Donald Trump is on the verge of accomplishing what no American president has ever achieved — a truly multi-racial, multi-class, bipartisan political coalition. Unfortunately for the president, the coalition opposes him.
Does the rule of law apply to Trump? The U.S. Supreme Court must decide
In generations past, the high court ruled unanimously to limit the power of Nixon and Clinton. Now, in more volatile times, it must assess Trump’s claim of unprecedented power.
GOP’s push of super-unpopular agenda: a bad sign for democracy
(This commentary by Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker of Yale University was published on Dec. 7 by Vox, as part of its The Big Idea home for smart discussion of the most important issues and ideas in politics, science, and culture. Pierson and Hacker are the authors of American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led … Continue reading »
What would Nino do?
A profound irony hangs over Republican politicians, pundits, and presidential candidates as they mourn the unexpected death of Antonin Scalia. They laud him as an intellectual giant for his promotion of Constitutional originalism and statutory textualism. Yet in nearly the same breath, they call for a suspension of the procedures the Constitution explicitly defines, insisting … Continue reading »
Election 2016: How predictive are Iowa and New Hampshire?
Now that we know the results from Iowa and New Hampshire, how much do they really tell us about who will eventually capture the Democratic and Republican nominations? As the charts below indicate, the first two states have usually had some predictive power – it’s unusual for a candidate to win neither but still emerge … Continue reading »
Election 2016: The long and uncertain path to a Trump victory
After his victory in New Hampshire, Donald Trump has shown that he is a real contender for the Republican Party’s nomination. Prediction markets, in which consumers can place bids on who will win the nomination, had soured on Trump following his setback in Iowa. But right now on Predict It, Trump’s shares are worth twice … Continue reading »
GOP still clinging to the Southern strategy
In the 1960s, the Republican Party launched the Southern strategy – the use of coded racialized appeals to gain white votes. The large proportion of whites that now identify as Republican attests to the strategy’s resounding success. Its continued influence was evident on the stage in Cleveland Thursday. Despite the fact that Fox’s Facebook monitoring … Continue reading »
Islamophobia: An Electoral Wedge Issue!
In 2011, the Center for American Progress published a groundbreaking report, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” which managed to expose for the first time the funding sources behind the bigotry producing Islamophobic industry, the individuals responsible and the effective strategies that made possible to impact the mainstream. CAP’s report managed … Continue reading »
The ever-fascinating Christie
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 GOP’s war isn’t over. It’s only a ceasefire
The war isn’t over. It’s only a cease-fire. Republicans have agreed to fund the federal government through January 15 and extend the government’s ability to borrow (raise the debt ceiling) through Feb. 7. The two sides have committed themselves to negotiate a long-term budget plan by mid-December. Regardless of what happens in the upcoming budget … Continue reading »
Republican crazy talk about the debt ceiling
“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
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 »
The House GOP takes a courageous stand against food safety
It takes guts to oppose food safety. But that’s no problem for the House GOP. According to the New York Times, today’s House farm bill (July 11, 2013) wasn’t content to eliminate food stamps, it also took aim at food safety: One overlooked provision in the bill came from Representative Dan Benishek, Republican of Michigan, … Continue reading »
The Republicans of the Supreme Court
In order to fully understand what the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court have been up to when they make decisions that affect our democracy, as they did last week on voting rights, you need to understand what the Republican Party has been up to. The modern GOP is based on an unlikely coalition … Continue reading »
The sequester and the Tea Party Plot
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 »
Why is each sequel worse than the last?
Some movie franchises last way too long: Friday the 13th, Rocky, Nightmare on Elm Street. Each new film is worse than the last, and they’re all worse than the original, which wasn’t so great itself. The GOP war on energy-efficient light bulbs has the same characteristic — you wish someone would just drive a stake through … Continue reading »
The death of climate legislation revisited
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 »
How to never win another election
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
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 »
The GOP platform and the environment
With some effort, I was able to find full text of the platform. Not surprisingly, the basic thrust is to relax limits on industry. The energy provisions correspond to Romney’s recent proclamations — more drilling in more places, less regulation of coal, etc. On the environment, the basic message is that current regulations are too … Continue reading »