Image for post
Image for post

Congress is increasingly not a place where the average member partakes in what’s generally understood as legislative activity, but rather engages in a variety of elaborate self-promotional exercises. The diminishment in the power of average House Members (as opposed to Party leaders who run their respective caucuses like fiefdoms) has been amply documented. One consequence of this trend is that “comms” has become far more of an all-consuming focus for a certain type of Member, particularly those who are most adept at social media.

One “comms” strategy that appears highly effective at the moment in generating outsized public attention is…


Image for post
Image for post

Downtown Washington, DC is currently under what essentially amounts to military occupation. Streets are locked down, guarded by Army vehicles and blocked off by huge, garish checkpoints. Vehicular traffic is limited to motorists who can show papers demonstrating that, as one Guardsman told me, they are conducting “legitimate business.” (Apparently this includes Uber drivers and food delivery workers.) According to official estimates, 25,000 military personnel are now deployed to the area — on top of countless federal, state, and local law enforcement agents. Troops roam around carrying rifles with no ammo loaded. …


Image for post
Image for post

The mob that barged into the Capitol Building on Wednesday accomplished a few things. First, it cemented the electoral demise of Donald Trump, whose termination from the presidency was merely delayed for a few hours by the chaos. Second, it put forward a public perception of Trump’s most ardent supporters as a collection of conspiracy-addled violent loons. Third, it humiliated and discredited Trump, who meekly conceded defeat the following day. There was no real “coup attempt,” despite incessant politician and media histrionics to that effect. Just a pitiful outburst that was quickly dispersed.

It was clear within about ten minutes…


Image for post
Image for post

We’re in the midst of what is likely the most extreme corporate censorship crusade in modern history — whereby oligarchic tech officials have moved to simultaneously purge the sitting, democratically-elected President from all the internet’s most-used public communications platforms — and the reaction among media activists (a more apt term than “journalists”) is 100% predictable: complete jubilation.

They absolutely love corporate censorship, and their ecstasy at its implementation grows in direct proportion to how ruthless and politically vengeful that censorship is. …


Image for post
Image for post

We are being told that a “coup attempt” no longer needs to be understood as constituting an “attempt” to seize control of the government — as had generally been the common understanding of the term before the events of yesterday, which have caused the entire political and media establishment to go completely haywire.

Is it unusual for a mob to breach the Capitol Building — ransacking offices, taking goofy selfies, and disrupting the proceedings of Congress for a few hours? Yes, that’s unusual. But the idea that this was a real attempt at a “coup” — meaning an attempt to…


Image for post
Image for post
Electoral College protest in Harrisburg, PA — December 2016

Anyone who was remotely sentient during the aftermath of the 2016 election should be the furthest thing from surprised that the frenzy of that period has now been replicated in the aftermath of the 2020 election, albeit with a different partisan and temperamental hue.

I attended the official meeting of the Electoral College in Harrisburg, PA — December 2016 — and it was quite a mind-melting experience. Once an uneventful formality that hardly anyone except hardcore obsessives even knew was happening, the actual convening of the Electoral College had become an object of national fascination. Protesters, egged on by Democratic-affiliated…


Image for post
Image for post

This was an election which blessedly provided more than enough fodder to make everyone feel a bit stupid. Pollsters and “modelers,” who spent months upon months projecting smug certitude about a massive-scale repudiation of Donald Trump, were once again embarrassed by huge systematic error in Trump’s favor — thus rendering much of what they had said worthless. On this score their predictions were even more error-riddled than 2016, undoubtedly the previous high watermark of phony media-crafted perceptions versus reality. …


Image for post
Image for post

If your online feeds are anything like mine at the moment, you are being inundated with claims of fraud, rigging, and other malfeasance related to the election. Of course, these are coming almost entirely from aggrieved supporters of President Donald J. Trump — who seem to believe that there’s absolutely no possible way he could’ve lost legitimately. …


Image for post
Image for post

From the moment Donald J. Trump took office, I argued it was necessary that he face a rational opposition — with an emphasis on “rational.” Discerning, targeted, evidence-based criticism would be imperative to counteract against Trump’s worst impulses, I maintained at the time, given his hardly-disguised penchant for blusterous, petty authoritarianism. …


Image for post
Image for post

I generally think it’s good practice for journalists to be maximally transparent about their voting behavior. Or at least, I don’t think arguments that journalists should conceal their voting behavior from readers, viewers, and listeners are particularly defensible. The general need for transparency extends beyond mere voting to other domains of political belief, although I do have to say that my views about the desirability of journo-transparency have been challenged by the past four years. Journalists and everybody else who today operates under the putative banner of “media” generally have no compunction whatsoever about being 100% transparent regarding their burning…

Michael Tracey

Roving journalist

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store