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. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

The Atlantic’s Gigantic Stumble

(Brookings Institution)
OK, I’ll admit it—I had hardly paid any mind to Kevin D. Williamson before The Atlantic elevated him to the realm of intellectual legitimacy, a move that has kicked up a lot of dust in the journalism world for hiring him away from the right-wing National Review to be part of its Next Big Thing. I’ve been distracted. My outrage has been focused on the fact that a self-described pussy-grabber occupies the Oval Office—a man who has advanced lies about black people and demonized people from Latin America, a man whose presidential campaign benefited from intervention in our elections by a foreign power that aims to weaken us. So I haven’t spent a lot of time plumbing the depths of the sewer that right-wing media has become. But a Twitter thread from the feminist author Jessica Valenti caught my attention. The thing for which Williamson is most famous is his (since deleted) tweet advocating the execution by hanging of every woman who has an abortion . Valenti...

Trump Is Not the Problem: He's the Figurehead

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Don’t get me wrong—Donald J. Trump is a noxious gasbag, a flouter of the Constitution, and president of the United States. But he’s not the problem; he’s the symptom. Before Cambridge Analytica was plying its “psychographic” wizardry on Trump’s behalf, it did so for Ted Cruz , the U.S. senator from Texas and would-be U.S. president, and Ken Cuccinelli , the would-be governor of Virginia. Before Trump spoke of “my African American there” at a rally or tweeted out false statistics about black crime, Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted “You lie!” at a sitting U.S. president as he addressed a joint session of Congress. That president, of course, was Barack Obama, the nation’s first black commander-in-chief. You might recall that the source of Wilson’s ire was the prospect of free health care that he said Obama would deliver to undocumented immigrants, despite the president’s assertions to...

Selection of Pompeo Solidifies Trump’s Position with Koch Brothers

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
I’ve long said that Donald J. Trump would remain U.S. president as long as the Koch brothers deemed it so. After all, the billionaire siblings and political pooh-bahs all but own the House of Representatives, being largely responsible for electing the Republican majority in 2010. In our system of government, any plausible effort to remove the president from office begins with the House, the only body that can issue articles of impeachment. In short, Trump needs the Koch brothers in his corner if he’s to avoid that fate. Having signed their top priority—massive tax cuts—into law, he’s a little vulnerable now. In 2016, both Charles and David Koch, principals in Koch Industries and builders of a vast, right-wing political infrastructure, made a big show of their contempt for Trump. Charles compared the choice of either Trump and Hillary Clinton to one between a heart attack and cancer . David declined to attend the Republican National Convention, to which he...

How Donald Trump Broke Conservatism

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Donald Trump has conservatives in a dither. He’s the wagon to which they’ve hitched their star, the vehicle for all of the deregulatory, tax-cutting goodies he’s delivered to them. And he’s killing their movement. In the decades since Ronald Reagan’s capture of the presidency in 1980, conservatism has adhered to the Gipper’s winning formula of a “three-legged stool,” comprising social, fiscal, and defense conservatives. Each of these designations was misleading in its own way. So-called “defense conservatives,” for instance, were actually war hawks; “fiscal conservatives” were actually more libertarian than conservative. And social conservatives were really people with a radical view of religion’s role in government and the gun’s role in society. Nevertheless, each group embraced its fictional representation, seeing as it offered a veil woven of threads that looked like principles—a pretty cover...

GOP: The Party of Death

(Paul Morigi /AP Images for Avaaz)
They balk at any attempt to stem gun violence. They’re against affordable health care and want to voucherize Medicare. Given their druthers, they’d allow giant companies to befoul the air and poison the water. And don’t get me started on the lies Republican figures advance to deny any attempt to address the changes in our planet’s climate that are wreaking destruction on the lives of millions, whether through floods, drought, or sea-level rise. The anti-regulatory Koch network provides Republicans with the ground troops and voter data they need to turn out the vote, and funds the think tanks that craft Republican policy that argues against health care and environmental health . And the National Rifle Association, which won’t even countenance background checks for those who purchase firearms at gun shows, is keeper and bestower of the seal of approval every red-state Republican must win in order to have a shot at winning his race or keeping her seat. To...