Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles

War for Constitution Becomes a Battle of the Sexes

If the U.S. Constitution survives the Age of Trump, it will have been a woman who saved it. Were there ever a more able, more shrewd and more psychologically adept opponent for President Donald J. Trump than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I’ve yet to meet that person. The speaker refused the president use of the House chamber for his scheduled State of the Union address—an event full of the sort of ceremonial spectacle Trump so loves when he is at the center of it. Not until the government shutdown is over, she said. After issuing threats of maybe showing up anyway at the House chamber or moving ahead with the speech in a different venue (a rally, perhaps, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania?), the president backed down. No speech before the shutdown is over, he conceded today. The president conceded. Uncharacteristic behavior, one might say. The president conceded—to a woman. This is the same president whose misogyny played no small role in his winning the White House. (Pussy-...

Taking Cues From 'Fox & Friends' and Snubbing Hannity, Trump Backs Down on Emergency Declaration

It’s been a week of sitting on the edge of our seats, wondering if President Donald J. Trump was about to declare a state of national emergency so that he could re-open the government on his own in order to loot its coffers to fund his border wall in defiance of Congress’s power of the purse. But after Brian Kilmeade, one of the hosts of the Fox & Friends morning program urged the president not to go there, the president decided not to go there. Perhaps I’m being unfair. Of course, while we know that the president’s judgment is heavily colored by what his friendly foxes say about him, the hard-right Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives also urged him to back down. It seems that once Kilmeade and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows had a moment to think about things, they realized that if Trump set the precedent for invoking emergency powers in order to execute a non-emergency operation, it would actually be the Congress whose power he was robbing...

Shutdown Antics Obscure Big Moment in Russia Investigation

Given the headlines, you might think that the partial shutdown of the federal government was about President Donald J. Trump’s need to satisfy his base and the message-crafters at Fox News, but that’s only a partial truth. Were it not for the manufactured drama you might call Wall Quest, think of what the headlines would be: Trump’s emissary snubbed by Turkey’s president; Trump retreats on his get-out-of-Syria-now policy; Yemen catastrophe continues with U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia; Mueller investigation grows ever closer to the president. Shutting down the government as a means of extorting Congress offers a noisy, newsy diversion from all of that—with the added bonus of stage-setting for a potential declaration of a national state of emergency for the exercise of authoritarian power. With Wall Quest coverage sucking up the majority of minutes on newscasts and cable talk shows, you’d be forgiven for missing the extraordinary developments this week in...

The Reality Show President and His Acting Cabinet

Anonymous sources inside the executive branch, cited in numerous news reports , are painting a picture of a White House ruled by tantrum . Consequently, President Donald J. Trump finds himself increasingly abandoned by the few members of his cabinet and a coterie of aides who possessed credibility in the world beyond Trumpland. Additionally, three cabinet agencies are now run by acting chiefs—people who have not been confirmed by the Senate to serve in their current roles—and two others in cabinet-level positions are also serving in the “acting” capacity. In case you weren’t already made dizzy by the events of the week leading up to Christmas—the government shutdown , the sudden announcement of the withdrawal of troops from Syria, the exit protest of James Mattis from his role as secretary of defense, the tanking of the stock market—President Donald J. Trump threw one more tantrum just ahead of the holiday, pushing Mattis out of his post...

Threat Posed by the Right Is Multiplied by a Legacy of Denial

In these dystopian times, tempers are growing short with those who prefer to view the United States as a largely benevolent place, save for a few fringe elements with bad intentions. Earlier this week, The New York Times got a good taste of that sentiment when editors of its podcast, “The Daily,” posted an episode under the boneheaded headline, “The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism, and How We Missed It,” which they tweeted with a link to the episode. The splash-back was immediate. African American writers were like, who do you mean by “we”? After all, black writers in America are pretty hip to all the anti-black hate out there. (“We = Y’all,” tweeted The New Yorker ’s Jelani Cobb, who is black.) For good reason, Cobb and other black writers didn’t see the white supremacist Dylann Roof’s 2015 massacre of black churchgoers, or the murder of two black shoppers in a Kentucky Kroger’s store last month, as one-offs...

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