Success in politics -- and in political predictions -- depends on the ability to distinguish between old rules of thumb that don't apply any more and old rules of thumb that do.
Take the old rule that an officeholder's chances of re-election depend on what James Carville in 1992 took to calling "the economy, stupid."
That used to be a real ...Read more
There was a record-sized field of candidates containing as many women as men. Their surnames ranged from the long familiar to the novel and exotic; they had multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds, and at least one gay candidate was in the running. This sounds like the ever-expanding list of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential ...Read more
Has the Democratic Party reduced its chances of denying President Trump a second term by continuing to concentrate on throwing him out before the end of his first? You can make a good case that it has.
Democrats have been itching to oust Trump since the days before he took the oath of office. Obama administration law enforcement and ...Read more
There's an old political saying that presidential candidates appeal to their parties' wings -- left for Democrats, right for Republicans -- in the race for the nomination and then appeal to the center in the general election campaign. It was put in canonical form by Richard Nixon, one of only two Americans our major parties nominated for ...Read more
Compromise reached. Donald Trump is going to build -- his administration is said to be building already, with appropriated funds -- the wall, er, barrier. Congressional Democrats have reportedly inserted provisions that make it easier for purported asylum seekers arriving with children to disappear and augment the illegal population.
There's an old joke about an egotistical politician whose disgruntled speechwriter, just before quitting, prepares a draft that promises the moon, and specifics for how to pay for it, on the first two pages, and leaves the third page blank except for the words "You're on your own now."
That's the position that freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-...Read more
"This year," President Trump stated in his widely viewed and positively rated State of the Union address, "America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America's mission and the power of American pride."
"On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the sky, and 60,000 more stormed in from the ...Read more
Turnout at Davos was lousy this year. President Trump, preoccupied by the government shutdown, was a no-show at last week's World Economic Forum there. So were British Prime Minister Theresa May (Brexit) and French President Emanuel Macron ("gilets jaunes"). Chinese President Xi Jinping, Davos' 2018 star, and Russian President Vladimir Putin ...Read more
Is it true that Donald Trump's bad habits are contagious? Is it true that his Democratic opponents and, even more, his critics in the press are increasingly given to terminological inexactitudes, if not downright lies?
Sure looks like it. Last week, large parts of the press -- we're looking at you, CNN and MSNBC -- were gleefully reporting and ...Read more
It was no coincidence that Donald Trump scheduled a trip to Britain to promote one of his golf courses in Scotland, on June 23, 2016. That was the day of the Brexit referendum in which 52 percent of the electorate --17.4 million voters, more than any party has ever won in a general election -- voted for the UK to leave the European Union.
The televised presidential address from the Oval Office, a staple of communication between the chief executive and the people in the second half of 20th century, has recently been in desuetude. Former President Barack Obama delivered only three such addresses in his eight years in office. President Donald Trump this week delivered his first one,...Read more
The hundredth anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting of World War I in Europe came and went with surprisingly little notice last Nov. 11. Commemoration was muted for a conflict that took the lives of some 15 to 19 million soldiers and civilians -- estimates vary widely -- including, in just 19 months, more than 116,000 Americans.
The numbers are small, the terrain unfamiliar, the cast of characters chaotic and the clash of interest hard to decipher.
Nevertheless, President Donald Trump's sudden, perhaps impulsive decision to withdraw 2,000 American military personnel from northeastern Syria, as well as the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis in response, has ...Read more