'American democracy now seems perilously close to the point of no return'

Opinion, comment and editorials of the day

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"Vulgar and violent rhetoric" is "obliterating the fundamental components" of democracy
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'Obliterating the fundamental components of a functioning democracy'

Glenn C. Altschuler at The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) attempt to relax the chamber's dress code flopped, says Glenn C. Altschuler at The Hill. Critics said letting senators dress like Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman, who prefers hoodies and shorts, would further erode respect for government. Senators reinstated the code, but making politicians wear fancy clothes hasn't quieted the "vulgar and violent rhetoric" that is "obliterating the fundamental components" of democracy, "including the 'loyal opposition' and the rule of law."

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'Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley have partisans. Donald Trump has fans'

Ben Jacobs in Slate

Donald Trump "has merged fan culture with American politics," says Ben Jacobs in Slate. The former president's rallies are merchandising bonanzas filled with "superfans" who "treat his events with the same regard that Deadheads used to treat a live show with." Trump loyalists don't make up a majority of the Republican Party, but might be "the decisive reason for Trump's political strength" despite 91 criminal charges and solid GOP challengers like Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.

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'Iran is off-limits'

Jay Mens in Tablet

The Biden administration is letting Iran off the hook for its involvement in Hamas' deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel, says Jay Mens in Tablet. The White House, determined to de-escalate tensions, is pretending Iran is distinct from "military proxies" — Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad — "it arms, funds, and trains" to "wage cost-free proxy warfare" against Israel and the United States. "Obfuscating Iran's role" only validates "Tehran's regional strategy, thereby shielding it against retaliation."

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'School choice is now a reality in half a dozen states'

Douglas Carswell in the Washington Examiner

School choice "is no longer unthinkable," says Douglas Carswell in the Washington Examiner. Several states now "give each child an Education Freedom Account, into which the state pays about $8,000 to 10,000 each year." Parents "can then allocate that money to either a public, private, or church school of their choice." Some critics object, saying this will "defund public education," but that's a bogus argument. "Allowing families to choose their grocery store does not 'defund' Walmart."

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