Opinion A Party, and Nation, in Crisis
Biden sets out oil, gas leasing reform, stops short of ban
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday recommended an overhaul of the nation's oil and gas leasing program to limit areas available areas for energy development and raise costs for oil and gas companies to drill on public land and water. The long-awaited report by the Interior Department stops short of recommending an end to oil and gas leasing on public lands, as many environmental groups have urged. But officials said the report would lead to a more responsible leasing process that provides a better return to U.S. taxpayers. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - A flare burns natural gas at an oil well Aug. 26, 2021, in Watford City, N.D.
In October of 1860, The Atlantic’s first editor, James Russell Lowell, that he “had experience enough in public affairs to make him a statesman, and not enough to make him a politician.” Lowell, in his endorsement, was mainly concerned not with Lincoln’s personal qualities but with the redemptive possibilities of his new party. The Republicans, Lowell wrote, “know that true policy is gradual in its advances, that it is conditional and not absolute, that it must deal with facts and not with sentiments.”
There is insufficient space in any one issue of this magazine to trace the Republican Party’s decomposition from Lincoln’s day to ours. It is enough to say that its most recent, and most catastrophic, turn—toward authoritarianism, nativism, and conspiracism—threatens the republic that it was founded to save.
Democrats need to stop playing by Mitch McConnell's rules. Fight back.
The Democrats have a bad habit of being out-smarted by the right. They can course-correct by holding Republicans accountable.A savvy, or even reasonably competent political party wouldn't let the GOP forget their role in the very recent past. But the Democrats are not that party.
Stating plainly that one of America’s two major parties, the party putatively devoted to advancing the ideas and ideals of conservatism, has now fallen into autocratic disrepute is unnerving for a magazine committed to being, in the words of our founding manifesto, “of no party or clique.” Criticism of the Republican Party does not suggest an axiomatic endorsement of the Democratic Party, its leaders and policies. Substantive, even caustic, critiques can of course be made up and down the Democratic line. But avoiding partisan entanglement does not mean that we must turn away from the obvious. The leaders of the Republican Party—the soul-blighted Donald Trump and the satraps and lackeys who abet his nefarious behavior—are attempting to destroy the foundations of American democracy. This must be stated clearly, and repeatedly.
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“There will be no recovery from this crisis until the Republican Party recommits itself to democracy,” says this magazine’s David Frum, who wasthat America possessed no special immunities against .
In 2020, we asked another of our staff writers, Barton Gellman, to examine the ways in which Trumpism was weakening the norms and structures of American democracy. We published his cover story “” before the election, and well before the insurrection of January 6. “Something far out of the norm is likely to happen,” Gellman wrote. “Probably more than one thing. Expecting otherwise will dull our reflexes. It will lull us into spurious hope that Trump is tractable to forces that constrain normal incumbents.”
As we know, the system held, but barely, America having been blessed, once again, by dumb luck. (The bravery of police officers on Capitol Hill, and the wisdom of a handful of state and local officials, also helped.) When President Joe Biden was safely inaugurated, two weeks after the attack on the Capitol, a belief took hold that Trump, and Trumpism, might very well go into eclipse.
'Biden's Border Crisis': N.Y. Rep. Elise Stefanik Slammed for Denouncing Fentanyl Seizure
Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) argued that the successful seizure of the highly addictive and deadly opioid was an example of "Biden's Border Crisis.""Over 800 pounds of fentanyl were seized at our Southern Border in October," Stefanik tweeted on Monday morning. "This is Biden's Border Crisis.
But that belief was wrong. Which is why we asked Bart to examine, once again, the state of our democracy and the various attempts by Trump and other leading Republicans to claim power through voter suppression, subterfuge, and any other means necessary. His current cover story, “,” suggests that we are close—closer than most of us ever thought possible—to losing not only our democracy, but what’s left of our shared understanding of reality.
You will find in this issue other essays and reporting that illuminate the political, moral, and epistemological challenges we face today, including an investigation by Vann R. Newkirk II into Republican voter-suppression efforts, and an article by Kaitlyn Tiffany on a child-sex-trafficking panic intensified by the far right’s descent into conspiratorial thinking. The crisis is in good measure a crisis of the Republican Party. A healthy democracy requires a strong conservative party and a strong liberal party arguing for their views publicly and vigorously. What we have instead today is a liberal party battling an authoritarian cult of personality. As David Brooks writes in his essay “I Remember Conservatism”: “To be a conservative today, you have to oppose much of what the Republican Party has come to stand for.”
The Atlantic, across its long history, has held true to the belief that the American experiment is a worthy one, which is why we’re devoting this issue, and so much of our journalism in the coming years, to its possible demise.
This article appears in theprint edition with the headline “A Party, and Nation, in Crisis.”
British PM Johnson facing crisis as nation reacts to government parties held during COVID lockdowns .
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a crisis in his country and government as revelations of secret parties with administration officials during COVID-19 lockdown rules continue to leak to the public. Reports of a 2020 Christmas party broke last week when The Daily Mirror reported that between 40 and 50 members of Johnson’s staff gathered at least twice for celebrations while the rest of the country observed strict government-imposed lockdown protocols. One source who claimed knowledge of the party called it "a Covid nightmare.