The GOP and the future of democracy in America

According to the V-Dem research institute in Sweden, the GOP shares important characteristics with ruling parties of at least four “illiberal democracies”: Hungary, India, Poland, and Turkey. Liberal democracies limit the power of rulers and protect individual rights through rule of law and the practice of democratic norms by authoritative institutions. Illiberal democracies emerge when autocrats reach office through nominally democratic means and dismantle apolitical civil services, independent media, and impartial judiciaries. Conspiracy theories and disinformation fill the remaining epistemological void, violating shared norms for settling differences and rewriting the narratives about who we are as a nation.

The question has been asked before, in different contexts, but it persists: How did we get here?

In his analysis of European conservative parties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Harvard political historian Daniel Ziblatt concludes that for democracy to survive, conservative parties must run effective campaigns in competitive elections.

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The Finance 202: Democratic economists call for big spending, total rethink of deficits as GOP seeks austerity

The paper could be ammunition for how the incoming Biden administrations aims to counter new calls from congressional Republicans for a return to austerity, after the rising tide of debt they authorized under President Trump.

Biden won on a pledge to rebuild the economy with multitrillion-dollar proposals for infrastructure, clean energy projects, and social safety net expansions. 

Centrist economists from Summers, a treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, to former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and kept on by President Obama, endorsed more spending during a virtual panel cohosted by the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. 

“Nobody on the panel is going to say we should be balancing the budget any time soon,” Bernanke said, recommending instead that the U.S. plow money into addressing climate change, inequality, health care and infrastructure — investments he said would

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The Latest: President Trump invites Michigan GOP leaders to White House

DETROIT — President Donald Trump summoned Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders to the White House for a meeting Friday amid a longshot GOP push to overturn the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state.

Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Trump invited Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield. They agreed to go, according to a state official aware of the leaders’ plans. The two officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing private conversations.

It was not immediately clear what the meeting would be about. Neither Shirkey nor Chatfield commented.

Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chair Monica Palmer, left, talks with Vice Chair Jonathan Kinloch before the board’s Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting in Detroit. Michigan’s largest county has unanimously certified election results showing Democrat Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump, hours after Republicans first blocked formal

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‘There’s damage to this’: Obama slams GOP for lining up behind Trump’s fraud claims

Former President Barack Obama said in a new interview that it “has been disappointing” to see congressional Republicans remain supportive of President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and his refusal to concede the 2020 White House race to President-elect Joe Biden.

“There’s damage to this,” Obama said in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” that is set to air in full this weekend. “Because what happens is that the peaceful transfer of power — the notion that any of us who attain an elected office, whether it’s dog catcher or president, are servants of the people, it’s a temporary job, we’re not above the rules, we’re not above the law — that’s the essence of our democracy.”

Obama also described the fraud allegations leveled by GOP lawmakers as disingenuous, saying that “they

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Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz tests positive for COVID-19

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) announced late Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ron Fraser et al. holding a sign: Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz tests positive for COVID-19

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Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz tests positive for COVID-19

Waltz, 46, won his reelection bid this week against Democratic challenger Clint Curtis before he tested positive on Thursday using a rapid test, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

Waltz’s campaign spokeswoman, Erin Isaac, said a lab result confirmed his infection on Friday, adding that the lawmaker has been cautious regarding the virus. No other staff or family members are infected, Isaac added.

“I’ve purposefully tested every week, have now isolated, and reached out to people for notifications,” Waltz said in a statement. “We are fortunate all of my staff or family are fine.”

Waltz said he most likely contracted the virus while attending public meetings with voters this week or while dining at a celebration for Republicans in Daytona Beach, Fla., following Tuesday’s election.

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Texas Democrat Colin Allred beats back GOP challenger

Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas) is projected to defeat Republican Genevieve Collins, an education technology executive, in the suburbs of North Dallas, securing his place on Capitol Hill for a second term.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Texas Democrat Colin Allred beats back GOP challenger

© Bonnie Cash
Texas Democrat Colin Allred beats back GOP challenger

Allred, a former linebacker for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, stunned Washington in 2018 when he defeated veteran Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who had held the seat since the district was created in 2003.

His victory over Collins was less surprising.

Allred is a rising star in the Democratic ranks and was elected co-president of the party’s formidable freshman class. He had raised more than $5.2 million over the cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and election handicappers considered his win a likely bet heading into Election Day.

Video: Trump campaign betting on economy for win: Cortes (FOX News)

Trump campaign betting on economy for win: Cortes

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Facebook, Twitter, Google CEOs Defend Themselves From GOP Censorship Accusations : NPR

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies remotely during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday about reforms to Section 230, a key legal shield for tech companies.

Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies remotely during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday about reforms to Section 230, a key legal shield for tech companies.

Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

The CEOs of some of the biggest tech platforms defended the way they handle online speech to an audience of skeptical senators, many of whom seemed more interested in scoring political points than engaging with thorny debate over content moderation policies and algorithms.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai appeared virtually Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee that was supposed to focus on a decades-old legal shield insulating tech companies from liability over what users post.

But many Republicans on

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3 social media CEOs face grilling by GOP senators on bias

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are facing a grilling by Republican senators making unfounded allegations that the tech giants show anti-conservative bias.

The Senate Commerce Committee has summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai to testify for a hearing Wednesday. The executives agreed to appear remotely after being threatened with subpoenas.

With the presidential election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views.

The chorus of protest rose this month after Facebook and Twitter acted to limit dissemination of an unverified political story from the conservative-leaning New York Post about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, an unprecedented action against a major media outlet. The story, which was not confirmed by other publications, cited unverified emails from

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Trump’s broadsides against science put GOP governors in a bind

Republican governors are pleading for basic public health precautions as their states face a new wave of coronavirus cases, even as President Donald Trump downplays the pandemic’s severity and tells people to move on with their lives.

The clashing messages come as large swaths of the country experience uncontrolled spread that state officials fear could swamp their already strapped health systems. They’re putting out calls for volunteers to help staff hospitals, placing new limits on public gatherings and urging, or in some cases mandating, the wearing of masks.

Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, whose state saw a record number of daily hospitalizations on Tuesday, predicted more school closings in counties where Covid-19 is “running rampant” if people don’t adjust their behavior. He urged attendees at an upcoming Cincinnati campaign rally headlined by Vice President Mike Pence to wear masks.

“These numbers will not change unless we change,” DeWine said Tuesday.

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