Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac is James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His books include: Democracy in Dark Times (1998); The Poverty of Progressivism: The Future of American Democracy in a Time of Liberal Decline; and Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion.

Articles by this author

"Welcoming the efforts, and the support, of 'Never Trump' Republicans, does not mean celebrating their moral rectitude or embracing their policy positions or even liking them as people," writes Isaac. "It means welcoming their willingness to support a strong Democratic victory in November, and acknowledging, as I argued back in January, that while they have an agenda of their own, they are allies in the defense of democracy." (Photo: AP/Getty/Salon) Views
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Trump and His GOP Enablers Are the Enemy: The Case for Unity Now
In politics timing is everything. All intelligent political criticism proceeds from this premise. Unintelligent criticism not so much. The next three months will be crucial for the fate of democracy in the U.S. And the outcome of the November election will determine whether the American system of...
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Travon Brown, with megaphone, leads the Black Lives Matter Protest march through Marion, Virginia on Friday, July 3, 2020. (Earl Neikirk for The Washington Post via Getty Images) Views
Monday, July 20, 2020
In Praise of a Young Black Lives Matter Leader With His Eyes on the Prize
This Thursday’s Washington Post features a compelling piece of reporting on the power of racism and the struggle against it. “ A teen led a Black Lives Matter protest in his small town. A cross was burned in his yard .” The article tells the story of Travon Brown, a seventeen year-old black high...
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Protesters marched in Manhattan in May of 2017 to protest a presidential visit. (Photo: Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
The 'Letter on Justice and Open Debate' Should Be Seen as a Stance Against Trumpian Authoritarianism
The “ Letter on Justice and Open Debate ” that was published last week at Harper’s Magazine has generated a firestorm of controversy. I’ve already weighed in, explaining why I would have signed: because Defending Freedom of Inquiry and Debate is Always Important, And A Proper Focus on the Danger...
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AOC symbolizes integrity, the courage of her political convictions, and the kind of passionate egalitarianism that the Democratic party must nourish if it is to have a future. (Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/cc) Views
Friday, April 24, 2020
Why the Democratic Party Must Support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Since Super Tuesday, it has been clear that barring some completely unexpected development, the Democratic presidential nominee will be Joe Biden. And in the past two weeks, there has been an extraordinary public display of political unity behind the Biden campaign, with Bernie Sanders, then Barack...
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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden tries to calm his supporters as demonstrators disrupt his rally at Renaissance High School on March 9, 2020 in Detroit on the eve of Michigan's primary election. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
The Promise and the Peril of the Millennial Left
It has been a long time since I’ve considered myself to be a socialist or even a “radical,” and longer still since I’ve even remotely approached being “young.” Yet I’ve watched with amazement as young people have mobilized behind the Sanders campaign and behind broader efforts to transform U.S...
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We have poked the bear (actually a big, fat, orange elephant) and he is now angrier than before. Now we must take him down. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Monday, February 03, 2020
Impeachment Has Always Been More Than Impeachment. And It Still Is.
There was never any doubt that an impeachment of Donald Trump would lead to an acquittal in the supine, authoritarian, Republican-controlled Senate. Never. My very first column on impeachment was published over a year ago: January 7, 2019. Written long before the release of the Mueller Report, “ On...
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The current kerfuffle between Warren and Sanders has almost nothing to do with the real issues at stake in this election and even this primary. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, January 16, 2020
The Warren-Sanders Squabble is Foolish
I like Elizabeth Warren. I also like Bernie Sanders. On ideological grounds, they are my preferred candidates. Whether either can win remains to be seen. The primary contest is an important “barometer,” though there is no ultimate test beyond winning itself. Warren’s electability argument might be...
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks with reporters during her weekly press conference at the Capitol on July 12, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Views
Wednesday, January 01, 2020
Nancy Pelosi's Leverage over Mitch McConnell
Over the past year I have been a strong and consistent critic of Nancy Pelosi's very cautious approach to the impeachment of Donald Trump. I continue to believe that it was foolish for House Democrats to focus so narrowly on the Ukraine matter, and equally foolish to rush forward to impeachment on...
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 House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) speaking with the press Wednesday after the committee’s hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Views
Saturday, December 07, 2019
Who Is the Audience for the Judiciary Committee Hearing?
What is the purpose and who is the audience for Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee Hearing? The Democrats must do better, for all our sakes. I have long expressed my exasperation with the timid way in which the House Democratic leadership has only reluctantly moved toward impeachment, even in the face...
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Hundreds of activists attend a rally in New York City on October 13, 2019 demanding that Congress fulfill its constitutional duty and impeach President Donald Trump. "Broadening the impeachment makes constitutional sense," writes Isaac, "and it makes political sense, too." (Photo: Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
Watergate Teaches Us That Democrats Should Broaden the Impeachment Charges
The Washington Post reports that as House Democrats prepare to move the impeachment process to the Judiciary Committee, they are now quietly debating the possible expansion of impeachment articles beyond Ukraine . That is a very welcome development for two reasons: because Trump’s record of...
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