Our Best Stuff on Ken Paxton’s Impeachment and Mike Pence’s ‘Time for Choosing’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Hello and happy Sunday. Tomorrow marks the 22nd anniversary of the devastating terror attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. We all remember what we were doing when we heard the news that morning. But do you remember what you did in the days after?

I had recently been laid off from my first dot-com job, so I watched a lot of cable news—probably too much. I soaked up the heartbreaking stories of the people who died that day, and marveled at the good fortune of those who would usually have been at the World Trade Center but were saved because they walked their child to school or took a vacation day. One day that first week, my husband stopped after work and picked up an American flag that we flew from our front porch. So, it seemed, did most of our neighbors.

As terrible as the attacks were, we took solace in the fact that Americans united in response. And, while it now seems quaint in comparison, America had felt pretty divided in the months before 9/11. George Bush had been president for just nine months, and plenty of Democrats were still angry about the contentious 2000 election. But for a while there—just as members of Congress did when they gathered on the steps of the Capitol and sang “God Bless America” on the evening of 9/11—we put aside our differences. Liberals muted their criticism of George Bush and Americans rallied behind the invasion of Afghanistan.

It didn’t last, of course. Our political divisions returned with the Iraq war, and the insurgency that prolonged it. Social media emerged and evolved, exacerbating the polarization. Donald Trump happened. You were there—you don’t need me to do a terrible update of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to catch you up.

Join to continue reading
Get started with a free account or join as a member for unlimited access to all of The Dispatch. Continue ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT? SIGN IN