Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.


Recent Articles

The Move to Politicize Churches Is Back, and Conservatives Should Be Outraged

Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa via AP Images The headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington democracy_rules.jpg T here are a lot of reasons why President Trump’s plan to let churches wade directly into partisan politics, which Congress may now approve as part of a must-pass spending bill, is a colossally bad idea. Reversing the so-called Johnson Amendment, which bars churches and other charities from direct campaigning, would drag churches into the profane world of electioneering. It would damage public trust in charities, which could dry up their contributions. It would blow a hole in the election laws , by ushering in “pop-up” churches that come and go with the political cycles, boosting undisclosed expenditures, and letting donors write off purely political contributions. But the best argument against politicizing charities, ironically enough, may come from conservatives themselves—in an unrelated Supreme Court challenge known as Janus v. American Federation of State,...

How Long Will Gerrymandered GOP Congressional Maps Stand?

Republicans’ loss in a Pennsylvania case may signal a turning point in the redistricting wars.

Corey Lowenstein/The News & Observer, File via AP
Corey Lowenstein/The News & Observer, File via AP Republican state Sens. Dan Soucek, left, and Brent Jackson, right, review historical maps during The Senate Redistricting Committee for the 2016 Extra Session in the Legislative Office Building at the North Carolina General Assembly, in Raleigh democracy_rules.jpg I f Republican strategist Karl Rove was right when he predicted in 2010 that “he who controls redistricting can control Congress,” then the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s newly drawn congressional district map spells very bad news for the GOP. It’s not just that the new map, which Republicans fought tooth and nail and continue to challenge in court , gives Democrats a shot at winning up to six additional seats in the 2018 midterms. The problem for Republicans is that their failure to block the Pennsylvania map may signal a turning point in the redistricting wars, and in the GOP’s eight-year campaign to manipulate district lines to keep their seats. The Pennsylvania Supreme...

The Kremlin Is Back, and U.S. Elections Aren’t Ready

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File
AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a question during his annual news conference in Moscow P resident Trump may dismiss Russian interference in the U.S. election as “fake news,” but top officials in his own administration are not so sanguine. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson already sees signs that Russia is trying to interfere in the 2018 midterms, he told Fox News this week. Tillerson’s disclosure came on the heels of an equally bleak assessment from CIA Director Mike Pompeo last month. Asked by the BBC whether Russia would target the U.S. midterms, Pompeo replied : “Of course. I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that.” One might expect such high-level warnings to spur action on Capitol Hill, where foreign election interference has historically alarmed both parties. Instead, Republicans have become so consumed with protecting Trump from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe that they’ve effectively scuttled...

What First Amendment?

Republicans cast themselves as champions of the First Amendment, but they’ve done nothing to stop Donald Trump’s war on free speech.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon April Ryan, of American Urban Radio Networks, raises her hand to ask a question of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press briefing at the White House democracy_rules.jpg C onservatives who should be appalled by President Donald Trump’s anti-media attacks have responded instead with a collective shrug. Never mind that Trump has taken steps to block publication of a critical book, assures a typical Wall Street Journal editorial —he would never follow through, and the courts would never go along. The Journal likewise brushes off Trump’s threat to “open up” the libel laws as “familiar and feckless bluster.” Trump may brand journalists “the enemy” of the American people and hand out “fake news” awards , goes the argument from the right, but his actions matter more than his words. This sanguine take on Trump’s campaign to demonize the news media overlooks the real-world damage it inflicts on journalists, both at home and abroad. Trump’s words...

Chasing Down Rabbit Holes After Fusion GPS

Victoria Jones/Press Association via AP Images
Victoria Jones/Press Association via AP Images Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who was hired by Fusion GPS and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump democracy_rules.jpg I n their zeal to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Republicans have found a convenient scapegoat in the controversial consulting firm Fusion GPS. Republicans have subpoenaed the firm’s bank records, questioned its organizers for more than 20 hours, asked the FBI to investigate one of its subcontractors, and sued the firm for defamation. Fusion GPS is an easy target. As an outfit that traffics in digging up dirt on power brokers, the firm specializes in “finding unsavory things about unsavory people, at the behest of not-especially-savory clients,” notes The New York Times . Republicans have made much of the firm’s ties to Russian lawyer and Moscow insider Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, who participated in a much-scrutinized meeting with Trump’s son, campaign manager, and son-in-law in 2016. But even Fusion...