Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.


Recent Articles

New Year’s Resolutions for Democrats

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speak to reporters on December 13, 2017. democracy_rules.jpg A fter a grueling year in the political wilderness, Democrats see a ray of hope as they close out 2017, celebrating electoral wins in Virginia and Alabama, and honing their midterm attacks on the GOP’s wildly unpopular tax bill. But lest Democrats wake up to a giant hangover next year, they would do well to make a few New Year’s resolutions before ladling out the holiday punch. Above all, they should take care not to fall into the same traps that have snarled the GOP. Democrats have assailed President Trump and his allies for tearing down democratic norms, spreading falsehoods, and catering to elites. But progressives have struggled with their own destructive impulses, sounding troubling echoes of the disruptions on the right. Intra-party feuding, “antifa” violence, overwrought hyperbole, and secret political spending...

The GOP’s Weapon of Suppression: Voter Purges

AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File A primary election voter casts a ballot in Westerville, Ohio democracy_rules.jpg T he historic African American turnout that propelled Democrat Doug Jones to victory in Alabama’s Senate special election overcame decades of voter suppression in that state and around the country. But GOP-authored voter restrictions continue to pile up, and increasingly Republicans are branching beyond such familiar tools as voter ID rules to an even more aggressive suppression tactic: Voter purges that wipe voters from the rolls altogether. Done in the name of combating fraud, such purges have stripped hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, and elsewhere, prompting a rash of lawsuits by voting rights advocates who say eligible voters are being disenfranchised. In January, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that challenges Ohio’s practice of initiating the voter purge process for voters who have simply failed to...

Trump, Moore, and the Party of Men

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally in Fairhope Alabama democracy_rules.jpg W hile the rest of the world has its #MeToo moment, the Republican Party appears to be crawling back into the dark ages, when men charged with sexual misdeeds responded by defaming their accusers as liars. The predatory Roy Moore, who may just win the Alabama special Senate election now that harasser-in-chief Donald Trump has rallied behind him, has won the Republican National Committee’s seal of approval . Having once said Moore should withdraw from the race , Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says he will “let the people of Alabama make the call.” The only Republican senator not prevaricating or staying silent is the retiring Arizonan Jeff Flake, who has written a check to Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. It’s an awkward spot for a party that heads into the midterms led by a president with approval ratings as low...

Internet Ad Rules Bring Together Strange Bedfellows

AP Photo/Jon Elswick
AP Photo/Jon Elswick Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the House Intelligence Committee democracy_rules.jpg T he conservative backlash against proposals on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Election Commission to shed more light on internet political ads has been swift and predictable. When the FEC moved unanimously this month to clear the way for a rulemaking that would require small, online political ads to include disclaimers saying who paid for them, GOP election lawyer Dan Backer raised the alarm that such rules “will do nothing but keep law-abiding Americans away from political speech.” When lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduced a bipartisan bill to expand disclosure for online campaign ads, Institute for Free Speech President David Keating warned that it “would shut off an indispensable outlet for small grassroots groups to get their...

Blowing Up Democracy and Charities in One Fell Swoop

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) House Speaker Paul Ryan, joined by House Republicans, speaks to the media following a vote on tax reform, on November 16, 2017. democracy_rules.jpg T here’s a great deal wrong with the House-passed tax overhaul bill, but its most heinous provision may be one that effectively blows up both the campaign-finance laws and the charitable sector at the same time. By essentially repealing the so-called Johnson Amendment, a tax provision that bars charities from engaging in partisan politics, the House legislation frees up big donors to funnel even more unlimited, undisclosed money into campaigns, and, for the first time, to deduct that money from their taxes. The bill also threatens the credibility and viability of charitable groups, and would drastically reduce charitable giving—even as it robs education, housing, and health-care assistance from working families who invariably will turn to charities for help. The Senate tax bill does not repeal the Johnson...