Jim Verhulst - Deputy Editor of Editorials
Here’s what to read from the left and the right | Column
Here’s some interesting commentary from the opposite poles of the political spectrum.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., answers questions during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 26, 2022, in Orlando.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., answers questions during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 26, 2022, in Orlando. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]
Published March 4

We live in a partisan age, and our news habits can reinforce our own perspectives. Consider this an effort to broaden our collective outlook with essays beyond the range of our typical selections.


From “The Real Problem With Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Call for a ‘National Divorce,’ ” by Elie Mystal in The Nation at

The context, from the author: For (Rep. Marjorie Taylor) Greene, “divorce” is just another word for secession — and now, as then, it has everything to do with white supremacy.

The excerpt: In reality, it’s Greene who holds the minority viewpoint, not just nationally, but also in her home state. Is Georgia even a “red” state anymore? The last few U.S. Senate elections suggest that it’s not. Politically, what’s been happening in Georgia has already happened in Virginia, is close to happening in North Carolina, and could happen in our lifetimes in South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and even Texas. As I’ve said, these states already have large populations of color. ... The thought that people living in these states, with lives and families and communities, should wind up on the wrong side of the pluralistic government divide just because a few white Republicans hatch a secession plan during the dying embers of their rule is ludicrous. Liberals and progressives should be fighting for Georgia and North Carolina and all the rest, not consigning them to the Dark Ages because Greene and people like her are odious.

From “Rupert Murdoch’s Press Empire Is a Threat to Democracy,” by Liam Barrett in Jacobin at

The context, from the author: On both sides of the Atlantic, Rupert Murdoch’s news empire is built on a hate-for-profit business model — engaging in migrant bashing, election denial, and anti-LGBTQ hysteria to drive ratings and make him and his hosts rich.

The excerpt: Right-wing zealotry promoted by the likes of Fox News host Tucker Carlson continues to dominate the Murdoch media sphere, particularly since Carlson was recently granted access to copious amounts of footage of the January 6 insurrection by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The McCarthy-Carlson bond is a prime example of the corruption of Western media systems, with politicians rewarding their favorite news anchors and vice versa. As faith in news institutions plummets, the need for a fair and free press has never been so vital.

From “Ron DeSantis Wants to Make Transporting Migrants a Felony,” by Isabela Dias in Mother Jones at

The context, from the author: This is the same man who flew 50 asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard.

The excerpt: Under the new plan, Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director with the American Immigration Council, tweeted, “a mom who drove her undocumented kid to school could be guilty of a second-degree felony (same as vehicular homicide) and could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.” The initial language is so broad and without exceptions, he continued, “that even an ambulance driver taking a person they think is undocumented to the hospital would be committing a felony.”


From “Trump Now Reduced to Attacking DeSantis as ‘Wheelchair Over the Cliff Kind of Guy,’ “ by Philip Klein in The National Review at

The context, from the author: I predicted that Donald Trump would attack Ron DeSantis from the left on entitlements. Now, he’s already adopting the rhetoric of the far Left, accusing DeSantis of being a “wheelchair over the cliff kind of guy” like Paul Ryan.

The excerpt: The fact that Trump is so predictable does not make this any less pathetic. Put aside the fact that Medicare and Social Security are the two biggest drivers of the nation’s unsustainable debt. Trump isn’t just embracing the welfare state; he’s resorting to the same kind of distortions that the Democrats have been using against Republicans for decades.

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From “Racism in the Name of ‘Anti-Racism,’ ” by Christopher F. Rufo in City Journal at

The context, from the author: The University of Central Florida has adopted radical Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programming that segregates students by race, condemns the United States as “white-supremacist culture,” and encourages active discrimination against the “oppressor” class, characterized as “male, White, heterosexual, able-bodied, and Christian.”

The excerpt: The ideology that underpins the university’s DEI programming follows the basic mantras of critical race theory: America is a racist nation divided between white oppressors and minority oppressed, and society, using the logic of “antiracism,” must actively discriminate against the oppressors in order to achieve social justice. The great oppressor who occupies the “mythical norm,” according to the university’s official glossary, is “male, white, heterosexual, financially stable, young-middle adult, able-bodied, Christian.” Other groups are “minoritized,” or condemned by the “systemic and structural realities in place that push people and communities to the margins.”

From “Florida’s ‘Orban’ Renewal Project,” by Rod Dreher in The American Conservative at

The context, from the author: Yes, Ron DeSantis’ new education plans are reminiscent of Hungarian conservatism. That’s a feature, not a bug.

The excerpt: Liberals and neocons seem to think that just by shouting “(Viktor) Orban! Ick!” they can discredit DeSantis, or any other politician whose views and actions seem in tune with the Hungarian prime minister’s. What they’re doing, in fact, is highlighting what I’ve seen for two years now: that a vivid and viable U.S. conservative future is being made in Budapest.