The Angle

The Angle: The Rules Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on minority rule, authoritarianism, Citizens United and Trump, and starting ballet at age 62.

Fired up: It’s only Tuesday, and we’ve already seen two prominent instances of minority rule in American power this week: the militia rally in Richmond, Virginia, and its aftermath, and the beginning of the Senate impeachment trial per Mitch McConnell’s rules. Don’t be taken in by reports that the Richmond march was “peaceful” or that the impeachment trial is a denial of Trump’s voters. As Dahlia Lithwick shows, a majority of Americans are not sanctioning these institutional backlashes.

Authority: For a long time, people assumed that robust systems of democracy could serve as a bulwark against creeping authoritarianism. But as the rise of far-right governments across the world in the past few years has shown, no country is safe. And not all forms of authoritarianism are created equal: Trump’s constitutional overreaches don’t quite resemble the repression of Saudi rule. Which is why, Joshua Keating writes, it’s time to review our typical perceptions of authoritarianism in the modern age.

Consequences: The Citizens United case, decided 10 years ago today, played a crucial role in Trump’s impeachment, writes Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, whose investigation helped lead to the arrest of Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Parnas and Fruman laundered $325,000 to Trump’s super PAC in order to advance the interests at the heart of the Ukraine scandal.

Late beginners: Care and Feeding columnist Michelle Herman writes about starting ballet at age 62, what lessons the dance form taught her about her relationship with her body, and the joys specific to this demanding art form.

For fun: Brad and Jen.

And Jen and Brad,
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