2016 has been a big year for protest politics -- not just in the United States, what with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump getting over 40 percent of primary votes, but also all over Europe and Latin America, where voters have been rejecting the advice of their nations' political, financial and media establishments.
Two prime examples were in ...Read more
Which party is going to control the House and hold a majority in the Senate in January 2017? Even if you regard the presidential contest as over -- a proposition for which there is powerful evidence, including Donald Trump's current campaign message choices -- the answers to those questions are, respectively, mildly and very unclear.
The Trump ...Read more
"It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to," Donald Trump tweeted at the reasonable hour of 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
There were no visible shackles on Trump when he launched his several-news-cycles-long assaults on Judge Gonzalo Curiel in May, Khizr Khan and his family in July...Read more
In the midst of the most debate-heavy week of the fall campaign season, with the vice presidential debate last Tuesday and the second presidential debate Sunday, let's look at what remains uncertain about this year's bizarre contest.
For those of you who are reading this column after Sunday night, the first and largest uncertainty will be ...Read more
Robin Hood is dead. Or at least seriously ailing. The politics of taking from the rich and giving to the poor -- the politics that philosophers from Aristotle to James Madison dreaded -- just doesn't seem to be working as it used to.
That's not to say that the United States is about to give up on progressive taxation. With its graduated income ...Read more
"The president believes the world will be a better place if all borders are eliminated -- from a trade perspective, from the viewpoint of economic development and in welcoming people from other cultures and countries."
That's a paraphrase of a speech former President Bill Clinton made only months after leaving office, on Sept. 10, 2001, in ...Read more
You've heard and read by now lots of spin and speculation about who won and where the polls are going to move after Monday's presidential debate. We'll know the answers to these questions soon. The more important question for the long run is how each of these candidates would govern. The debate provides no certain answers to that question, but ...Read more
Let's step back, as we approach the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, and look back to try to understand how voting patterns have changed over a generation, by comparing the 2012 presidential results with those of 1988 -- keeping in mind possible shifts since 2012 suggested by 2016 polling.
My thesis is that changes in states' ...Read more
Fixin' Stupid and Other Tales from a Tennessee Trauma QueenRobin Watt
Roxy McCoy manages to sell her professional company and retire early in life. Moving to the countryside of Tennessee, she finds the lifestyle to be ideal except that boredom eventually creeps in. A part-time job leads to discovering the joys of working as a volunteer ...
There's been lots of speculation about the fate of the Republican Party if (as most of the prognosticators expect and hope) Donald Trump loses. There's been less speculation, though recent polling suggests it may be in order, about the fate of the Democratic Party if Hillary Clinton loses.
Certainly there's reason to think -- or fear -- that ...Read more
The thought came to me as I watched the Cleveland police clear away protesters from the city's Public Square. Half a dozen on horseback, nearly a dozen or so on heavy-duty bikes, the cops deftly corralled the protesters without so much as touching anyone, much as a border collie channels a flock of uncomprehending sheep.
Then it struck me: What...Read more
When Air Force One landed in China last week for the G-20 Summit, Chinese authorities didn't wheel out the usual staircase for the president to disembark. Instead he had to exit through an opening in the back of the enormous aircraft. It was, you might say, a pivot to Asia.
That wasn't the last insult Barack Obama absorbed in Hangzhou. The ...Read more
Maybe Hillary Clinton isn't going to be elected president after all. That's a thought that's evoking glee in some, nausea in others, terror in some and relief at the removal of an increasingly tedious figure from public view in still more.
The thought is prompted by the CNN/ORC poll showing Clinton trailing Donald Trump in four-candidate ...Read more
Would he go hard or go soft? That was the mainstream media template for judging Donald Trump's speech on immigration in Phoenix last Wednesday. The verdict: hard. "How Trump got from Point A to Point A on immigration," was the headline in the
Washington Post's recap.
Similarly, the often-insightful Talking Points Memo blogger Josh Marshall ...Read more
Anyone contemplating this year's appalling presidential campaign may be tempted to explain what's happening by applying the third rule of bureaucratic organizations, enunciated by the late poet and definitive scholar of Soviet terrorism Robert Conquest.
"The behavior of any bureaucratic organization," Conquest explained, "can best be understood...Read more
"Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians." Those were the words of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union's European Commission, at the Alpbach Media Academy last Monday.
Nonsense, most readers will surely think, in numbers going far beyond the legions of Americans dismayed with the choices they face in this year'...Read more
Is the political map, so familiar that even non-pundits offhandedly refer to red, blue and purple states, changing before our eyes? Yes, at least to a limited extent -- and it's probably about time.
The political map has been pretty static for almost two decades, the longest since the 1880s. In the last four presidential elections 40 states and...Read more
Victims aren't always virtuous. That's a sad lesson that people learn from life. Human beings have a benign instinct to help those who are hurt through no cause of their own. But those they help don't always turn out to be very grateful.
And sometimes it's hard to be sure just who the victim is. The most heavily publicized and violence-...Read more
Donald Trump has just made changes, again, in his campaign's top leadership, shoving aside the seasoned Paul Manafort and installing Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon and veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway. He's obviously acting in response to his falling poll numbers nationally, in target states and even in some states that have been safely ...Read more
On Friday, Republican National Committee and Trump campaign staffers held what one described as an "emergency meeting" at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando. The obvious subject: what to do about Donald Trump's flagging campaign and how Republican down-ballot candidates can avoid the possible (likely?) downdraft.
Current polling shows Trump losing to ...Read more
Google "Donald Trump" and "nationalism" and you'll get 1,090,000 results, the large percentage of which are, to judge from the top hits, negative. "Nationalism" is deemed to be bad stuff, maybe even akin to Nazism.
But is nationalism always so bad? Not, it seems, for the millions of people around the world watching the Rio Olympics. They watch ...Read more