The former GOP presidential candidate is urging more support for economically stressed families, but his moderate proposal has won little support from Republicans or Democrats.
Behind the absurd attacks on ‘Critical Race Theory’
The attacks on “CRT” reveal that most of the critics have very little idea what they are even aiming at. Rather than attacking CRT, some of the key phrases in the proposed statehouse bills are rather ideas or claims made in much more recent and mainstream writing or advocacy, such as things Robin DiAngelo has suggested or Tema Okun has circulated. If Robin DiAngelo and Tema Okun are CRT scholars, then I’m an astrophysicist.
Trump didn’t break our democracy. But did he fatally weaken it?
There’s no way to know whether damage to U.S. democracy will be permanent.
Donald Trump has unified Americans — against him
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.
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 »
Explaining Orthodox Jews’ growing support for the Trump presidency
(This is cross-posted from the site, Public Books, where it appeared as the 24th installment of The Big Picture, a public symposium on what’s at stake in Trump’s America, co-organized by Public Books and NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.) Exit polls conducted during the 2016 election yielded a fact about the political allegiances of American Jews that … Continue reading »
Wealthy investors to win bigly with Republicans’ proposed tax plan
By Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez This blog is cross-posted from the Berkeley Opportunity Lab and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. The tax plan released by Republicans in Congress and praised by President Trump is a remarkable document in many ways, but most notably in that it achieves just the opposite of its stated goal. Presented … Continue reading »
Trump: Roots of improvisation
From the very start of his campaign, Donald Trump’s case for his superior qualification for the presidency has rested on his vaunted deal-making ability. Here is an excerpt from a fund-raising email his campaign sent around on August 23: “I’ve built my career…by making great deals. I’m known for it — I even wrote a … Continue reading »
Trump 2016: Archie Bunker runs for President
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
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
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
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
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 »
Keystone nation: Mapping the politics of the pipeline
Looking at three maps sheds some interesting light on the the politics of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline’s geography resonates in an interesting way with political and demographic geography. We can start with two maps that show the proposed route (on the left) and the dates in which counties reached their peak populations. You … Continue reading »
Lightbulb wars: the saga continues
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
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
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
“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 »
Today’s American political dysfunction
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 »