EricAlterman is The Nation’s longtime media columnist and a CUNY Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College. Lying in State: Why Presidents Lie and Why Trump Is Worse, from which some of the above is adapted, published by Basic Books, is his eleventh book.

Obama finally punched Republicans in the face in the debt talks. Eric Alterman on his attack on hedge funders and corporate jets—and why his own party could stand in his way.