Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.

 

Recent Articles

What First Amendment?

Republicans cast themselves as champions of the First Amendment, but they’ve done nothing to stop Donald Trump’s war on free speech.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
democracy_rules.jpg Conservatives who should be appalled by President Donald Trump’s anti-media attacks have responded instead with a collective shrug. Never mind that Trump has taken steps to block publication of a critical book, assures a typical Wall Street Journal editorial —he would never follow through, and the courts would never go along. The Journal likewise brushes off Trump’s threat to “open up” the libel laws as “familiar and feckless bluster.” Trump may brand journalists “the enemy” of the American people and hand out “fake news” awards , goes the argument from the right, but his actions matter more than his words. This sanguine take on Trump’s campaign to demonize the news media overlooks the real-world damage it inflicts on journalists, both at home and abroad. Trump’s words and actions have materially chilled speech—in the U.S., where 78 journalists were attacked or arrested last year,...

Chasing Down Rabbit Holes After Fusion GPS

Victoria Jones/Press Association via AP Images
democracy_rules.jpg In their zeal to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Republicans have found a convenient scapegoat in the controversial consulting firm Fusion GPS. Republicans have subpoenaed the firm’s bank records, questioned its organizers for more than 20 hours, asked the FBI to investigate one of its subcontractors, and sued the firm for defamation. Fusion GPS is an easy target. As an outfit that traffics in digging up dirt on power brokers, the firm specializes in “finding unsavory things about unsavory people, at the behest of not-especially-savory clients,” notes The New York Times . Republicans have made much of the firm’s ties to Russian lawyer and Moscow insider Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, who participated in a much-scrutinized meeting with Trump’s son, campaign manager, and son-in-law in 2016. But even Fusion GPS has constitutional and legal rights, and its treatment at the hands of Republicans helps explain why Democrats are so...

New Year’s Resolutions for Democrats

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
democracy_rules.jpg After a grueling year in the political wilderness, Democrats see a ray of hope as they close out 2017, celebrating electoral wins in Virginia and Alabama, and honing their midterm attacks on the GOP’s wildly unpopular tax bill. But lest Democrats wake up to a giant hangover next year, they would do well to make a few New Year’s resolutions before ladling out the holiday punch. Above all, they should take care not to fall into the same traps that have snarled the GOP. Democrats have assailed President Trump and his allies for tearing down democratic norms, spreading falsehoods, and catering to elites. But progressives have struggled with their own destructive impulses, sounding troubling echoes of the disruptions on the right. Intra-party feuding, “antifa” violence, overwrought hyperbole, and secret political spending all threaten to drag Democrats off the high road. Democrats can’t beat Republicans if they start acting like them. Their...

The GOP’s Weapon of Suppression: Voter Purges

AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
democracy_rules.jpg The historic African American turnout that propelled Democrat Doug Jones to victory in Alabama’s Senate special election overcame decades of voter suppression in that state and around the country. But GOP-authored voter restrictions continue to pile up, and increasingly Republicans are branching beyond such familiar tools as voter ID rules to an even more aggressive suppression tactic: Voter purges that wipe voters from the rolls altogether. Done in the name of combating fraud, such purges have stripped hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, and elsewhere, prompting a rash of lawsuits by voting rights advocates who say eligible voters are being disenfranchised. In January, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that challenges Ohio’s practice of initiating the voter purge process for voters who have simply failed to show up to vote over a single election cycle. The case, Husted v. A. Philip...

Trump, Moore, and the Party of Men

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
democracy_rules.jpg While the rest of the world has its #MeToo moment, the Republican Party appears to be crawling back into the dark ages, when men charged with sexual misdeeds responded by defaming their accusers as liars. The predatory Roy Moore, who may just win the Alabama special Senate election now that harasser-in-chief Donald Trump has rallied behind him, has won the Republican National Committee’s seal of approval . Having once said Moore should withdraw from the race , Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says he will “let the people of Alabama make the call.” The only Republican senator not prevaricating or staying silent is the retiring Arizonan Jeff Flake, who has written a check to Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. It’s an awkward spot for a party that heads into the midterms led by a president with approval ratings as low as 36 percent . Republicans substantially trail Democrats in generic ballot polls that ask voters which...

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