The Angle

The Angle: The Little Men Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on the year of Old Boys, James Mattis’ departure, and Republican defectors.

Bullying, retribution, greed, beer: It became abundantly clear this year how much childish masculinity has a hold on power in America. Lili Loofbourow calls this class of manchildren—which includes Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, Les Moonves, and others—the “Old Boys,” and unfortunately we’ve been stuck living in their world.

It won’t come around: This week, a circuit court dismissed 83 ethics complaints against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, making it once and for all clear that America has no way to hold someone with Kavanaugh’s power accountable. Dahlia Lithwick dives into the queasy feeling we’re left with.

Letting down your defenses: What does Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ impending departure from the White House mean for this administration, and the country? Fred Kaplan looks at moments when “the last grown-up in the room” held the president’s power in check and concludes that anxiety is justified.

Party’s over: Over the past couple weeks, four Kansas state legislators, all longtime Republicans, have ditched the GOP to officially join with the state’s Democrats. Molly Olmstead spoke to three of them about the reasons they left the party and what goals they hope to achieve with their shift in affiliation.

For fun: A profane publishing trend.

Makes for a perfect holiday gift,