I feel like America is under-invested in historical plaque infrastructure — I always want to know more about the story of different locations and buildings.
Biden should get behind this and lock down the History Dad vote. Then start talking about his favorite Churchill biographies.
Here’s a plaque we don’t have but should.

If you’re walking up the 14th Street corridor in DC, you’ll discover that amidst the new developments and gentrification there’s this kind of dreary looking set of houses that was built as a co-op in the 70s so it’s hard to redevelop.
That location used to house a building that was constructed during the Civil War to serve as an orphanage, but that instead became the temporary headquarters of the US Department of State.
Then the state department moved out, and it was an orphanage for a few decades before becoming a commercial building.

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More from @mattyglesias

9 Apr
A useful point here from comments ... not only is "womxn" jargony and weird, but it's very far from clear that the intended trans-inclusive message comes through — as far as I can see, most trans women refer to themselves as "women."

slowboring.com/p/yang-gang/co… Image
The origin as I understand it is there was a move in Second Wave feminism to say "womyn" instead of "women" to decenter men.

But that jargon came to be associated with TERF tendencies. So "womxn" was coined as a trans-inclusive alternative to "womyn."
But it's not like "womyn" was ever in widespread circulation — the much more typical sentiment is "trans women are women" a view that is both *genuinely* inclusive and also comprehensible to any normal English speaker.
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
This is a really good article and also a useful jumping off point for something I’ve wanted to tweet about for a while, namely the changing meaning of “social issues.”
One version of the Drutman Chart explicitly labels the socially left, economically right quadrant as “libertarian.”

That’s an idea that reflects an era in which “social issues” were mostly about sex, gender, and religion and I think a lot of people still carry that mental model.
But the key moves in Trump Era cultural politics were about race, immigration, and national identity.

Saying “I think gay couples should be allowed to get married, public schools should teach evolution, and stem cell research is good” are not “woke” positions in today’s fights.
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
I will engage! It seems relevant to me that conservatives are not proposing that you pass a civics or math test to vote, instead they cite vague voter ignorance considerations to defend restrictions that have narrow partisan aims.
DC statehood would pretty clearly increase the political clout of people who are highly informed about American politics and public policy — maybe that would help address some of these concerns?
I think serious critique of America’s conception of good government as “vote vote vote” would be welcome.

We have far too many elections and elected officials and would benefit from a more modest view of what’s a reasonable number of discrete things to ask people to vote on.
Read 5 tweets
6 Apr
I think it is worth saying that Rep Thompson’s concerns about a tradeoff between majority-minority districts and proportional fairness to Democrats reflects an outdated view of the electoral landscape in the South and his mind should be at ease.
When Thompson first entered congress in the 1990s there were lots of “gettable” conservative white voters left in the rural South, so packing Black voters into VRA-compliant districts improved descriptive representation for African-Americans but also helped Republicans win seats.
That’s not what today’s southern electorate looks like and the tradeoff has gone away.

Compare @Redistrict’s optimal Dem gerrymander of Alabama to his “maximize minority representation” gerrymander of Alabama. ImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
5 Apr
I think the whole Vaccine Passport conversation is a bit of a distraction.

The real issue is that once vaccine scarcity is no longer a big issue, we should start requiring them in other contexts (college enrollment, military service) where we require vaccines.
There’s no reason to mandate a vaccine that’s currently scarce. But once we achive Vaccine Abundance (June, I guess) then mandates are good because mandates signal confidence in the safety and efficacy of the medicine.
Read 5 tweets
3 Apr
I’m checking out @stephenwertheim’s book “Tomorrow The World: The Birth of US Global Supremacy” and I wish I’d read it before writing ONE BILLION AMERICANS because it suggests a distinction I wish I’d drawn more clearly in my book.
The US becomes global top dog in my sense either shortly before World War I or else as a consequence of the war itself.

We are the richest big country, the biggest rich country, the largest economy in the world and important at every table.
The story @stephenwertheim tells is about something different that happens later — American policymakers decide after World War II that we need to aspire to global military supremacy with bases everywhere, troops everywhere, allies and satellites everywhere.
Read 6 tweets

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