Joshua Holland

Joshua Holland is a Nation Institute writing fellow and the host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter.

Recent Articles

McConnell Surrenders to The Resistance, For Now

The Kentucky Republican goes down to defeat again, but winning this latest battle doesn’t mean the war over health care has ended.

(AP Photo/CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark)
(AP Photo/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters in the Capitol on July 18, 2017. S enate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is done herding cats on his party’s catastrophic “repeal and replace” health-care bill, ending for now the GOP’s seven-year quest to unravel Barack Obama’s signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have likened to a deadly plague or an Earth-killing meteorite. It now looks like McConnell’s short-term goal is to teach a tuned-out president that griping from the sidelines about legislation he hasn’t shown much interest in comes with a steep price. But more important, he will succeed in delivering a “dead body” to the Republican base so he can say he did his best and move on to his true passion, cutting taxes on the wealthy. Here’s the tell: After Republican Senators Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah became the third and fourth vote against moving to take up the Better Care Reconciliation...

Dispatches From the Conservative Bubble: GOP Health-Care Edition

How come some Republicans don’t believe that the Ryan and McConnell bills would lead to more deaths? An epistemic blockade, that’s how come.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell meets with HHS Secretary Tom Price in his office in the Capitol. P oll after poll finds that a majority of Republicans disapprove of the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But given that every analysis of the Republicans’ bills comes to the same broad conclusion—that it will result in millions of Americans losing coverage, won’t reduce premiums for anyone but young, healthy people, and will bestow a massive tax cut skewed toward those who don’t need the extra cash—one has to wonder what those 30-40 percent who approve of the legislation are thinking. The simplest explanation is that they’re not. Most of us rely heavily on partisan cues to form a position on policy issues, especially when they’re complicated. Influencers—pundits, wonks, and politicians you like—play an important role. One such pundit is Joel Pollak, a rigidly ideological editor at Breitbart . On Saturday, he...

Will Clinton Move to the Center? Don’t Bet on It.

Widespread assumptions that Hillary Clinton and her party are poised to shift rightward overlook dramatic changes in the electorate since her husband occupied the White House.

(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)
(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a Digital Content Creators Town Hall in Los Angeles on June 28. C onventional wisdom on the left holds that Hillary Clinton is poised to tack right as she moves into the general election. “Triangulation,” after all, is the Clinton brand; the common view is that centrism must course through their veins. But Clinton will almost certainly prove this view wrong, and not because big donors’ influence has waned, or because she’s a leftist at heart. The reality is that dramatic shifts in the American electorate and innovations in modern campaign strategies have made courting the center both inefficient and less effective. It’s not the 1990s anymore. Not long ago, a majority of those who didn’t pay close attention to politics saw little difference between the two major parties, and genuine swing voters made up a significant share of the electorate. In the late 1960s, around 15 percent of voters would support...

Abuses on the Border

Donald Trump says he plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but civil liberties advocates say the border is already over-policed, with reports of abuses and even fatal shootings in Southwestern communities.

AP Photo/Eric Gay
AP Photo/Eric Gay In this Tuesday, September 15, 2015, photo U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents patrol along the border fence in Hidalgo, Texas. A manda Rodríguez Varela, who lives in Ciudad Juarez just south of El Paso, Texas, is fearful that her husband will find out that officials at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) have concluded that she’s a prostitute. The 51-year-old wife and mother’s ordeal began last September, when CBP officers grilled her as she crossed the border from Juarez to El Paso to shop at Walmart. “I don’t know why they decided I was a prostitute,” Varela told the Prospect in Spanish. “It seemed very arbitrary.” As Varela tells it, CBP agents called her a puta , or whore, and asked her if she had syphilis or gonorrhea. After about an hour, the officials let her cross, but a month later, she was detained once again. This time, she faced almost ten grueling hours of detention and interrogation. The agents fingerprinted her and searched her body...

Terrorists Will Never Limit Our Free Speech, But Government Can

“Lone wolf” nutjobs and small bands of extremists can't threaten our values, but our own institutions can.

(Photo by Boris Roessler/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)
Photo by: Boris Roessler/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images The front pages of international newspapers show the January 11, 2015, memorial march for the victims of the Paris terror attacks. Millions of people demonstrated on January 11 in a march through the French capital for the preservation of democratic values. T errorists can't limit our speech. They can murder and maim, and cause widespread panic, but they don't have the capacity to threaten to our democratic values. They never have, and they never will. The real threat is that we might voluntarily surrender some of our rights in order to defend ourselves against terrorism. In that sense, suggesting that a handful of bloodthirsty wackos have the capacity to prevent us from drawing offensive cartoons or mocking a religion gives them far more power than they actually posses. It's true that armed extremists can shape the way society operates in fragile or failed states, where they can sometimes wield something approaching real...

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