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Ah, 2009. For the past week or so, I’ve lived in a time vortex propelling me back to that year. Then, as now, a Democratic president was about to take the White House; there was much chatter about Barack Obama’s legacy; and Gucci Mane’s music was of utmost importance.

Yet it would have been impossible then to imagine each becoming so relevant now: Joe Biden’s election as president, a Verzuz battle amid the pandemic, and Obama’s memoir all smashing together. The world is acting like a poorly performed “10 years later” article.

So, what can 2009 tell us about now?

Looking back at our January+February 2009 issue, it’s surprising to see the number of echoes of the present. There were discussions about race versus class, whether to lock up Cheney for war crimes, and pushes for broad plans to fundamentally change the economy.

One, from David Cay Johnston, that ran as our cover story, is an interesting document. He lays out a few ways to substantially change the tax code instead of “tinkering around the edges.” You might recognize a few of the ideas: fix student debt (Biden is talking about doing that), tax the rich (Democrats are talking about doing that).

There’s more to dig into there, from a takedown of stimulus spending to an examination of welfare’s means testing.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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