Elizabeth Drew, a regular contributor to The New York ­Review, is writing a continuing series on the 2016 election for the NYR Daily. (November 2016)


American Democracy Betrayed

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner with Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, as he passed the speakership to fellow Republican Paul Ryan, Washington, D.C., October 2015

Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy

by David Daley
Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy is a sobering and convincing account of how the Republicans figured out the way to gain power in the state legislatures and, as a consequence, in the federal government through an unprecedented national effort of partisan redistricting.

Making Clinton Real

Hillary Clinton on the last night of the Democratic convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 28, 2016

In Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton needed not a makeover but a stripping away of the layers of self-protectiveness and caution. Throughout the week, the momentousness of the history being made competed with the Clinton campaign’s quite evident strategic goals. But then, when the first woman presidential candidate appeared on the stage to claim the nomination, the importance of that moment was impossible to dismiss.


On the Election—II

Donald Trump
All American elections tend to be touted as historic, for all American culture tends toward the condition of hype. Flummoxing, then, to be confronted with a struggle for political power in which, for once, all is at stake. We have long since forfeited the words to confront it, rendering superlatives threadbare, impotent.

A Country Breaking Down

Rescue workers gathered below the Interstate 35W bridge in downtown Minneapolis after it collapsed and fell into the Mississippi River and onto its banks during evening rush hour, August 2007

2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Rust: The Longest War

by Jonathan Waldman
The near-total failure of our political institutions to invest for the future, eschewing what doesn’t yield the quick payoff, political and physical, has left us with hopelessly clogged traffic, at risk of being on a bridge that collapses, or on a train that flies off defective rails, or with rusted pipes carrying our drinking water.

Can They Undermine the Deal?

Senators Ron Wyden, Ben Cardin, Charles Schumer, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, and Chris Coons (seated) before a news conference on Capitol Hill to introduce the Iran Policy Oversight Act, October 1, 2015
The Republican Congress’s failure in September to pass a resolution disapproving the nuclear agreement with Iran didn’t mean that the deal was safe.* The president won a major victory when its supporters managed to bottle up the resolution disapproving the deal in the Senate, thus protecting him from having …


Down Goes Trump

Donald Trump, Cleveland, Ohio, October 22, 2016

Trump realized his campaign was in danger of humiliating defeat after the Access Hollywood tape. So what to do? Discredit the outcome. According to an NBC-SurveyMonkey poll, 45 percent of Republicans, primed by Trump, might not accept the results of the election. Might that make it all the harder for Clinton to govern? What did he care? Trump was prepared to pull down the temple’s pillars.

Trump at War

Donald Trump during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, October 9, 2016

Hands down, the nearly two-week span between the first two presidential debates culminated in probably the most disturbing and extraordinary weekend in all of presidential campaign history. What set it all off was the release late Friday afternoon, via The Washington Post, of a tape, mainly audio, of the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States bragging about how he sexually assaulted women.

The Candidates Laid Bare

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during their first presidential debate, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, September 26, 2016

The debate took place against the backdrop of an essentially tied presidential race. But while Trump was clearly winging it after the beginning, Clinton had an effective plan that she executed flawlessly. Her strategy was based on her belief that she could defeat Trump in the election on the basis of his character and personality.

Clinton: Into the Headwinds

Hillary Clinton at the Russell Street Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan, March 6, 2016

Within the space of less than two weeks the political talk switched from Clinton having a possibly unbreakable grip on the Electoral College vote to how much Trump has gained on her. How did this happen? Why isn’t the far more qualified candidate creaming an opponent so clearly unfit for presidency? What is it about Clinton that puts so many people off?