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Index: American politics

Between history and myth in Austin, Texas.

Christopher Landrum: ‘ Like mushrooms in moist soil, overnight all over Austin appeared high quality epics, poems, novels, symphonies, and visual art. This was the first time citizens could recall their city breaking free of the bureaucratic interests of state government and the handful of monolithic multinational corporations that made up their coterie. And the first myth made in this new era was that the hurricane was to blame for the statues coming down.’

‘What kind of a man is it who can send women off to kill and maim?’

Kenneth W. Johnson: ‘What kind of a man is it who can send women off to kill and maim? What kind of society does that?

‘What kind of men sharing a fire team foxhole with a woman and two other men don’t treat the woman more gently?

‘What kind of society bemoaning that men don’t seem to respect women as much as they once might can’t see that part of the respect they demand is predicated on the specialness of the other?’

Republicans mount ‘a rearguard action against the party base’.

‘Amash said he voted against the 2013 Ryan budget—after “voting with our team 95 percent of the time”—because “we did not take a strong enough stance in dealing with our debt.” That was exactly the argument made by Heritage Action, the campaign branch of the conservative think tank, which had launched in the Tea Party year of 2010. Republican leaders can’t punish Heritage, but it can punish back-benchers.’