Now we know what the doomsayers feel like when the decreed day of judgment passes by without thunderbolts or second comings. Americans Elect, which was going to save our benighted political system with the ultimate deus ex machina—a bipartisan, third-choice presidential ticket borne from an online nominating process funded by leveraged-buyout tycoon Peter Ackerman and other deep-pocketed centrists—announced at midnight that the savior has not yet made his or her appearance.
Other than the brief period when the concept of “President Newt Gingrich” looked slightly plausible, the strangest phenomenen in this otherwise predictable election season has been Americans Elect, a political “party” without a platform or a candidate, but with a likely place on the ballot in almost every state. For now, it may seem the only reasonable response to the benighted Americans Elect is to ignore it (as many clearly have).
Just before the new year, The Washington Post published the first piece to come out of its partnership with the “new independent digital news publication” The Fiscal Times (TFT). By 7 a.m. that morning, Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, argued that in publishing the piece The Washington Post had ceased to exist as “a serious newspaper,” and subsequently over a dozen wonks and academics called for the Post to end its partnership with the “propaganda arm for ideologues.” Why all the hubbub?
Thomas Jefferson a film by Ken Burns (PBS) The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800 by Conor Cruise O'Brien (University of Chicago, 367 pp., $29.95) Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy by Annette Gordon-Reed (University Press of Virginia, 279 pp., $29.95) American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis (Knopf, 351 pp., $26) I. Especially during his troubled second administration, Thomas Jefferson received a lot of hate mail.