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.

Recent Articles

Shutdown Antics Obscure Big Moment in Russia Investigation

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he leaves the White House, en route for a trip to the border in Texas as the government shutdown continues. G iven the headlines, you might think that the partial shutdown of the federal government was about President Donald J. Trump’s need to satisfy his base and the message-crafters at Fox News, but that’s only a partial truth. Were it not for the manufactured drama you might call Wall Quest, think of what the headlines would be: Trump’s emissary snubbed by Turkey’s president; Trump retreats on his get-out-of-Syria-now policy; Yemen catastrophe continues with U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia; Mueller investigation grows ever closer to the president. Shutting down the government as a means of extorting Congress offers a noisy, newsy diversion from all of that—with the added bonus of stage-setting for a potential declaration of a national state of emergency for the exercise of authoritarian power. With Wall Quest coverage...

The Reality Show President and His Acting Cabinet

Al Drago/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House. A nonymous sources inside the executive branch, cited in numerous news reports , are painting a picture of a White House ruled by tantrum . Consequently, President Donald J. Trump finds himself increasingly abandoned by the few members of his cabinet and a coterie of aides who possessed credibility in the world beyond Trumpland. Additionally, three cabinet agencies are now run by acting chiefs—people who have not been confirmed by the Senate to serve in their current roles—and two others in cabinet-level positions are also serving in the “acting” capacity. In case you weren’t already made dizzy by the events of the week leading up to Christmas—the government shutdown , the sudden announcement of the withdrawal of troops from Syria, the exit protest of James Mattis from his role as secretary of defense, the tanking of the stock market—President Donald...

Threat Posed by the Right Is Multiplied by a Legacy of Denial

Shay Horse/NurPhoto)(Sipa via AP Images Neo-Nazis and white supremacists take part in a demonstration the night before the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. I n these dystopian times, tempers are growing short with those who prefer to view the United States as a largely benevolent place, save for a few fringe elements with bad intentions. Earlier this week, The New York Times got a good taste of that sentiment when editors of its podcast, “The Daily,” posted an episode under the boneheaded headline, “The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism, and How We Missed It,” which they tweeted with a link to the episode. The splash-back was immediate. African American writers were like, who do you mean by “we”? After all, black writers in America are pretty hip to all the anti-black hate out there. (“We = Y’all,” tweeted The New Yorker ’s Jelani Cobb, who is black.) For good reason, Cobb and other black writers didn’t see the white supremacist Dylann Roof’s 2015 massacre of black...

Yes, It Could Happen Here

Right-wing authoritarianism is on the rise around the world—including here. But we’re lulled by the sameness of our everyday lives.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn as he arrives at the White House. I n the United States, as in much of the world , democracy is in peril . Regarding the state of the American republic, one need only glance at the Twitter feed of President Donald J. Trump to see how. And if that doesn’t convince, just have a look at what’s going on in the state legislatures of Wisconsin and Michigan, where Republican lawmakers have convened extraordinary lame-duck sessions to clip the wings of incoming Democratic governors and executive branch leaders just ahead of their inaugurations. (More on this from my colleague, Paul Waldman, here .) Going into this week, there was little doubt that today would be a tough day for the president, what with James Comey, the former FBI director fired from that position by Trump, testifying on the Hill, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller expected to drop sentencing memos destined to shed light on aspects of his investigation...

When Liars Start Telling the Truth: Michael Cohen Puts Trump in Peril

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves federal court in New York. W hen your whole political career is built on a pack of lies, it is imperative that those who surround you be reading from the same page of the lie book. In this regard, President Donald J. Trump has often fared quite well, beginning with then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s defense of the president’s made-up figures for crowd attendance at his inauguration (the biggest ever), or White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway’s concoction of the phrase “ alternative facts .” That’s what Michael Cohen, who served for decades as Trump’s personal lawyer, said he was doing when he testified before Congress that, by January 2016, Trump had stopped pursuing a deal in Moscow to build a new Trump Tower there. In court yesterday, according to The New York Times , Cohen explained, “I made these statements to be consistent with” Trump’s “political messaging.” But now Cohen is singing a...

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