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  • Tom Liesegang

The Suffocation of Democracy

Updated: Mar 22, 2019


Historian Christopher R. Browning has written an insightful article highlighting the similarities between the current political climate in the U.S. under the Trump administration against the rise of European fascism during the interwar period of the 20th century. Here is an exerpt:


"If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments. Systematic obstruction of nominations in Obama’s first term provoked Democrats to scrap the filibuster for all but Supreme Court nominations. Then McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination required him in turn to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to complete the “steal” of Antonin Scalia’s seat and confirm Neil Gorsuch."

Read the full article here: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/10/25/suffocation-of-democracy/



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