I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Last week was so busy, our Monday news roundup had to wait until Tuesday. What did you miss? Wacky takes on coronavirus? Trump dumping charter schools? Darwin Day? Christian college closing? How about the new poll numbers about socialist “electability?” Read on!

From the Right: Kooky takes on the coronavirus:

Tough times at Texas State, at CHE.

Davis-Williams, who is black, said one of the conservative students mocked him by saying he didn’t “belong” there. He walked closer to respond, but the student hid behind campus police officers gathered at the scene.

That’s when an officer stopped Davis-Williams — and told him to quit walking in that direction.

Another Christian college shuts its doors, at OL.

Tom Ries, who took the post of interim president in early January, said Concordia’s enrollment plummeted from more than 8,000 four years ago to around 5,000 currently. He said the university has a “significant” debt load and faced significantly higher costs in the coming year.

The shutdown came suddenly. Just last Tuesday, Concordia staged a flashy event that raised $355,000 for its an innovative program with Portland Public Schools. The first some staff and faculty heard anything about a shutdown was when it was announced to them at 9 a.m. Monday. Students got the word an hour later.

Trump’s budget plan cuts funding for education, at Politico.

…and it specifically cuts federal funding for charter schools, at Curmudgucation.

The Trump budget completely axes federal support for charter schools, rolling the federal money for charters into a big fat all-purpose block grant, a big chunk of money retrieved from various programs that have been deemed redundant and ineffective. States will now get a big pile of money that they can spend on a loosely defined bunch of Education Stuff. If they want to spend some of that on charter schools, they can.

What does Trump’s proposed ed budget say? Review at Chalkbeat.

The Trump administration proposed a major reduction in federal education spending Monday that would eliminate nearly 30 standalone programs, including ones that support homeless students, rural students, English learners, and magnet schools.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the proposal would effectively axe a long-standing federal program that has catalyzed charter school growth across the country.

The department packaged this move as part of a bigger effort to give states more decision-making power.

How are charter-school leaders taking the news? Not well, at WaPo.

The hardest electoral positions? “Socialism” or “atheism,” says new Gallup poll.

gallup atheist electabilityWhere are the great TV shows about teachers? At WaPo.

Shows such as “Parks and Recreation,” “Scrubs,” “The Office,” and “Silicon Valley” balance humor with heart and genuine insight. Even through the absurdity, something about the work world these shows create rings true. Not so much with TV teachers.

Darwin Day was Feb. 12. National Center for Science Education collected a series of statements: Why Teach Evolution. You can see them all here.

Teaching and discussing evolution opens so many doors to scientific inquiry and understanding. The very heart of what science is, and is not, is captured in conversations about how we know evolution is happening at the micro and macro levels, the inability of science to consider the metaphysical as an explanation of events, and the nature of science as self-correcting in light of evidence.

When Trumpism Goes (Anti)-Viral

Sometimes it is difficult to argue that religious conservatives aren’t simply anti-science. When it comes to news about coronavirus, for example, conservatives from Trump on down are making kooky claims. Why?

Let’s back up a minute first. When it comes to big questions like evolution/creationism and climate change, conservatives have a hundred-year history as the anti-science side. However, as I’m arguing in my new book about creationism (cover art updates coming soon), it has never been a fair accusation. Religious conservatives have always loved capital-s Science. They just haven’t trusted the scientists who have usurped control over it.

With Trumpism ascendant, however, I’m wondering how long conservatives can maintain their fingertip-grasp on scientific legitimacy. Perhaps most religious conservatives would share my scorn for the latest batch of hooey coming from a few conservative preachers.

For example, who in their right mind could endorse Jim Bakker’s snake-oil claims? No thinking person—conservative or otherwise—would take Bakker’s claim about his magical “silver solution” seriously, even when he claims it eliminates coronaviruses.

And it will be tempting for thoughtful conservatives to pooh-pooh the exalted exhalations of preachers such as Omaha’s Hank Kunneman. On February 9, Kunneman prophesied that Trumpism had kept America safe from the coronavirus. As Kunneman said,

Listen to the words that I speak to you at this moment, says the Living God. Why do you fear, United States? For I have spoke to you before, and I speak to you again. I have extended and opened a window of mercy to this nation at this time. Therefore the virus that they speak of, the prognostication, the diagnosis—my mercy is the quarantine that shall be greater than what they have spoken to you, United States.

Because of the administration that stands in this land, who honors me, who honors the covenants of your forefathers and of the Constitution, and because they have aligned themselves with Israel, and because they have sided on the right side of life—life in the womb, life given outside of the womb—therefore I give life to this nation, and I give mercy. Do not fear this virus, says the Spirit of God.

I know plenty of intelligent conservatives who would shake their heads at this sort of anti-scientific mumbo-jumbo. Lots of conservative religious people will tell you that their religious beliefs do not put them at odds with science. They will say that there is no need to pretend that “Science” and “Religion” are opposed to one another. And for what it’s worth, I think they are right. There’s no need for conservatives to discredit science in order to prove their religious bona fides.

In Trump’s America, however, the mumbo-jumbo has taken over at the top. When it comes to things like coronavirus, Trump has unleashed the full deadweight of his anti-scientific worldview. Recently, he told a group of governors,

The virus that we’re talking about having to do, a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat, as the heat comes in, typically that will go away in April.

Trump’s current blast of anti-science is nothing new. Back when he was a private citizen, he was already fond of over-tweeting his aversion to scientific knowledge. When it came to Ebola, for example, Trump famously warned against readmitting exposed medical workers and a patient to the United States. Trump did not seem to care that the Ebola virus had already come to the US by 2014, with several safe labs studying it.

trump ebola 2014Heedless of science, convinced of his own superior knowledge, Trump might just be trashing the careful, difficult work of generations of religious conservatives. For a hundred years now, thoughtful conservatives have worked hard to overthrow popular misconceptions. Conservatives have labored to convince America that they are not anti-science even though they are pro-God. With a few tweets, Trump seems to have tipped the scales once again, tying conservatism and religion to a crude anti-scientific outlook.

Dumped Chumps Plumped for Trump*

I admit it—I’m out of touch. I’ve been spending most of my time lately in the 1820s, so when I heard the news I thought I had just missed something. When I saw that Trump had proposed cutting federal funding for charter schools, I was totally surprised. Turns out I wasn’t the only one.

Trump and devos

–Did you do the reading? –I did not.

Here’s what we know: Trump’s new proposed budget makes big changes in ed policy. The overall proposal would cut about eight percent in education financing. Most surprising, the cuts include a total elimination of the federal Charter Schools Program. Last year alone, according to Chalkbeat, big charter networks such as KIPP and IDEA scored big grants through that program, $86 million and $116 million, respectively.

That’s not a huge chunk of the federal ed budget, but this switch still seems like a surprising symbolic turnaround. And if hasty straw twitter polling is any measure, it seems as if top ed scholars and pundits also found the proposal surprising.

Will the budget proposal matter? Most likely, it will not survive as proposed. But it marks another dramatic change in the politics of charter schools. As SAGLRROILYBYGTH are painfully aware, one of the big surprises of 2020 has been the dramatic political realignment we’ve seen on the issue of charter schools. Not so long ago, Democratic contenders such as Senator Warren were big fans of charters and even vouchers. Once charters and choice became the signature issue of Queen Betsy, Democrats dropped them. Even St. Obama voiced some urbane skepticism about the ideology of the “reform” movement.

And now this. Charter school advocates found themselves forced to support Trump as the only game in town, only to have that support yanked away.

What does it mean? Maybe DeVos is hoping to open more space for vouchers and other programs. Or maybe—like with their major goof about the kid from Philly—the Trump administration simply hasn’t thought this proposal all the way through. Maybe they just saw a chance to cut the budget and that was enough.

                                                               *So sorry about this headline. I just couldn’t help myself.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

What did you miss this week? Trump bashing public schools? Catholic colleges loving LGBTQ students? The latest on “Satanic pregnancies?” It’s all here in our weekly news round up. Plus Kobe Bryant, John Whitcomb Jr., our next Ed Secretary, and Tennessee’s bad plan for funding schools.

Trump talks education at SOTU.

Only snobs would sneer at Paula White’s call to miscarry “Satanic pregnancies,” says DF.

remember that Pentecostal Christianity was born out of America’s poor and working-class communities—people who feel the tremendous, grinding weight of poverty, of addiction, of oppression—and it is sweeping through the global south in communities who face many of these same challenges. These people are not privileged. They don’t have the power and confidence of America’s prosperous Christian class. The Holy Spirit bursts into their lives like a supernova of hope.

How should Catholic colleges treat LGBTQ students? At America.

How can Catholic colleges respond to the needs of L.G.B.T. people? It is often a contentious topic. But it need not be. Because at heart it is about something that Jesuits call cura personalis: care for the whole person, care for the L.G.B.T. person.

Who might be the next Secretary of Education? At EdWeek.

Some you’ve probably heard of, like Jerry Falwell Jr., Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Tony Evers of Wisconsin. But others you probably haven’t.

Who was the late Kobe Bryant’s biggest inspiration? His English teacher. At WBUR.

Tennessee’s Governor Mike Lee announces new $$$ for schools.

Not so fast: Fifth Third Bank reverses its decision to pull out of scholarship program, at OS. It seems they’re back in after receiving assurances that none of their $$$ would go directly to anti-LGBTQ schools.

Fifth Third said Friday that it changed its views based on “detailed conversations” with the AAA Scholarship Foundation, which administers some of the program. The bank said that the foundation had agreed to “develop a roadmap to help parents navigate the school selection and application process.”

RIP Dr. John Whitcomb Jr. I’m no creationist, but there is no denying the long-lasting influence of Whitcomb’s work. It was Whitcomb more than his more-famous co-author Henry Morris who sparked the rise of young-earth creationism in the 1960s.

“Failing Government Schools:” the Next Page in Trump’s Playbook

By and large, people like them. Why would President Trump attack them? He has scored some victories by backing extremist views. Will it work with schools, too?

Here’s what we know: In his State of the Union speech, Trump took the highly unusual step of criticizing public schools as “failing government schools.” Why would he do that? By and large, public schools are enormously popular with Americans. Yes, people tend to agree that the nation’s schools as a whole have problems, but huge majorities (65%-77%) give their kids’ schools an “A” or “B.”

gallup kids schoolsNot only that, but public schools have a unique place in America’s vision of itself. For a long time now, as Jonathan Zimmerman explored, Americans have considered their local public school a central part of their community.zimmerman small wonder

Traditionally, presidents and other national leaders like to set themselves up as defenders of the public schools. It seems like a bad move for Trump to attack them, like pitting himself against baseball. Or apple pie. Or motherhood.

Will Trump’s attack on public schools hurt him? With normal politicians, I’d think so. But Trump has made a presidential career out of embracing non-mainstream views.

Remember Charlottesville? Most politicians would have denounced a racist, murderous, extremist march. But Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.”

america school heiderich 1897

What Trump is now against. (c. 1897)

And as a few historians discussed yesterday on Twitter, the phrase “government schools” has a long and tangled history. Back in the 1950s, it was used by a few libertarians such as Milton Friedman. It was also the language used by white supremacists in the South to denounce integration. By the 1970s and 1980s, it had become the language used by a certain type of extreme religious conservative.

By adopting the rhetoric of “failing government schools,” President Trump has once again upended presidential tradition. Instead of trying to represent a respectable, staid, traditional middle, he has taken on the position of extremist, aggrieved conservative outsiders.

Will it work? Four years ago, I would have said no. So far, though, it has been Trump’s go-to move. As the head of the government, attacking “government schools” makes no sense. It alienates large portions of the voting populace. But it also motivates and encourages a small group of outsiders and extremists, people who hadn’t considered themselves welcome in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue before 2016.

Hope for Us All

Impeachment drama got you down? Then check out this story from my local paper. The tenor of our national debate may have grown sour, but people still endorse basic decency and decorum.

brindisi town hall

Anthony Brindisi: How to disagree in the Trump era.

Here’s what we know: My US Representative, Anthony Brindisi, held a town-hall meeting last night. Much of the goings-on were predictably humdrum. He posed for pix with a group of Girl Scouts; he talked about keeping the local AA baseball team in town.

At one point, though, an audience member grew belligerent. Brindisi, a Democrat in a heavily Republican district, had voted for Trump’s impeachment. The woman insisted that Brindisi had promised her he’d vote against impeachment. She grew increasingly hostile as other members of the audience and Rep. Brindisi tried to calm her.

Woman: You lied to us. I want an answer.

[hubbub in audience…]

Brindisi: I never said that. What I said was…

Woman (interrupting): You said you were…

Voices from audience: LET HIM FINISH!

Woman: …I have it on my phone. I would like to know an answer to that.

Brindisi: ..what I said…

Woman (interrupting): You represent US.

Brindisi: …what I said was I was waiting for all the evidence to come out before making a decision. And I did make a decision and I’m sorry we disagree.

LOUD APPLAUSE

Eventually, the woman was asked to leave by a sheriff’s deputy. My hunch is that plenty of my neighbors agree with her about impeachment. Trump has a lot of support around here.

However, my neighbors don’t approve of her in-your-face style. She didn’t come to listen. She came to shout. The audience preferred Brindisi, with whom many of them disagreed, to the woman, with whom many of them agreed. Not for their stance on the issues, but for Brindisi’s obvious regard for basic politeness and civil tone.

Seems like some pretty basic political virtues are still being practiced:

  1. Cheer for the home team, even when things look bleak;
  2. Love your neighbors;
  3. Be polite, ESPECIALLY when you disagree strongly.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Okay, so now that the Packers are out of the playoffs we can see what else is going on in the world. Here are some top stories from last week:

Kicked out for a gay cake. How conservative school leaders can mess up on LGBTQ stuff, at ILYBYGTH.

gay cake

Out, vile monster!

FL teachers march, at TD.

Teachers, parents and their supporters brought downtown Tallahassee to a standstill Monday as they protested what they said has been a systematic attack on public education dating to the late 1990s — when, coincidentally, Republicans took over the Legislature and Governor’s Office.

fl teacher march

Progressive college has to change to survive, at IHE.

“They have a very different vision of what college would be and have different needs,” [President George] Bridges said. “They want to leave Evergreen with a degree they can use in a career, in a market,” and that’s explicable to employers. Students who attended in past decades grew up in a different economic climate, he said, and weren’t seeking such specific outcomes.

RIP, Roger Scruton. Eulogy at AC.

Taking Edmund Burke and Adam Smith as his exemplars in thought, Scruton’s traditionalist conservatism always revolved around his love of place and the need for real and organic community, held together by habit, custom, and experience. All good in society, then, flows from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

Who is an evangelical? An interview with Thomas Kidd at R&P.

the media has come to discuss evangelicals in a very narrow way. The implication is that, when we use the term, we are talking specifically about white Republicans in the United States. But when you think about the evangelical movement on the world stage, this is very misleading.

Trump’s new guidelines for school prayer. What’s new? Not much, really, for schools, but a reversal of other rules, at WaPo.

Under current regulations, faith-based providers — such as health care entities, child welfare organizations, educational nonprofits — need to give beneficiaries notice of their religious character and their right to get services elsewhere. They also have to make reasonable efforts to refer beneficiaries to another provider if the person receiving services is uncomfortable. . . . The Trump administration announced rules to end the requirement, created under the previous administration.

god-is-my-heroMormon Sunday-school manual accidentally includes racist Mormon history, at SLT.

several early readers of the 2020 “Come, Follow Me” manual were troubled to see a note in one lesson that is a throwback to previous thinking.

“The dark skin was placed upon the Lamanites so that they could be distinguished from the Nephites and to keep the two peoples from mixing,” the book explains, citing a statement made some 60 years ago by then-apostle and future church President Joseph Fielding Smith.

From the Archives: Protecting Children from Imaginary Threats

Okay, so we know Trump’s recent announcement about protecting student prayer in schools was nonsensical. Students already CAN pray in school if they want. In a different sense, however, Trump’s prayer defense was not only politically savvy, but a continuation of a long tradition of wildly disproportionate responses to non-existent threats. This morning, a few examples from the archives.

Trump prayer anncment tweetExample 1: Harold Rugg’s textbooks, 1939. I’ve read them. In a word, they are bland. Hardly the stuff to inspire violent protests. They were hugely popular in the 1930s, selling millions of copies. In 1939, conservative groups such as the American Legion and National Association of Manufacturers fretted that these books were indoctrinating students in left-wing directions.

What happened? In cities across the Northeast and at least one town in rural Wisconsin, conservatives threatened to pile the books up and burn them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Boring…boring…boring from within.

Burning textbooks in an era of Nazi occupation in Europe seems like a remarkably disproportionate response to a popular textbook. So why do it?

Among themselves, Legionnaires warned darkly that Rugg’s books were only the sharp edge of a long-planned socialist revolution. As one Legion activist wrote in a private letter, colleges like Teachers College at Columbia University had become nests of “socialist fanatics” who schemed to use Rugg’s textbooks as part of their plan to subvert American institutions.

roscoe letterWe can only make sense of the violent response to Rugg’s textbooks if we put the story in this imaginary context. In the imaginations of many conservatives, Rugg’s textbooks were an immediate threat to American society as a whole. Destroying them was the only way to protect children from that imaginary threat.

Example 2: Fast forward a few decades and conservatives again responded violently to an imaginary school threat. In Kanawha County, West Virginia, a new set of textbooks was approved by the state. When conservatives previewed the books, they were alarmed by what they saw. School-board member Alice Moore denounced the books as anti-American, anti-Christian, and even simply anti-proper-English.

Local conservatives agreed and they boycotted local schools until the offending books were removed.

The boycott became violent. Schools were firebombed, busses shot, and the school-board building dynamited. Two people got shot along the picket lines.

alice moore posterAgain, seems like a startlingly violent reaction to a fairly humdrum textbook problem. Along the picket lines, however, activists were circulating flyers with shocking language. The quotations were purportedly from the offending textbooks, but the offensive language was not found in the actual adopted textbooks. In the imagination of the protesters, however, it seemed entirely believable that school textbooks in 1974 might really include offensive sexual language. They were willing to take extreme measures to protect children from these threats, even though the threats never really existed.

alice moore again

Ms. Moore makes her case in a crowded 1974 school-board hearing…

We could cite other examples from throughout the twentieth century. When it came to racial integration, for example, attempts to integrate schools from Boston to Oxford, Mississippi were routinely met with ferocious violence.

It’s not surprising to find such violence in educational politics. People care a lot about their kids, obviously. And they care a lot about controlling schools. In this case, though, there’s a particularly virulent form of culture-war violence at play. It’s not only about actual policy, but of imagined threats to an imagined past.

For many conservatives, public schools traditionally included God. And that’s not imaginary–public schools really do have a long history of being dominated by white evangelical Protestants. The history of the twentieth century can be seen as a long struggle to nudge or shove evangelicalism out of its historically dominant role. Integration, school prayer, sexuality, history textbooks…all became symbols of the ever-diminishing clout of white evangelicals in public schools and in public life.

Consider one final example of the unique power of schools in America’s culture-war imagination. Years after the fact, one of the schemers behind the “New Christian Right” in the 1970s and 1980s remembered the issue that got conservative Christians most riled up. As Paul Weyrich recalled, it wasn’t “abortion, school prayer, or the ERA.” Sure, those things made conservatives mad in the 1970s, but they didn’t push conservative Christians en masse to the GOP. The issue that did? According to Weyrich,

Jimmy Carter’s [1978] intervention against the Christian schools, trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation.

Against this historical backdrop, Trump’s nonsensical protection of school prayer makes a little more sense. Schools play a unique and uniquely influential role in culture-war politics. Even imaginary threats—perhaps especially imaginary threats—get people roused with violent fury.

In that sense, it should come as no surprise that Trump played the school-prayer card. It isn’t sensible policy, but it tends to get people angry. In that sense, it seems like a perfect example of Trumpism in action.

Why Would Trump Talk about School Prayer?

On the face of it, the statement was meaningless, or even weirdly insulting to evangelical activists. Yet President Trump announced yesterday that he was taking “historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools.” If students already had that right, why would Trump bother?Trump prayer anncment tweetThis move is not a new one for Trump. SAGLRROILYBYGTH will recall he made similarly meaningless promises to defend the use of the Bible in public schools. In his announcement yesterday, Trump declared,

in public schools around the country, authorities are stopping students and teachers from praying, sharing their faith, or following their religious beliefs. It is totally unacceptable.

Such a statement might seem ill-advised. After all, Trump has always bent over backwards to court support from evangelical Protestants. And evangelicals have long bent over backwards to prove that students DO have the right to pray, share their faith, and follow their religious beliefs in public schools.

For example, the See-You-At-The-Pole movement is all about demonstrating students’ continuing right to pray in their public schools. One might think that these evangelical activists would be offended at Trump’s assumption that they have not been praying in schools already.

I don’t think they will. Instead, I think a lot of MAGA Christians assume that their children are under threat. And to be fair, if you were to read only MAGA/Christian news, you’d get plenty of support for that mistaken notion.

Consider a couple of examples of the things some conservative Christians are hearing. Organizations such as Focus on the Family warn readers of experiences like the following:

  • A father expresses concern after his daughter, a high school student, tells him an education official stopped her from bowing her head to silently pray before eating lunch.

  • A fifth-grade student brought his favorite book, the Bible, with him to class to read during a free reading period. But according to news reports, the teacher had him come up to her desk and, in front of the class, left a message for his parent explaining that she noticed he had a religious book and was not “permitted to read those books” in her classroom.

Sadly, none of these scenarios are fiction.

Or what about the sad story of ten-year-old Erin Shead? Erin was told by her teacher to think about her hero. She did. It was God. But then her teacher told Erin that God could not be her hero.god-is-my-hero

We could go on. Plenty of conservative Christians read stories like this and they fret about the state of prayer in America’s public schools. They might even send their own kids to public schools like the ones in Greenwood, Indiana, where old-fashioned evangelical Christianity still dominates the school. As the superintendent in Greenwood explained,

I don’t think any of us leave our faith at the door because the bell rings. . . . Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that doesn’t stop just because the school bell rings. . . . As a leader, I’m hoping that we’re promoting what people would call Christian values.

What does Greenwood, Indiana have to do with 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? I don’t want to accuse President Trump of thinking strategically, but I think his announcement about school prayer might make political sense even if it makes no policy sense.

Yes, students are free to pray in their public schools if they want. And plenty of public schools—like the ones in Greenwood, Indiana—incorporate Christian values deeply into everything they do. It doesn’t really matter. When Trump voters read that a fourth-grader got in trouble for announcing that God was her hero, Trump wins. And when voters read that school officials are stopping students from praying, Trump wins.

It doesn’t matter that students actually have plenty of prayer rights already. Trump stumbled onto an issue that matters to a lot of people. Students’ right to pray is beyond dispute. But people still think it is under attack.

Were You Trumpared, Part Deux

Thank you, The Internet! Yesterday I asked you if you were surprised by the rise of Trumpism. Over on The Twitter, some topnotch academic historians shared their experiences. I’ll share a few highlights here for those SAGLRROILYBYGTH who don’t tweeter.

It started with an offhand comment by blogger Peter Greene. As he reflected on the end of 2019, he noted,

In many ways, becoming a student of ed reform prepared me for a Trump presidency, because it made me really confront the degree to which many of my fellow citizens do not share values that I had somehow assumed were fundamental to being a citizen of this country.

Unlike The Curmudgucrat, my experiences in the 2010s left me utterly unprepared for the rise of Trump. The archives I explored for my book The Other School Reformers led me to conclude that Trumpish tendencies were usually quashed by conservative organizations, in the name of “respectability” and “mainstream” appeal.

It appears I wasn’t alone. As Rick Perlstein shared, he had to re-calibrate his thinking. He had written back in 2016,

I’ve been studying the history of American conservatism full time since 1997—almost 20 years now. I’ve read almost every major book on the subject. I thought I knew what I was talking about. Then along comes Donald Trump to scramble the whole goddamned script.

And, as Natalia Mehlman Petrzela noted, the “time and style” of Trumpish conservatism feels a lot different from the conservatism of the later twentieth century. As Prof. Petrzela asked,

There’s no way “F*CK YOUR FEELINGS” as a tee-shirt saying for the winning GOP presidential candidate in 2016 was foreseeable from the 60s/70s, right?

natalia on TrumpIt seems that Trump’s ascendancy has changed the way historians of conservatism approach the topic, or at least pointed us in slightly different directions. As Kevin Kruse wrote, he is now working on a new book about

“law and order” politics as seen through NYC[.]

It doesn’t usually work this way, but yesterday at least Twitter helped me learn a lot about a complicated topic and gave me a new reading list. I just ordered a copy of Timothy Lombardo’s book about Frank Rizzo and blue-collar conservatism in Philadelphia.