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Trump 2016: Archie Bunker runs for President

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | August 12, 2015

Over the course of the past three and a half decades, the Republican far right has resembled the successive generations of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, offering up politicians who act more and more inbred over time. Their stunted thinking frequently makes sense only within their own circles; their words and actions can not only be … Continue reading »

Donald Trump and friendly fascism reconsidered

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | August 7, 2015

Donald Trump’s entrance into the presidential sweepstakes and substantial lead in the polls reminds me of the warnings issued 35 years ago in Bertram Gross’s widely read Friendly Fascism. Gross was concerned that the ever-closer integration of Big Business and Big Government could well lead to a new, kinder, gentler form of fascism — a fascism that … Continue reading »

The Stakes: Koch & Co. aim for a revolution in 2016

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | June 17, 2015

The 2016 election ambitions of the Koch brothers and what they represent on the Republican right wing, free-market absolutism, are nothing short of breathtaking. They feel within their grasp a historical opportunity they have been dreaming about for decades to turn back liberal institutions and customs. Things have lined up their way. Congress is in … Continue reading »

The Pentagon sees climate change as a national-security threat; House Republicans seek to thwart it

Dan Farber, professor of law | May 27, 2014

The military considers climate change to be a threat to national security.  Naturally, that’s news that the House Republicans would like to suppress.  Last week, they tried to do something about it with an appropriations rider. Luckily, the amendment is so poorly drafted that it would accomplish almost nothing. None of the funds authorized to be … Continue reading »

Renewable energy and political geography

Dan Farber, professor of law | April 28, 2014

The Washington Post had a story over the weekend about the concerted campaign by the fossil fuel industry to rollback state laws favoring renewable energy.  This effort was also the subject of an editorial in the Sunday Times. So far, this effort hasn’t gained real legislative traction.  The story attributes this failure to the growth of … Continue reading »

Lightbulb wars: the saga continues

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 21, 2014

Republicans have won a largely symbolic victory for an obsolete technology. Among the sleeper provisions of the new budget deal is a ban on enforcing federal lightbulb standards.  This is a great example of symbolic politics — it makes Tea Party Republicans happy, has limited practical effect, and makes little policy sense. Or to put it … Continue reading »

The ever-fascinating Christie

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | January 15, 2014

The most interesting thing about Chris Christie’s apology is that it was no apology. An apology is a speech act – an utterance that is in some way world-changing. Apologies change the world by reversing the power of speaker and addressee: the speaker puts himself intentionally in a one-down position as a result of actions … Continue reading »

The filibuster and the environment

Dan Farber, professor of law | November 25, 2013

In the short run, limiting the filibuster will strengthen the hands of environmental regulators. What about the long run effects? The filibuster arguably served a useful function when it allowed the minority to block action in extraordinary cases where its views were especially intense.  It became no longer tolerable when it became a routine barrier … Continue reading »

Republican crazy talk about the debt ceiling

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | October 9, 2013

“I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt,” says Sen.Tom Coburn, R-Okla. “We won’t. We’ll continue to pay our interest.” This is crazy talk. While the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments after October 17 – … Continue reading »

The debt ceiling and the environment

Dan Farber, professor of law | October 8, 2013

It slipped under the radar screen due to all the furor over the impending government shutdown, but the NY Times ran an important article two weeks ago about the debt ceiling.  The Republican plan is apparently to condition their agreement to raise the debt ceiling and save the country from default on a massive regulatory rollback. This … Continue reading »

Today’s American political dysfunction

Brad DeLong, Brad DeLong | August 30, 2013

Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute have a very nice op-ed this morning about America’s political dysfunction. I, however, found it sad: their fantasy is for pressure to work in America’s interest to be directed toward Speaker of the House Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell by… … Continue reading »

The sequester and the Tea Party Plot

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 1, 2013

Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population. Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread … Continue reading »

The death of climate legislation revisited

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 12, 2013

Why did the push for climate legislation fail even though Democrats controlled Congress and the White House in 2008-2010 ? Theda Skocpol, a Harvard political scientist, addressed this issue in a controversial recent paper.. Matt Kahn and I have both blogged before about her paper (here and here). Now that I’ve had a chance to read the 150-page article more … Continue reading »

The new Southern strategy

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | January 30, 2013

When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he told an aide that Democrats had “lost the South for a generation,” anticipating a white backlash in the South. Since the end of Reconstruction, the South had been dominated by the Democratic Party. The national party’s efforts to promote civil rights at the national … Continue reading »

How to never win another election

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | November 16, 2012

Suppose you have just been defeated in a tough political contest. Suppose further that it was one that, in your heart, you expected and felt entitled to win. Suppose in addition that most serious analysts attributed your loss, to a significant extent , to your antagonizing several key groups of voters: African Americans, women, Latinos, … Continue reading »

Why the GOP should embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency

Dan Farber, professor of law | November 13, 2012

There’s a lot of discussion these days about how the Republican Party should reposition itself in light of last week’s election results.  Support for renewables and energy efficiency would make sense as part of a package of policy adjustments — it would strengthen the Party’s appeal to swing voters, women, and younger voters, with only … Continue reading »

How Romney keeps lying through his big white teeth

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | August 30, 2012

“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” says Neil Newhouse, a Romney pollster. A half dozen fact-checking organizations and websites have refuted Romney’s claims that Obama removed the work requirement from the welfare law and will cut Medicare benefits by $716 billion. Last Sunday’s New York Times even reported on its … Continue reading »