The Great Debate

Don’t tear down Confederate monuments – do this instead

By Jack Hitt
July 23, 2015

Statue of General Robert E. Lee, astride his horse, Traveller, near the headquarters of the Dallas Park Board in Dallas, Texas, May 25, 2014. Library of Congress/Carol Highsmith

A son of the South shuns the flag

By Edward Ball
June 24, 2015
Confederate battle flag flies at the grave of Lewis Frederick Sweat, a soldier in the Confederate States Army in the U.S. Civil War, in Boone Hill Cemetery in Summerville

A Confederate battle flag at the grave of Lewis Frederick Sweat, a soldier in the Confederate States Army, in Boone Hill Cemetery in Summerville, South Carolina, June 22, 2015, REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Why it’s now time to take down a symbol of white supremacy

By Peniel E. Joseph
June 23, 2015
A Confederate flag flies outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia

A Confederate flag flies on South Carolina Statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

150 years after the assassination, when will we recover from Lincoln’s death?

By James Braxton Peterson
April 14, 2015
The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington

The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, February 11, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley

What makes Abraham Lincoln such a radical politician even today?

By David Bromwich
April 14, 2015
Wider Image: Memories of Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln in a portrait taken in Washington, February 9, 1864. REUTERS/Library of Congress/Anthony Berger

‘Living wage’ law is unconstitutional – if you ask lobbyists

By Ron Fein
October 6, 2014

Demonstrators rally to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 for fast-food workers at City Hall in Seattle

Industry trade groups are now challenging Seattle’s new minimum wage law as unconstitutional. They claim the city’s $15 an hour rate violates the 14th Amendment. Passed just after the Civil War to ensure equal rights for the newly freed slaves, that amendment says no state may “deny to any person . . . the equal protection of the laws.”

What’s happening in Iraq? Some smart takes to help figure it out.

By Jason Fields
June 13, 2014


The Iraq created in large part by the United States after the 2003 invasion appears to be collapsing.

A 14th Amendment for all centuries

By Garrett Epps
October 9, 2013

During the 1980s, a colorful Washington figure used to stand in Lafayette Square near the White House holding a sign: “Arrest Me. I Question the Validity of the Public Debt. Repeal Section 4, Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” That section reads: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” As far as I know, the whimsical “protester” was never arrested; he wasn’t breaking any law. Congressional Republicans, if they force the United States into default on its debt, will be.

A potential turning point for Syria

By Mona Yacoubian
September 11, 2013

In the dizzying debate over U.S. military intervention in Syria, one key point of consensus stands out: Both the Obama administration and Congress recognize that the resolution to Syria’s conflict must come through a negotiated settlement. Key international actors share the same conclusion.

Obama’s flawed case for a Syria strike

By Ari Melber
September 3, 2013

We should not bomb Syria without a vital national security interest and a precise foreign policy objective.