How Biden Looks at the World

In his first foreign policy speech as president, delivered at the State Department on February 4, 2021, Joe Biden laid out his vision of America’s engagement with the world. In its conventional combination of the stick of military power and the carrot of diplomacy, Biden’s address heralded a return to the foreign policy status quo of the “a la carte multilateralism” that has...
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The Claudius Presidency

Caligula was by all accounts a nasty piece of work. During the nearly four years that he ruled over the Roman empire in the first century CE, Caligula was notorious for sexual predation and extravagant spending. Never one to sell himself short, he proclaimed early on that he was a god. He held the Senate in such contempt that he forced its high-ranking members to run alongside his chariot for...
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Knives Out: Boycott, Purge, and Prosecute

The Biden administration has promised to promote unity when it takes office later this month. That’s an excellent message after four years of deliberate provocation and polarization coming from the Trump administration. But the incoming administration must also draw a clear line between what is and is not acceptable political behavior. And the best way to draw that line is to kick out Trump’s...
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America and the Mob

The United States began as a glint in the eyes of an English mob of oddballs, dissenters, and criminals let loose on what they considered virgin territory. Once secure in their new digs, they administered rough justice to the original Americans and any colonist who fell afoul of community rules. Eventually, casting aside their imperial British overlords, the rabble achieved a measure of...
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America’s Destructive Denialisms

The presidential election wasn’t close. Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, which translates to a margin of 4.5 percent. His Electoral College victory was larger than either of George W. Bush’s. Yet, Donald Trump still refuses to concede. The soon-to-be-ex-president tried to pressure Republican legislators to overturn the election results in the states where Biden’s...
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Who Needs Zombies When We Have Republicans?

The 2017 film Bushwick begins like a lot of zombie flicks. An unsuspecting couple is walking through a subway station in the working-class neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn. The station is eerily empty. They hear gunfire outside. The boyfriend goes out to investigate, and you know from the conventions of a zombie film that this is a very bad idea. No need for a spoiler alert: he dies. The...
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