Forerunner. Carlyles 2022, https://t.co/oORfnTt8WO. Wrote “Humane,” https://t.co/H7l1SoguIA. “I didn’t expect it to gain immediate acceptance.” Yale prof.
1 added to My Authors
Jul 28 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
1/ The work of editors, even the greatest, is often unrecognized and unsung. I feel terrible about what could have driven Chris to take his life and for his family for their loss. In tribute I just want to acknowledge how much I personally owed him.
2/ He had a project, and it was to make what @washingtonpost readers get to see a little more pluralistic as times change. And I knew him as someone who especially wanted to query complacency in our politics, foreign policy, and law.
Mar 22, 2021 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
Endless war thread! In #Humane's last chapter, my centerpiece is Barack Obama's extraordinary National Defense University speech on May 23, 2013. (Preorder "Humane," since now is when it counts-links at end!) us.macmillan.com/books/97803741…
What made Obama special was that he was the best critic of his own policies, though-in an absolutely immortal moment that I believe defined the presidency morally more than any other--"heckler" @medeabenjamin pushed him offscript that day. obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-offi…
Sep 24, 2020 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
1/ There is a difference between due caution or salutary fear, on the one hand, and self-confirming and -fulfilling paranoia, on the other. Whether we stray from one to the other is up to us.
2/ Compliance with the framing of journalists and obedience to cues are choices. Events should compel our mobilization for sure-but a lot depends on how to frame them and seizing the initiative in doing so rather than living in the contrived reality of our enemies.
Sep 9, 2020 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
1/ Thoughts on @MadKhosla's provocative claim at the end of today's oped: "The legitimacy of courts was never built on popular authorization from the people. It was built on the promise of keeping representation in check and protecting the people from the extremes of politics."
2/ It is a descriptive or prescriptive claim? Unclear. And what kind of legitimacy was built either way? It seems like normative legitimacy is meant. But it would be interesting to find out to decide what is at stake in challenging judges today. nytimes.com/2020/09/09/opi…
Aug 24, 2020 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
1/ Today my review of Eric Posner's interesting "The Demagogue's Playbook" posts - check it out and retweet! thenation.com/article/cultur…2/ On one level, the review "interrogates" Posner's version of American history - his first attempt at writing history I believe - though I leave the details to the professionals.
1/ Today my piece on the Never Trump movement posts. This thread nerds out on European history in connection. If analogies are to be made with early twentieth century tumult, let’s not forget the descent into facism followed “the containment of the left.” newrepublic.com/article/158703…2/ The authors of the book under review cite, as the premise of their study of honorable conservatives, a wildfire meme since 2016: American democracy depends on whether the right evolves in a democratic or undemocratic way.
Jul 16, 2020 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
More reading warranted, but the Commission on Unalienable Rights report seems a dud. A haze of nationalism, noises about rights proliferation (a legitimate debate), and a bit of troubling signaling, but it‘s striking how orthodox it is given the source. state.gov/wp-content/upl… 1/
Is this the funniest line, unintentionally?: the UDHR’s “weaving of civil and political rights together with economic, social, and cultural rights into an integrated whole poses a certain challenge for the United States.” 2/
Jul 9, 2019 • 11 tweets • 2 min read
1/ What is to be done? This is my thread on how to think about the commission, in light of the prior two threads on its chair Mary Ann Glendon and its membership list.
2/ Here’s the first thread:
1/ Now let’s talk about the members of the new State Department commission on “unalienable” rights. That word is a signal of the larger politics of the American Founders’ human rights.
2/ The contending sides of US nationalism, liberal and conservative, have never been above claiming that Americans are the best to represent human rights to the world because they discovered them.
Jul 9, 2019 • 16 tweets • 6 min read
1/ It’s summer; I have nothing to do except bake a cake for some needy local children (and write a book). And this whole Mike Pompeo human rights commission thing is in my (very small) wheelhouse. politico.com/story/2019/07/…2/ In the immortal words of @KevinMKruse: “Let’s do this.” This thread provides background on the commission chair, Mary Ann Glendon. The next runs down the other members. The last assesses the significance. Bottom line: don’t drink this Kool-Aid; drink mine instead.
Jul 8, 2019 • 9 tweets • 1 min read
1/ We are in a golden age of reassessing “human rights” 1970-90s-but as usual what matters is not guarding the castle but which reassessment wins out. Mike Pompeo launches the US conservative one today. wsj.com/articles/unali…2/ Obviously it’s most revealing that defenders of human rights in any version would opportunistically use Donald Trump’s presidency to advance their vision. They’re hardly the first to cross the rubicon, but the move from Never Trump to natural rights is extraordinary.
Jan 27, 2019 • 16 tweets • 4 min read
Wow, I missed that @sapinker had posted a roundup of the reviews of "Enlightenment Now" and a response. It's worth a read. 1/ quillette.com/2019/01/14/enl…
His first claim appears to be that it doesn't matter if he simultaneously makes claims on the legacy of the Enlightenment and mangles what its representatives actually believed - it is legitimate to cherry-pick and mythologize if you are not trying to do serious history. Okay. 2/