Author: Bonnie Honig

Waiting for John Kelly?

Waiting for John Kelly? He cannot save the Republic from what ails it.* Bonnie Honig   In the New Yorker, John Cassidy refers to the story that Trump routinely refers to deceased and injured members of the US military “suckers” and “losers” as a “controversy” and calls on John Kelly, the General who served as Trump’s Chief of Staff, from 2017 to 2019, to settle it by saying “publicly what he knows.” But it is not a “controversy.” It is a well-reported and multiply confirmed story that the Administration denies. And John Kelly is not the one to settle...

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Spitballing in a Pandemic

Spitballing in a Pandemic Bonnie Honig   Isn’t it ironic that bleach, an agent of whitening, may bring about Trump’s downfall? After all he has done for whiteness? And that television, the medium that gave life to his personal and political ambitions, may be the instrument of his demise? Social distancing recommends we stay 6 feet apart from each other lest our speaking, sneezing, or coughing spread viral droplets to others. Spit is a carrier of Covid 19, a danger to public health. So is spitballing, which is what Trump dangerously did at the White House Press briefing on...

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In the streets a serenade

In the streets a serenade Bonnie Honig Emergencies like the current public health crisis can be occasions to retrench democracy or deepen it. Which will it be? In England, local elections are being deferred for a year as part of a more general crowd avoidance strategy designed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus ( England’s electoral commission recommended deferring the local elections until autumn but the government has opted for a delay of one year instead, for reasons that are “not clear,” an MP said. For the moment, however, West End theater performances have not been cancelled...

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Breathing Room: Dingell v Trump

Breathing Room: Dingell v. Trump Bonnie Honig   Watching Trump in Michigan this week talking about Debbie and John Dingell, I was struck by how he spoke the words as well as by what he said. Commentators noted the offenses against Dingell, the universally liked, longest serving Congressman from Michigan, who is recently deceased and unable therefore to respond to the suggestion he may be in Hell not Heaven right now. But the real target of Trump’s ire was not the man but his widow, Debbie Dingell, who at that moment was in Washington D.C. voting for his impeachment....

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MUELLER, THEY WROTE  BONNIE HONIG     Commenting on the Mueller testimony yesterday, James Poniewozik, of the New York Times, noted the difficulty of adapting big books for the small screen. “Asked to Put On a Show, Mueller Wishes You’d Read the Book,” was his witty headline. But the headline was misleading. What happened yesterday was more like an episode of live reality TV.   The thing about live reality TV is it doesn’t always go the way you expect. Regular TV programming, reality TV included, is scripted and edited. Only on live television might something actually happen. Janet Jackson’s...

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