SOURCE: The Atlantic
The gravest danger to American democracy isn’t an excess of vitriol—it’s the false promise of civility.
by Adam Serwer
"The idea that we’re currently experiencing something like the nadir of American civility ignores the turmoil that has traditionally characterized the nation’s politics, and the comparatively low level of political violence today despite the animosity of the moment." Serwer cites historian Manisha Sinha.
It’s long been derided as myth, but the story keeps popping up.
A letter from former President William Howard Taft attacking the nomination of Louis D. Brandeis to the U.S. Supreme Court in thinly veiled anti-Semitic terms may be of historic value, but apparently not $15,000 worth.
SOURCE: New Historian
Disappointed when Woodrow Wilson didn’t name him to a vacancy on the Supreme Court, he lashed out at Louis Brandeis, who got the seat.
by Sheldon M. Stern
William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt used to be the closest of intimates... until the election of 1912.
NEW HAVEN — William Howard Taft was not born there; he did not live or even die there. But for a few years, the 27th president did own the house at 111 Whitney Avenue in New Haven, and that association has conferred on the structure a certain historical gravitas.Now a group of current and former Yale students is betting the building can do the same for the William F. Buckley Jr. Program, which seeks to “expand political discourse on campus and to expose students to often-unvoiced views.” (It is a goal Mr. Buckley himself might have expressed, albeit with more syllables.)Thanks to $500,000 from a single, unnamed donor, the group will soon move into the William H. Taft Mansion — with a two-year lease and an option to buy — and attempt the transformation from a local undergraduate venture into a conservative policy institute with a presence on the national political landscape....
Despite some tensions with his fellow Republicans, Chris Christie is well-positioned to become the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. He's poised to easily win another term as governor; he polls strongly against Hillary Clinton; and he's successfully tapped into voter discontent about the partisanship, political posturing, and general bullshittery that plagues Washington. There's just one problem: Christie is very overweight — so much so that one esteemed former White House physician (a Republican, in fact) is worried he could die in office....
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