Photo by Ian Schneider, Unsplash

JUXTA launched in the pandemic, over one year ago. It was an experiment crafted by good friends with several aims: to offer new voices; to present their content with visually stimulating illustrations; and most of all, to inform and empower citizens in the fight for democracy.

We’ve wound down JUXTA. There have been changes in the lives of team members, and changes in Medium’s model and direction.

But we’re incredibly proud of what we created here, and JUXTA will remain active as an archive of this American moment.

You can follow Dan Willson on twitter here: @WillsonWorld

You can follow Joel Lawson on Substack, twitter, and Facebook.

They’d pleaded for unity earlier this year

Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) and Ashley Hinson (R-IA1) suggested an “F” grade for President Biden’s State of the Union hours before it was to be delivered. Both of the Republicans had made high-profile appeals earlier this year for unity.

Their flunking grade was the default option in a “survey” seeking public ratings of Biden’s performance:

“What grade does President Biden deserve for his first Address to Congress?” the survey asked earlier on the day of Biden’s speech. The grade is already suggested: “F” is filled in as a default.

Both Hinson and Stefanik garnered attention earlier this year in…

Photo illustration by JUXTA. Gaetz: Gage Skidmore.

The focus on Florida Man obscures serious American decay

Two news items simultaneosly coursed above Washington, DC like giant electric arcs: the scandal surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Giggity), and former Speaker John Boehner spitting mouthfuls of honesty about Congress.

But these arcs aren’t connecting in a way that might provide greater illumination.

Tabloid addiction

Politics has never failed to provide the occasional tabloid titilation, and both the Gaetz scandal and the Boehner book are near-perfect examples. He-did-what-now meets he-said-what-now.

The dilemma, of course, is that American politics has become a steady drip feed of the stuff. …

Awkward hearing moment with Fed Chair Powell

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) had an embarrassing exchange with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and it says everything about the conveniently resurgent rhetoric of fiscal conservatism.

Republicans have suddenly been resharpening their talons as fiscal hawks, as they usually do upon shifts in White House control. And Kennedy’s moment with Powell was the biggest fiscal hawk fail yet (until another one comes along, say, when Congress debates passage of the $1.9T stimulus package soon).

Kennedy attempted to press Powell on America’s deficit, during a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday. The hearing was supposed to serve as Powell’s “Semiannual Monetary Policy…

Photo illustration by JUXTA. Trump photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

We regret to inform you of several inconsistencies

Donald Trump proposed impeachment of former Presidents up to three years after they departed the White House. Trump also believed Presidents could be impeached for repeating a series of policy falsehoods. He furthermore supported barring politicians from ever holding office again.

Impeaching former Presidents

Trump proposed the impeachement of former President Barack Obama on February 10, 2020 — over three years after Obama exited the White House.

“Why aren’t we impeaching him?” Trump asked, using the present tense, during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Trump wanted the former President impeached over the implementation of his Affordable Care Act (ACA), more popularly known…

In 2013, Tea Party activists organized nationwide efforts to hold pro-impeachment signs on highway overpasses. Photo by Jon Beilin

“Pushing his agenda” was a bit of a catch-all, wasn’t it?

The Republican itch to impeach President Obama was so long-lasting, various media outlets semi-regularly published lists of the attempts. The efforts heaped up until they earned their own Wikipedia page. The passage of time has lent some new context to these Janus-faced efforts. We can also now set them against present-day Republican calls to avoid a second impeachment of Donald Trump. Let’s take a look back at some of the oddest incidents, and smell the unity:

“Pushing his agenda”

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), August 1, 2011, at a Tea Party rally.

Hypocrisy Bonus: Burgess said at the time he intended impeachment to grind…

Illustration by JUXTA

Here’s how their biggest gaslighting yet is being prepared

Republicans are preparing the option of blaming Democrats for any new political violence that may erupt. It’s a blame shift almost too brazen to contemplate, yet their biggest gaslighting operation of all time is underway.

Here’s how they’re laying the groundwork:

1. Recasting their opposition to Biden’s election

Congressional Republicans are frantically recasting their opposition to affirming the legitimacy of the Biden-Harris victory. This is an essential posturing maneuver to — in their minds, at least— downplay any connection between that opposition and the violence so far.

This effort’s formal launch: in debate in the House Rules Committee, over Rep. …

Elissa Silverman, DC City Councilmember, At-Large.

A call for preparation, accountability, investigations and mayoral control over the National Guard

With Inauguration Day only days away, immediate steps must be taken to prepare. There is an equally important need to investigate the crimes, examine contrasts in police responses and give D.C. the autonomy to protect its citizens from terror. The siege at the Capitol highlighted multiple vulnerabilities in Washington and the need for action. D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman cogently laid out the most important next steps, which we share with you here:

Many of us are still processing feelings of anger and horror after witnessing the violent insurrection by Trump extremists in the U.S. Capitol. These were acts of domestic…

The world’s newspapers were splashed with front-page coverage of chaos in America’s halls of Congress. There are too many to list. We’ve gathered the boldest, saddest covers:

With a startlingly amateurish endorsement in a Congressional contest, the hollowing-out of a once-great paper continues

UPDATE: On November 1st, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Donald Trump for re-election, underscoring the questions raised in this essay. The paper’s endorsement of Trump caused such controversy, the Executive Editor issued a Letter to Subscribers two days later.

Pennsylvania threatens to be the pin in the grenade that is the 2020 election. One Congressional contest there mirrors the nation’s political ills: the faceoff between Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA17) and his Republican challenger, Sean Parnell.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week rolled out an endorsement in that race for MAGA-man Parnell. The imprimatur was startlingly amateurish and devoid of substance. …

Joel Lawson

DC-based public affairs consultant. Fmr: Capitol Hill, Ctr for Partnership Studies; Caring Economy Campaign; Fmr Chair, GenderAction.

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