Take a bow ⁦@sbg1⁩. Her final “Letter from Trump’s Washington.” Incredible run. Tomorrow, her weekly column becomes “Letter from Biden’s Washington.” newyorker.com/news/letter-fr…
This, more than anything, might have been the most surprising thing about Trump’s tenure: his ability to turn one of America’s two political parties into a cult of personality organized around a repeatedly bankrupt New York real-estate developer.
And so we are ending these four years having learned not that Donald Trump is a bad man—the evidence of that was already voluminous and incontrovertible before he entered politics...
...but that there are millions of Americans who were willing to overthrow our constitutional system in order to keep him in power, who would follow Trump’s dark lies rather than acknowledge unwelcome truths.
Reading back through the more than hundred and forty Letters from Trump’s Washington I wrote, what stands out in hindsight is the stalking menace of these past few years.
As Trump became more powerful and less constrained by successive waves of White House advisers, he was correspondingly more and more outrageous, untruthful, and unmoored from reality.
His sense of grievance and victimization escalated; so, too, did his threats, name-calling, and public provocations.

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More from @michaelluo

18 Jan
Very helpful @benwallacewells piece: "...a general pattern has become clear across the extremist factions: far-right and conspiratorial movements were, in effect, “mainstreamed and normalized” as they were channelled into the protests over the election..." newyorker.com/news/our-colum…
“We see a spike in activity after every major war. Spikes in Klan membership align with the aftermath of warfare; the early militia movement aligns with the aftermath of warfare,” @kathleen_belew told @benwallacewells.
These observations—of the central presence of women, and of the vivid white-power imagery—are even more interesting in combination. They suggest a coalition that has been able to broaden without, so far, being forced to change.
Read 5 tweets
17 Jan
NEW: Luke Mogelson’s remarkable video footage of the Capitol invasion, from breaching the first barricades to rummaging through desks on the Senate floor. Stunning, frightening, revolting. newyorker.com/news/video-dep…
“Is this the Senate?”
“Where the f—- are they?”
“While we’re here, we might as well set up a government.”
“Where the f—— is Nancy?”
Read 7 tweets
15 Jan
NEW from next week’s issue of @newyorker: Luke Mogelson, who has been reporting on MAGA protesters for months, provides a firsthand account of the Capitol invasion. newyorker.com/magazine/2021/…
After this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you,” Trump told the crowd. The people around me exchanged looks of astonishment and delight.
There was an eerie sense of inexorability, the throngs of Trump supporters advancing up the long lawn as if pulled by a current. Everyone seemed to understand what was about to happen.
Read 9 tweets
28 Dec 20
Earlier this year, I read @lawrence_wright’s new thriller about a global pandemic, “The End of October,” and was dumbfounded at its prescience. Now he’s out with the definitive account of Covid-19,
taking up most of this week’s @newyorker. newyorker.com/magazine/2021/…
From the "lost February": "Without the test kits, contact tracing was stymied; without contact tracing, there was no obstacle in the contagion’s path. America never once had enough reliable tests distributed across the nation, with results available within two days."
"By contrast, South Korea, thanks to universal public insurance and lessons learned from a 2015 outbreak of mers, provided free, rapid testing and invested heavily in contact tracing, which was instrumental in shutting down chains of infection."
Read 22 tweets
20 Dec 20
As Christians prepare anew to celebrate the Incarnation, I revisit early church history as a reminder of the devotion to the common good Jesus can inspire and lament how this has been, to a distressing degree, an ignominious year for the church in America. newyorker.com/news/daily-com…
This is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The sense of weighty expectation feels heightened this year. The collect in the Book of Common Prayer reads as a collective yearning: “O Lord, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us.”
Many Christians certainly took seriously Jesus’ parable in the Gospel of Matthew about how he would separate believers from unbelievers on Judgment Day. My colleague @JonathanBlitzer profiled Juan Carlos Ruiz, a 50 yo Mexican pastor in Bay Ridge. newyorker.com/magazine/2020/…
Read 17 tweets
17 Dec 20
Important caveat from @DhruvKhullar: "we know for sure that the vaccines...prevent severe illness in almost all people who are inoculated...we’re not yet certain that the vaccines can prevent people from becoming infected or infecting others." newyorker.com/science/medica…
"Moderna tested volunteers for the virus before the second dose, and found fewer asymptomatic cases among those who'd received it compared with those who hadn't––an encouraging, but by no means conclusive, sign of interrupted viral transmission."
"Early in the pandemic, we knew that wearing a mask made you less likely to spread the virus; it took time to confirm that masks protect wearers, too..."
Read 6 tweets

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