Bad History: Essays toward the Crisis (2008-2018), #10

The premise for this collection of about a decade of essays is here.

Today’s re-post is another piece from Boston Review, published in 2014. As I said in yesterday’s post, we’re accelerating now toward those dual crises in American civics that my essays somehow contemplated yet totally failed to predict: the two hottest of all topics, “Hamilton: An American Musical” and the presidency of Donald Trump.

I think subterranean interconnections between those two explosive phenomena are to be found deep within the themes of this collection of essays.

(Or, as Hank Snow put it, when he was writing about acceleration: “Ninety miles an hour down a dead-end street.”)

In the present — 2019 — Justice Roberts is being cast as the centrist swing vote on the Supreme Court. So this 2014 piece explores how Roberts has redefined American democracy in favor of great wealth and power by analyzing American democracy structurally, not historically. Once again, bad history, bad civics. And in this case bad law. Here it is, then: “What Does the ‘McCutcheon’ Decision Say about Democracy?”

Next, two quicker swipes, one at right-wing fake history, the other at false comparisons between Hamilton and Jackson, here.

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