Lots of Republican kooks still think that Obama is not a real American

One of the more pathetic aspects of Mitt Romney’s effort to deny Barack Obama a second term in the White House a few years ago was the extent to which he or his surrogates portrayed the president as the dreaded “Other,” a “foreign” interloper who’s not really American. “I don’t think he understands America,” Romney said of Obama at one point. “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” said Romney campaign chairman John Sununu. Obama’s political philosophy “does not comport with the American experience,” Romney said in a...

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Here’s why Donald Trump appeals mostly to people of little political sophistication

A list of synonyms for “sophisticated” includes these words: knowledgeable, aware, practical, educated and experienced. These are not words that apply to people who want simple answers to complicated problems. They are not words that apply to people who think Donald Trump makes a lot of sense. Trump’s political rhetoric consists mainly of streams of consciousness adding up to ridiculous simplisms. He promises to be a president who simply tells everyone what to do — the Mexicans, the Chinese, whomever. There is no...

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Republicans denounced the deal with Iran before they knew what it said

My Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines the term “knee-jerk” as follows: “Reacting in a readily predictable way.” It’s a perfect term for the Republican reaction to the agreement reached with Iran the other day by the United States and certain other major nations. We all knew what the Republicans would say, didn’t we? We all knew that the GOP’s warmongers would hate the agreement, didn’t we? We all knew that almost any deal brokered by the Obama administration would elicit the...

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The Republican Party’s real problem is its angry base, not Donald Trump

The chattering classes of  American politics, me included, are busy these days examining the Donald Trump phenomenon in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. How in the world, we’re all asking ourselves, did this egotistical crackpot become a factor in this contest? Perhaps the answer is that Trump is just filling a void. If it wasn’t him, it would be some other crackpot. Of course, Trump isn’t going to win the nomination. The Republican Party isn’t that far-gone. But his surge suggests that we should...

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If the GOP loses the culture wars, its tricks on economic issues will be laid bare

Here are the trends: President Obama is rising in the polls. Americans generally approve of recent Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and Obamacare. The Confederate flag has fallen into great disfavor, and Americans are more sensitive to the persistence of white racism in our society. Donald Trump’s wild disparagements of immigrants have made him a pariah. Much of the populace is laughing at the clown car full of GOP presidential candidates. Yes, these and other developments are evidence that the long-term right-wing offensive in the...

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