9/11

Spencer Ackerman: How 9/11 Destabilized America and Produced Trump

The Reign of Terror author on fighting surveillance and interventionism done in the name of stopping jihad.

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In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the United States invaded and occupied two countries, bombed four others, helped to create 21 million refugees and cause over 800,000 deaths, and spent over $6 trillion on combat and anti-terrorism measures.

In Reign of Terror, national security reporter Spencer Ackerman argues that the war on terror also profoundly destabilized American politics and helped to produce the Donald Trump presidency. He talks with Reason about how to stop the growth in government surveillance and military interventionism underwritten by overwrought fears of Islamic terrorism.

NEXT: How 9/11 Actually Changed Everything

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  1. The only thing less believable than blaming everything on Trump is blaming everything (including Trump, somehow) on Bush.

    1. Agree. It’s quite a stretch. Rather than tribalizing the country, 9/11 seemed to usher in a weird era of bipartisan love for military intervention and rights trampling.

      1. That was the reality I was living in. Maybe this is some kind of MCU multiverse?

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    2. Haven’t watched yet, anything other than partisan shilling from Ackerman? His career should have ended ten years ago.
      https://www.politico.com/story/2010/07/unlike-weigel-ackerman-keeps-job-039974

      1. Pepperidge Farms is delicious! Thanks for the link.

        OTOH, Ackermann is rocking a recent book (Good timing getting it out around any potential 20th Anniversary terror-related news from our new friends in Kabul!), and a lot of the Editors here…aren’t.

  2. This headline is a joke, right? The seeds of trump were already sewn with Ross perot’s candidacy in 1992.

    1. No, they were sewn into the mere existence of government. Government expands, always. There might be ways to slow it down, but that would require giving individuals the power to hold government accountable, and government will never allow that. We will probably never see a government with built-in reliable brakes.

    2. I blame Hillary for Trump. If it hadn’t been for her well documented war booner and hatred for the working class Trump would have had no chance.

      1. The two most hated candidates in modern history. And one of them decided she didn’t need to campaign in flyover country, completely ignoring the Electoral College. If Hillary had actually campaigned in swing states she would have easily won. But she was an idiot. Trump was brilliant. Evil, but brilliant. He knew how to take over the Republican Party, and literally no one saw it coming even though he bragged he could do it years before.

        And Hillary reminds me of Newsom. Big giant recall next week, and he’s got Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders campaigning for him. 55% of the state are not registered Democrat. Yet he’s campaigning directly to the Democrats. And of those Democrats, only 65% call themselves “liberal”. So while for partisan races the Democrats are a sure win, for non-partisan issues races the Democrats aren’t nearly so solid. So Newsom has a very good shot at losing because he pulled a Hillary and forget to campaign to the average voter.

        1. How was Trump evil?
          A braggart, yes. A jackass? sure. Annoying, arrogant, self-pitying and definitely intemperate, but he was still the least evil president since Carter, and maybe even Coolidge.

          1. It’s a very low bar. Evil and the presidency go hand in hand.

            1. Same could be said about your sophist rants that contribute nothing

        2. Hillary’s numbers went down when ever she showed her face. So it’s no guarantee she would have won showing up in Wisconsin et al. She had the same jinx when she was FLOTUS dragging down Bubba’s numbers. They had to start hiding her.

        3. “If Hillary had actually campaigned in swing states she would have easily won.”

          Actually, she was wise to avoid the swing states. Her personality was such that she actually became LESS popular as she became more visible. Generic Democrats typically out-poll real ones, but she was an extreme example of this.

      2. 2016 really was a shocking year. Both parties could have walked outside their HQs and grabbed the first person they saw off the street and ended up with a more likeable candidate. I’m not entirely sure what kind of person Hillary Clinton could beat in an actual election. An unrepentant literal cannibal? A dead person? Kim Jong Un?

        1. She MIGHT be able to beat Stalin. But it would be a squeaker.

        2. She might maybe could beat Stephen Miller, John Bolton, Henry Kissinger, or Nixon’s head. No one else.

        3. Hillary was the Democrat insider’s choice. Which is why the Democrat insiders had such high hopes for her clone Elizabeth Warren. The Democrats really wanted Bernie Sanders, who is not, in fact, a member of the Democrat Party.

          The Democrats are facing as big as an upset as the Republicans faced with Trump. My fear is that they will go full socialist as in eastern bloc style socialist.

          1. I guess I just don’t get it. You really want a woman on your ticket. Okay, that’s kinda sexist, but let’s roll with that. You’re out to pick a woman to be the next presidential candidate for the Democratic party and the person you pick is Hillary “Gert” Clinton? Really? What about one of those summer interns? You know, some wacko AOC-clone from Portland or something.

            I’m not saying AOC is a good choice for president!!! but she’s like 1000% more likeable than HRC and doesn’t have an email server in her bathroom closet, afaik and, to date, has never been allowed close enough to the levers of power to have already done great harm. If your party is up against the spray-tan king of fly-by-nite late night tv scams and serial molester she is a FAR better choice than what they ended up picking. Again, I’m not condoning that choice. There are certainly many MANY smarter and MANY MANY MANY more competent people in the Democratic Party than that, but what I’m saying is there are options, and of all the options they somehow chose the worst one.

            1. Look, I don’t like Hillary, her morals are in the sewer, and she’s about as unlikable as it gets, but nobody is better at the actual mechanics of politics. She was the political brains behind her husband, and if in 2016 she’d have decided to be the power broker putting somebody else in office, she could have elected basically anybody who was at least minimally likeable.

              The problem is, she didn’t want to be the power behind the throne, she wanted to sit in the throne herself. In theory she could have run as somebody’s VP and then replaced them, but nobody who wasn’t suicidal would have agreed to that, so she had to be at the top of the ticket.

              The Dems couldn’t run anybody else, because by the time the primaries started she had it already all sewn up, complete with internally taking over the DNC and making it part of her campaign.

              But she still had such a reputation for corruption, and massively negative charisma, that the only reason she did as well as she did was the Republican establishment trying like mad to lose that election so that Trump couldn’t take the party over.

        4. If you think Trump wasn’t likeable to a hell of a lot of people, you might not know shit about people.

      3. I thought it was trendy to blame Obama, and that idiotic D.C. dinner gala, for goading Trump into running? Though it did show the world what Maria Bartiromo was working with all of this time, so that wasn’t bad.

    3. This bipolar tribalism is very old, right from the founding of the country. We’ve actually had it worse. The Andrew Jackson era for example. We just happened to have about fifty years of “solidarity” after WWII so everyone got the idea that the two tribes being loyal opposition parties was normal. Hah!

      I blame the trends on the media of the time. In the old days every town had two newspapers, the Daily Democrat and the Morning Republican (or whatever the names were in your city). Extremely partisan. Political cartoons that weren’t at all subtle. Then after WWII we got cartel of government broadcasting so everyone had exactly the same news spin, unless you had a local gadfly on UHF or cable access. We thought we broke through with the internet and hypercheap publishing (everyone had a blog and the best floated to the top) but then short form social media took over and everything became bubbles and bumperstickerthought. The tribal walls are nearly impenetrable now.

  3. Trump is the result of far left and neocon policies that are anti American at the core. Witness the witless wonder Biden and his merry band of psychopaths. 24 years of Clinton/Bush/Obama helped people understand just how terrible the federal government had become and how badly we got screwed over free trade with China.

    1. I was reading through the comments on this article. They were cogent, well-reasoned, and the opposite of shrill partisanship. Then I got to yours……

      1. I thought the same about yours. Buckleup was actually pretty on the nose.

        1. Not mine, but yours. It reeks of ineptitude and lack of breeding. Your family line is likely less than one generation away from the single-wide at the trailer park.

          1. Where’s yours from, the dog pound? Because you whine like a bitch.

          2. “and lack of breeding”

            Oh my stars, Reason has been blessed with a visit from a genuine aristocrat.
            Nothing says libertarian like a parvenu boasting to the hoi-polloi of his provenance.

            From now on I will address you as Your Majesty.

  4. *puts a bag of popcorn in the microwave*

    1. Funny thing here is that Gillespie has said more than once, on the Reason Roundtable podcast, that he would have preferred Trump’s winning a second term over Biden.

      Which makes me wonder, once again, when Reason staff submit posts to their blog, so they make up their own headlines, or is there some editor who tries to come up with a more clickbait-worthy, trolling headline?

      (Caveat: From things Gillespie has said more recently, it may be that he has changed his mind about preferring Trump after the events of January 6th.)

      1. Funny thing here is that Gillespie has said more than once, on the Reason Roundtable podcast, that he would have preferred Trump’s winning a second term over Biden.

        Everyone believes that now.

        1. Not sure what you are saying. I’m not making it up. He did say it, more than once.

          1. I’m making a facetious comment about voters’ regret about Biden in general.

        2. “Press X for Doubt.”

          1. “X wasn’t real communism!”

      2. From the amount of TDS regularly crammed into headlines on unrelated stories, I’ve always assumed ENB writes the headlines.

      3. Trump is already working on undermining confidence in the integrity of the CA recall election:

        https://www.sfgate.com/gavin-newsom-recall/article/Trump-recall-voter-fraud-rigged-Newsom-ballot-mail-16442942.php

        1. Maybe because it’s obvious to absolutely everyone on the planet that Team Newsom is trying to fix it, and Trump’s just stating the obvious.
          Pretty sure there’s uncontacted tribes in the Amazon that know what Newsom’s been up to.

      4. Which makes me wonder, once again, when Reason staff submit posts to their blog, so they make up their own headlines, or is there some editor who tries to come up with a more clickbait-worthy, trolling headline?

        I’ll point out, once again, that in 2016, the tone and candor of many members of the staff changed dramatically and that Reason employes all editors and no writers. I see no reason to not to believe that every word, except possibly the by line, isn’t written by Chinese bots.

  5. “Reagan Democrats no longer saw the Democratic party as champions of their working class aspirations, but instead saw them as working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos and other groups.”

    —-Reagan Democrats

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_Democrat

    That was written about Reagan in 1980 and 1984, but it might as well have been written about Trump in 2016.

    The white, blue collar, middle class of the Midwest used to be the bread and butter of the Democratic party. They were still voting for Obama in 2008. They were chased out of the Democratic party by social justice warriors and elitists, who point the finger at the white blue collar, middle class, in this country, and blame them for everything from xenophobia and sexism to homophobia and racism. The Democratic party told their own base how much they hated them for so long, and eventually, they started to believe them.

    Trump won the Republican primaries in 2016 by winning big in states with open primaries–in states where registered Democrats could vote for Trump in the primaries. The reason Trump emerged as a force in American politics is because social justice warriors chased the white, blue collar, middle class out of the Democratic party.

    1. Take a look at this chart from March of 2016:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/22/trumps-big-advantage-open-primaries.html#

      When the primaries still mattered, Trump won almost every state with an open primary–the only notable exceptions were open primary states in which a native son was running: Kasich won Ohio and Cruz won Texas. The registered Democrats voted for Trump because they were being chased out of the Democratic party by social justice warriors and over issues like environmentalism, trade with China, immigration, etc.

    2. “The reason Trump emerged as a force in American politics is because …” he was running against Hillary Clinton, the possessor of one of the least personable personalities in politics.

      The reason Biden won is … he was running against Donald Trump, who had just demonstrated for four years that he possesses one of the least stable, offensive personalities in the world.

      1. Nonsense. Both elections were so close that no such conclusions can be derived.

        1. Nonsense. Clinton won by 3 million popular votes. Biden won by 8 million popular votes and also carried the electoral college by a winning edge of 74 votes. That is NOT close.

          1. Lol, sure he did.
            Trump beat Obama’s highest count by 5 million votes. Then Biden roared in suddenly at four in the morning with an instant paradigm busting 11 million votes. It’s a modern miracle. 150 years of vote percentage decrease suddenly reversed within seconds to show the biggest voter increase in American history, and for Joe Biden no less. An instant 4AM miracle.

            Obama 2012 Trump 2020 Biden 2020
            69 million 74 million 81 million
            873 counties 2497 counties 477 counties
            18/19 bellwether 18/19 bellwether 1/19 bellwether
            Won FL, OH, IA Won FL, OH, IA Lost FL, OH, IA
            Won House seats Won House seats Lost House seats

            Nothing suspicious there.

            1. >>> It’s a modern miracle.

              it’s too fucking obvious to be a miracle.

          2. Is this the first time you’ve heard about the electoral college?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_college

          3. There was NO FUCKING POPULAR VOTE.

            There were 50 different popular votes.

            Just as in every sport I have ever heard of. Season winners are the most games won, not the most points scored over all those individual games.

            You fucking retards bring that crap up over and over again, never addressing the pig which is photo bombing your picture.

            1. We’re suddenly supposed to ignore the electoral college because he doesn’t like it.

              1. He doesn’t have an argument unless he ignores it, so here we are.

            2. One quibble: There are 51 popular votes. Can’t leave old DC out of the discussion. Otherwise they may want to become a state or something.

    3. Exhibit B:

      Blue-state Republicans have abandoned the establishment for Donald J. Trump. So far, Mr. Trump has won every non-caucus contest in a state carried by Barack Obama in 2012, with the exception of John Kasich’s home state, Ohio . . . . If he eventually gets a majority of delegates to the Republican convention, it will be because of the 15 or so most reliably Democratic states.

      His appeal in historically Democratic areas is a reflection of strength among new Republicans — whether they be white Southerners or white Roman Catholics and working-class voters in the North who would have had no place in the Republican Party a half-century ago . . . .

      Mr. Trump’s strength among those voters, who decades ago represented the base of the Democratic Party, helps explain the resilience of his candidacy. It’s no surprise that they are not offended by his unorthodox policy views, like his embrace of entitlement programs or his opposition to free trade. They may have moved to the Republican side, but they still have moderate views on economics.

      “Donald Trump’s Secret Weapon: Blue-State Voters”

      —-NYT, March 2016

      https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/upshot/trumps-secret-weapon-blue-state-voters.html

      If you asked Trump voters, circa 2016, to identify by party over the phone, they might tell you they’re Republicans. However, people generally only change their party when they register to vote, and they only register to vote when they move, renew their driver’s license, etc. Plenty of those Trump voters pulled the lever for Obama in 2008 and were registered Democrats in 2016.

      Trump, like Reagan, won because of his appeal to the white, blue collar, middle class of the Midwest. The Democrats have alienated their own base, and the economic fallout from the pandemic and the lockdowns is just that. It’s not a permanent sea change. The trick is still appealing to swing voters in swing states, and those voters both loved Trump’s polices and detest the elitism of the Democrats. 2022 is shaping up to be a bloodbath for the Democrats in the House.

      1. I thought it was pretty well known that a big chunk of Trump’s voters had also been Obama’s voters. Blue collar white people who felt neglected by the political class. Obama promised Hope and Change yet failed to deliver on that promise and what was Making America Great Again but a warmed-over promise of Hope and Change? If Trump represented some sort of sea change in the American electorate, what the hell was Obama, chopped liver?

    4. I won’t disagree with that. Call it Duverger’s Law or just simple tribalism, but the Democrats decided they no longer wanted to represent the average working class American. At the same time the Republican got tired of ideological conservatism and just wanted a good old fashioned culture war. And then along came Trump to play both sides.

      1. At the same time the Republican got tired of ideological conservatism and just wanted a good old fashioned culture war.

        I disagree with this. In my opinion, it was exactly the reverse of this. The conservatives had largely abandoned the culture war, with people like Pat Buchanan having publicly called a “truce” in the culture wars almost three decades ago.

        There were always culture warriors on the right, but they got pretty well trounced on many subjects after the 1980s and… for the most part, abandoned the old moral crusades.

        Then something happened in the mid 2000s– beginning in earnest around 2010 where there was this sudden leftward shift in the mainstream which became obsessed with race, women’s issues, and then around 2015 trans issues (shit, I can almost remember the DAY that trans issues shot to the forefront by said activists demanding a national shift in bathroom policy that had to be completed in every corner of the land before the weekend).

        A lot of this surprised people like me who, up to that point had always shown the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” libertarian card. Suddenly I was a racist, a sexist, a homophobe and a transphobe, sporting a little square mustache and a bad landscape painting career. America was the worst place on the plant for brown people, women, gay people, trans people… and society needed radical transformation, it had to happen now, and if it didn’t, American cities would burn.

        We can argue about WHY this happened, but I believe in the theory that as the left began to shift further left, and it had successfully marched out of the academies and onto various mainstream institutions such as corporate boardrooms etc, that they felt emboldened with their ideas and began to argue for practical application of them. And like all things from the left, incremental change through slow, thoughtful reform is never good enough. The courts need to rule, and rule now, and change needs to be sudden, swift and revolutionary in nature.

        1. There were always culture warriors on the right, but they got pretty well trounced on many subjects after the 1980s and… for the most part, abandoned the old moral crusades.

          Yeah. It’s funny to hear the old counter cultural rock songs of the 80s and 90s talk about casting off the shackles of the moral majority. My favorite is “They rally ’round the family with a pocket full of shells” (from RATM’s Bulls On Parade) especially after the last 18 mos. of record gun and ammunition purchases.

          Yes, Zack, yes we do rally around the family with a pocket full of shells.

          1. I’ve ALWAYS rallied ’round my family with a pocket full of shells, because the Seattle PD ain’t gonna do it.

        2. Yes. They abandoned the religious right for a big-government neocon platform that is indistinguishable from most of the HRC platform.

    5. It’s quite a stretch to claim “Trump emerged as a force in American politics is because social justice warriors chased the white, blue collar, middle class out of the Democratic party”. The real reason Trump won open primaries is because the Democratic Party, with a wink and a nod, encouraged Democrats to vote for Trump in the belief that he would be the Republican most easily beaten by Hillary Clinton. And she did win the popular vote and would have own the whole shebang if she’d bothered to campaign in the Midwest.

      1. And then Trump increased his vote totals in 2020, despite that Democratic party saying anyone who voted for him is a racist.

        The real reason Trump won open primaries is because the Democratic Party, with a wink and a nod, encouraged Democrats to vote for Trump in the belief that he would be the Republican most easily beaten by Hillary Clinton.

        And by the way, there’s no evidence this happened en masse.

        I don’t believe there were a lot of Democrats who switched parties just to strategically vote in the Republican primary.

        Plus, it GREATLY oversimplifies the insurgency by Bernie Sanders who rattled the core of the DNC, so much so they had to engage in an internal campaign against him. The Democratic party was split, confused, and large numbers stayed home in 2016 because either they though Hillary was a shoo-in, or they were protesting Sanders’ sidelining.

        1. I agree with your last paragraph. Many Sanders supporters voted for Trump either in protest against the Democrats treatment of him and them or because they despised Hillary Clinton. But that’s quite different from what Ken claimed.

          1. Okay, EdG is definitely another Mike Laursen sock. The word choice and sentence structure here makes it super obvious.

            I guess White Mike was tired of you muting him, Ken.

        2. Thing is, given how happily Bernie just gave up and towed the line, even in the primary, none of it should have been a surprise.

          Sanders is and always was a total pussy.

      2. “The real reason Trump won open primaries is because the Democratic Party, with a wink and a nod, encouraged Democrats to vote for Trump in the belief that he would be the Republican most easily beaten by Hillary Clinton.”

        This would make more sense if Trump hadn’t drawn enough support in swing states in the general election from the same Democrats to win the election in 2016.

        You seem to be projecting emotions onto the statistics. I’m looking at the statistics and drawing conclusions. Do you see the difference?

        Is it important for you to believe that Democrats voted for him but didn’t want him for some good reason?

        1. We know that the DNC felt trump was a preferred candidate and promoted him.

          Actions in evidence:. Debates devoted nearly half the time and questions to Trump, not the <10% that you would expect.

          DNC operatives like NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and even The View offered him tons of air time during the primary with no attacks. (Contrast with the next 4.5 years)

          1. The Podesta emails made it clear that the DNC had plans to promote “weak” candidates for HRC to defeat.

            Oops.

            Remember, this was the same DNC that rigged the democrat primary.

            1. What was it, something like 2 billion USD in estimated airtime the networks pretty much donated to covering Trump? Thought I saw an estimate of around that number, shortly after he was elected.

              Of course, he likely gave them great ratings.

            2. You think swing voters in swing states voted for Trump because the Democratic party wanted them to–like really?!

              I thought you were joking.

              No, actually, the white, blue collar, middle class genuinely and truly like Trump very much–and came to despise the Democrats very much.

              And that is in evidence because white, middle class, blue collar voters in rust belt swing states, like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, broke for Trump instead of Clinton in the general election. And that’s in spite of what the Democratic party was telling them to do.

              1. No, I think the Dems actually did try to intervene and push trump.

                I think they had no idea what they were dealing with.

                To be fair, neither did the Republicans who were desperate to get rid of him. (Never Trump Republicans really existed)

                Also to be fair, neither did I. I proclaimed his candidacy to be a joke, and his polling support to be a lark, right here on these pages. Trump broke them all by speaking to their real needs. Scott Adams may have been the only person who understood Trump during the primaries.

                1. What I mean is not that they were responsible for Trump winning… But that they tried to help and inadvertantly let him speak his mind for a half a year without any impediments. People listened and liked what they heard while cocktail party journalists snickered behind his back about what an idiot he was. They had no idea what the people were thinking

                  They still don’t. They think we all believe that the USA is totally racist and white privelege must be battled everywhere.

                  In short… These people love sniffing their own farts.

      3. So, Democratic voters followed winking and nodding DNC orders to vote for Trump in R primaries but then refused to obey the follow-on orders to vote for HRC in the general?

        Ok. Go with that.

        1. I do think he’s correct.

          Dems thought Trump was easily beaten and letting him talk would kill him. They were very wrong in their estimate. And by the time they realized there was a mistake, damage was done.

  6. >>helped to produce the Donald Trump presidency.

    so to whom do I send thank-you cookies?

  7. Sort of OT:
    ” The Los Angeles police department (LAPD) has directed its officers to collect the social media information of every civilian they interview, including individuals who are not arrested or accused of a crime, according to records shared with the Guardian.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/08/revealed-los-angeles-police-officers-gathering-social-media

    1. L – A – P – D / You’re run – ning out of con – tro – ol

    2. I haven’t read the link, but I literally don’t have any idea how that works.

      Officer: Yeah, soo… I’m gonna need all your social media information.

      Me: Don’t have any

      Officer: That can’t be. Everyone’s on facebook.

      Me: Not me.

      Officer: Snapchat?

      Me: Nope.

      Officer: Insta… twitter, tumblr… tinder?

      Me: Nope.

      Officer: That’s unusual… I … ok… I guess we’re done here.

      1. >>>Officer: That’s unusual…

        “do you mind coming in for further questioning?”

          1. Wanna see my Grindr profile?

    3. well I’m sure thats illegal, not that it will matter

      1. “well I’m sure thats illegal, not that it will matter”

        Well, it certainly IS legal to tell them “none of your f’ing business.

  8. It seems to be a bit of a stretch to blame the irrational anti-Muslimism and it’s subsequent anti-“other”-ism on 9/11 when you’re looking at a country which went through the Red Scare, the internment of Japanese-Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the extermination of the Indians and the enslavement of Africans. I’d suggest that Americans have a long history of treating other people badly. Looking at the larger picture however, I’m a little at a loss to point to any other countries that seem to have a better record than the US at being tolerant of foreigners. In fact, I might go so far as to suggest that fear and hatred of foreigners seems to be a universal constant.

    1. I’d suggest that Americans have a long history of treating other people badly. Looking at the larger picture however, I’m a little at a loss to point to any other countries that seem to have a better record than the US at being tolerant of foreigners.

      As Douglas Murray said in an interview… “you want to play the historical grievance game? Fine, let’s have a go. I want to go after Turkey, first.”

      1. “Where does Ankara send Kim Kardashian’s reparations cheque?”

      2. Better? Pick one that is within the same ballpark.

        Most are like Japan or China. You might be allowed to come there, but you will never be Japanese. Or Korean. Or French. Or Swedish.

        But nobody pretends that only white Europeans can be Americans…. Except for progressive activists and BLM.

    2. Such irrational anti-Muslimism…that the US elected a madrassa-educated candidate for President barely seven years later.

      LOL, did Ackermann actually write that?

      1. Pretty excellent.

        And we did a really good job of pretending that a)he was amazing because of all of his foreign roots and b) none of that happened ant only white supremacist conspiracy theorists would dare mention it. Heck, only a white supremacist would mention his middle name.

      2. Well, he did advocate calling anybody who didn’t like Obama as racists as part of that Journolist thing.

    3. I think you are gonna need to support that base premise. I recall no such wave of anti-muslim hatred. In fact, there was a massive amount of bending over backward to demonstrate that we were not doing that.

      So much so that when a Muslim activist killed a bunch of gay people at a gay night club because he supported the juhad, we spent most of our time talking about homophobia and white supremacy and trying desperately to avoid the “M” word. Turns out, dude didn’t know it was a gay club and just wanted a crowd of infidels.

      But sure… Go with the premise that America is seething with anti-muslim hate.

      When you make up your premises out of whole cloth, arguments are much easier.

  9. Spencer Ackerman argues that the war on terror also profoundly destabilized American politics and helped to produce the Donald Trump presidency.

    We probably shouldn’t trust the judgement of anyone who believes making baseless accusations of racism is an acceptable political tactic as Spencer Ackerman does. Since he’ll say anything to support the team his views have no relationship to reality.

  10. This is an idiotic premise. If this were assigned by a high school teacher as an exercise and nothing more, fine. But as an actual premise for understanding the state of America?

    Good lord.

    Just don’t offer up any more opinions.

  11. Kurt Eichenwald, Ezra Klein, Markos Moulitsas not available?

  12. Is there something wrong when a Libertarian magazine can’t seem to stop bashing the most Libertarian President the USA has had in decades?

    Trump didn’t start ANY new surveillance agencies.
    Trump did start a committee to DEREGULATE!
    …. A libertarian step not seen since; since I’ve been alive….

    1. Reason magazine may still be somewhat Libertarian, but the site stopped being so years ago.

    2. Nixon inaugurated a bunch of commissions to study deregulation, and they wound up bearing fruit during the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations after their reports came in. The only one that wasn’t effective was the one that recommended deregulating marijuana.

  13. TDS on full display here. Demorats ensured Rump would be the one to face-off against repugnant Hitlery

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