Since Freddie Gray’s death, Baltimore — which once inspired The Wire but in recent years seemed to be experiencing an urban revival — has seen a sharp increase in violent crime amidst “a failure of order and governance the likes of which few American cities have seen in years.”
MacGillis talks to white workers in the small towns and cities of the Rust Belt, many of whom voted for Democrats in previous elections, but decided to vote for Trump in 2016.
The United States’ long, bleak history of poor whites and their troubles can help us understand how we’ve arrived at our current moment of political and social unrest in this country.
“‘Roger wanted to win as badly as Mitch did.’ As Ailes himself put it in his favorite office mantra: ‘Whatever it takes.’”
How the world of politics works. MacGillis tells the story of Doug Band, who rose up to become one of President Clinton’s most trusted advisers, until his own business interests got in the way:
“Of course, it was only natural that Band would tap his existing network. What is striking is the extent to which Teneo’s business model depends on his relationship with Clinton. Band’s former White House colleague says Teneo is essentially a p.r. firm that is able to charge above-market rates because it persuades executives that Band and the ties he brings are an essential service. ‘If they were paying $25,000 or $40,000 a month for p.r., then $100,000 a month, from the eyes of the CEO, … it’s not going to crush him,’ says the former colleague. (According to The New York Times, Teneo’s monthly fees can be as high as $250,000.) The longtime Clinton associate says that Band’s pitch to clients was that he was ‘able to fly around [with Clinton] and decide who flies around with him. … The whole thing is resting on his access.'”
Despite recent setbacks, there’s reason to believe that the gun-control movement is growing, and holding politicians accountable for their ‘no’ votes:
“But then something unexpected happened. Some of the senators who’d voted ‘no’ faced furious voters back home. Even before Erica Lafferty, the daughter of murdered Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, confronted New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte at a particularly tense town hall, Ayotte’s disapproval rating in the state had jumped from 35 to 46 percent—half the respondents said her ‘no’ vote made them less likely to support her. In Pennsylvania, which has the second-highest concentration of NRA members in the country, the bill’s Republican co-sponsor, Pat Toomey, saw his approval reach a record high. One of the country’s best-known gun-rights advocates, Robert Levy, said the NRA’s ‘stonewalling of the background-check proposal was a mistake, both politically and substantively.'”