Democrats Moved the Filibuster Overton Window

Democrats and civil-rights advocates were devastated when Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema blocked a change in Senate rules last night and allowed a Republican filibuster to kill crucial voting-rights legislation.
But for activists, the long battle over voter protections hasn’t been entirely in vain: It’s fundamentally changed the center of gravity in the Democratic Party to the point where those two holdouts are likely to be the last Democrats ever elected to the Senate who support maintaining the filibuster, at least for voting rights.

Read original

Biden’s Likeliest Supreme Court Pick

Like an air-horn blast at summer camp, the news of 83-year-old United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s imminent retirement is calling Democrats to attention. For the first time since 2016, when then-President Barack Obama tried and failed to appoint Merrick Garland to the bench, a Democratic president has the chance to fill an open seat on the Supreme Court, and this time around, he will likely be successful. But who will President Joe Biden choose?
We know that his nominee will almost certainly be a woman.

Read original

The Anti-abortion Movement’s Gen-Z Victors

The activists who had gathered at the National Mall for the March for Life knew they were winning. With every cheer, every prayer, and every round of applause, the attendees assembled in the shadow of the Washington Monument reminded themselves that this year’s rally and march could be the last one to happen in a country where abortion was at least nominally legal in every state. They waved signs: WE ARE THE POST-ROE GENERATION.

Read original

When Your Doctor Is on TikTok

In the second week of March 2020, uncertainty ruled TikTok. Students shared clips of school PA systems announcing closures and cancellations. Travelers filmed their frantic efforts to return to the U.S. before President Donald Trump’s border restrictions went into effect. And yet many users speculated that warnings of a life-reordering pandemic were overblown. Comment sections seemed angsty, but conspiracies abounded, hinting at the diverging versions of reality that lay ahead.

Read original

Democrats Moved the Filibuster Overton Window

Democrats and civil-rights advocates were devastated when Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema blocked a change in Senate rules last night and allowed a Republican filibuster to kill crucial voting-rights legislation.
But for activists, the long battle over voter protections hasn’t been entirely in vain: It’s fundamentally changed the center of gravity in the Democratic Party to the point where those two holdouts are likely to be the last Democrats ever elected to the Senate who support maintaining the filibuster, at least for voting rights.

Read original

Trump Fans Have Found Their Safe Space

You never know exactly what you’re going to get at a Trump rally—a creative variation on the “Lock her up” chant? A brand-new conspiracy theory? But you can always rely on the former president to brag about the size of the crowd. He will remark happily upon the gridlocked traffic getting into the event. He will exclaim that he cannot even pinpoint exactly where the crowd ends. And periodically, he will demand that videographers pivot their cameras around to capture the full extent of his devoted following.

Read original

Why America Can’t Test Like Europe

Except for maybe pasta and work-life balance, no topic makes liberal Americans wish they were European more than health care. So when President Joe Biden announced a plan earlier this month mandating that private insurers reimburse people for rapid coronavirus tests that they take at home, some commentators cried out that his plan was not enough.

Read original

When the Myth of Voter Fraud Comes for You

When I met with Crystal Mason recently at her home in Rendon, Texas, we sat on a wide couch that served as the center of her domain, with plenty of space for children, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces. Their photographs filled the house. Mason’s mother called to her from another room, needing advice; later, her eight-month-old grandson, Carter, joined us on the couch after waking up from an afternoon nap. For hours that day, Mason spoke candidly about the illegal-voting case that has consumed her life for half a decade. With us was one of her lawyers, Alison Grinter Allen.

Read original

The Coronavirus Turned a Rural County Into a Battleground for Millionaires

Joni Reynolds often wonders how things in Gunnison County got so out of hand. How did she, the top health official of a sparsely populated county deep in the Rocky Mountains, end up the target of national fury, and frightened enough to sleep with a gun on her nightstand?
Joni and her husband, Dennis, moved to Gunnison in 2015 to be closer to nature: the smooth waters of the Blue Mesa Reservoir; the craggy, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies; and the yellow aspens dotting the landscape in autumn.

Read original

Gen Z Is Done With the Pandemic

Taylor Robertson wasn’t expecting his freshman year of college to end at home. The 21-year-old William & Mary junior spent most of 2020 away from his campus after classes went remote in March, and like so many other students, found that the virtual format didn’t work for him. An already-difficult academic year was even more straining because he struggled to retain information from Zoom classes. When he learned that most of his fall 2020 classes would also be online, he decided to take a semester off.

Read original