By Tom Johnson | August 5, 2015 | 10:58 AM EDT

Politics involves the heart and the mind, and in general the best politicians appeal to both. Then there’s Donald Trump. Jonathan Chait of New York magazine argues that Trump’s campaign is pretty close to mindless, but it seems that to many rank-and-file Republicans, that’s a feature rather than a bug.

“Outsiders have struggled to comprehend how Republican voters can attach themselves to an economic agenda so plainly at odds with their own interest, or whip themselves into a frenzy over a manufactured outrage,” wrote Chait in a Tuesday post. “Trump embodies that mysterious X factor that has eluded analysts of all sides…Trump is not the spokesman for an idea at all, but the representation of undifferentiated resentment.”

By Tom Johnson | July 20, 2015 | 10:06 PM EDT

There soon will be sixteen Republicans officially seeking their party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but Gabriel Sherman probably would replace “officially” with "nominally." In a Sunday post, Sherman suggested that many of those sixteen are CINOs (Candidates in Name Only) who really are running for the title of big-bucks “political celebrity.” He opined that “when it comes to presidential elections…the GOP is at risk of becoming less of a political party and more like a talent agency for the conservative media industry.”

As for why quite a few “(pseudo)candidate[s]” are out there trying to “promote their brand,” Sherman noted that “the rise of billionaire donors and super-PACs enable more fringe GOP candidates to fund their campaigns,” and that “conservatives’ palpable sense of cultural victimhood encourages them to embrace (and reward) their former candidates even if they lose badly.”

By Sarah Stites | July 20, 2015 | 1:06 PM EDT

“After much soul-searching” and “an ocean of red wine,” Michael Sonmore became a eunuch, er, feminist. 

The defining moment? When Sonmore realized that his wife’s desire for an open marriage was not a rejection of him, but the “embracing” of herself. “Monogamy meant I controlled her sexual expression."

By Tom Johnson | July 6, 2015 | 10:02 PM EDT

Boldly combining the investigative techniques of David McCullough and Maury Povich, New York magazine’s  Chait has done a little historical paternity testing and determined that Andrew Jackson “is, clearly, the father of the modern Republican Party.”

Chait argued that Jackson’s status as “the progenitor of the Democratic Party” is based on “a myth.” On the other hand, Jackson “believed the Constitution prevented the government from taking an active role in managing economic affairs” and “was instinctively aggressive, poorly educated, anti-intellectual, and suspicious of bureaucrats,” all of which correspond to right-wing GOP behaviors and attitudes of today.

By Tom Johnson | July 4, 2015 | 12:08 PM EDT

Richard Nixon’s campaign did what it could to make sure the Democratic party didn’t nominate its strongest presidential candidate in 1972, thereby facilitating Nixon’s re-election. President Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2016, but New York magazine's Jonathan Chait speculates that Obama is trying to smooth Hillary Clinton’s path to the Oval Office by nudging Republicans into nominating Scott Walker.

By Tom Johnson | July 1, 2015 | 11:19 AM EDT

Though both Jonathan Chait and Amanda Marcotte approve of same-sex marriage, they differed on Monday in their assessment of the case against it. Chait, of New York magazine, claimed that anti-gay-marriage arguments have been pitiful and consequently were doomed from the get-go. He declared that “preventing gay people from marrying each other serves no coherent purpose. Allowing them to marry harms nobody.”

Meanwhile, Marcotte argued in a Talking Points Memo column that same-sex marriage helps to “redefine…marriage as an institution of love instead of oppression,” and that the anti-gay-marriage forces are clinging to the idea that marriage is “about dutiful procreation and female submission.”

By Tom Johnson | June 5, 2015 | 6:03 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton’s call in a Thursday speech for federally mandated automatic voter registration and a minimum of twenty days for early voting won widespread applause in the lefty blogosphere. So did Clinton’s blasts in the same speech at alleged Republican efforts to throw a wrench into the ballot works for certain Democratic-leaning groups.

Two ringing endorsements of Hillary’s proposals and rhetoric came from The Week’s Paul Waldman and New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait.

By Tom Johnson | May 15, 2015 | 10:38 AM EDT

In the uproar over George Stephanopoulos’s hefty, long-undisclosed contributions to the Clinton Foundation, New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait casts himself in a role similar to that of the child in the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” who, after so many have admired their ruler’s supposedly magnificent outfit, points out that the monarch actually is wearing nothing at all.

“Everybody agrees this is terrible,” wrote Chait in a Thursday post. “But…why? [Rand] Paul accuses Stephanopoulos of harboring a ‘conflict of interest.’ But donating money to a charitable foundation is not an interest…It’s true that some donors have an incentive to use the Foundation to get close to the Clintons in a way that might benefit their business interests…But none of those problems reflects poorly on Stephanopoulos.”

The Clinton Foundation, Chait remarked, “is, after all, a charity. It used to have non-partisan overtones…Stephanopoulos’s defense — that he just wanted to donate to the Foundation’s work on AIDS prevention and deforestation — seems 100 percent persuasive. He is the victim of the ethical taint of the Clintons’ poorly handled business dealings, combined with an underlying right-wing suspicion of the liberal media, but what his critics have yet to produce is a coherent case against him.”

By Tom Johnson | May 14, 2015 | 2:26 PM EDT

There’s been plenty of mockery of the three actual or potential Republican presidential candidates who named Ronald Reagan as the greatest living president, but New York magazine's Chait feels their pain, sort of.

Chait observed in a Wednesday post that GOPers are in a bind when choosing the best living POTUS given that 1) for obvious reasons, they wouldn’t pick Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton; 2) George H. W. Bush “betrayed Reaganism”; and 3) George W. Bush suffered a “second-term collapse into deep unpopularity” despite “govern[ing] in a more consistently conservative fashion than Reagan had.”

By Tom Johnson | April 14, 2015 | 12:22 AM EDT

New York magazine’s Chait declares that “even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus. [Hillary] is non-crazy America’s choice by default. And it is not necessarily an exciting choice, but it is an easy one, and a proposition behind which she will probably command a majority.”

By Kristine Marsh | March 25, 2015 | 2:17 PM EDT

Can you imagine the uproar if a conservative paper called a black Democrat candidate, “uppity”? Well the ultra-liberal elitist New Yorker magazine was caught doing just that -- towards a Hispanic GOP senator,Ted Cruz.

Twitchy first reported on the gaffe, after one Twitter user highlighted the offending term in the New Yorker article by longtime liberal journalist, John Cassidy:

 

By Tom Johnson | March 19, 2015 | 6:10 PM EDT

“The [European] continent is no longer a subject of liberal pining and aspiration,” remarks Benjamin Wallace-Wells. “Europe and Israel have…been examples of alternative ways in which American society might be arranged, if it were less individualistic, more communal. But after the news of the past few weeks, and in many ways the past decade, these dreams for Europe and Israel have rarely looked more like a fantasy than they do now. America and Europe seem to be moving in different directions.”