, nationalists and fascists and would-be restorers of the Kaiser, as well as the fractious defenders of the republic. Almost all of them, crucially, have real-world correlatives for their ambitions — still-extant monarchies, the Soviet Union, Mussolini’s Italy.

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