Capital vs. countryside -- that's the new political divide, visible in multiple surprise election results over the past 11 months. It cuts across old partisan lines and replaces traditional divisions -- labor vs. management, north vs. south, Catholic vs. Protestant -- among voters.
This was apparent last June in Britain's referendum on whether ...Read more
What to make of the results of the first two of this spring's special House elections? Start off by putting them in perspective. They pose a challenge to both political parties, but especially to Republicans, who have been used to an unusually stable partisan alignment, an alignment that has become scrambled by Donald Trump.
Those of us who can...Read more
With the inauguration of Donald Trump this year, we have now had, for the first time in our history, three American presidents who were born in the same year. There have been three pairs of presidents born in the same year -- the very dissimilar John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, in 1767; Richard Nixon and his surprise successor, Gerald Ford,...Read more
Donald Trump's unorthodox campaign and unexpected victory have produced a culture of mistrust permeating our politics and threatening to undermine the rule of law. That's not healthy, whatever you think of Trump or his political opponents.
The partisan mistrust is evident in Senate Democrats' filibuster of the Supreme Court nomination of Judge ...Read more
"Dare I suggest," writes the economist and blogger Tyler Cowen, "that the quality of governance in this country has taken a downward turn of late?" Or as Casey Stengel, while managing the New York Mets on their way to a 40-120 season in 1962, reportedly asked, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
In successive weeks, both Democrats and ...Read more
In a week chock-full of news, the party that on the night of Nov. 8 found itself, much to its surprise, very much out of power has been having difficulty finding a way to return.
Democratic senators, urged on by the left blogosphere and party activists, peppered Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch with hostile questions, but to no apparent ...Read more
Perceptions matter. People make decisions, even life-altering decisions, based on what they perceive as likely to happen. To the extent that public policy affects such decisions, the perception of likely policy change can affect behavior even before the change happens -- even if it ends up never happening.
Something like that seems to be ...Read more
"Most Americans don't like change very much," writes economist and Marginal Revolution blogger Tyler Cowen, "unless it is on terms that they manage and control." That's just one of many provocative sentences you can mine from the riches threaded through his new book, "The Complacent Class."
"Don't like change" cuts against most Americans' self-...Read more
The afternoon before President Donald Trump's Tuesday night speech to Congress, Twitter watchers were treated to a flurry of tweets, inspired by comments at the traditional lunch with network anchors, that the president was going to endorse something very much like the "comprehensive" immigration bills that foundered in Congress in 2006, 2007 ...Read more
Substance and style -- it's easy to get them confused or mistake one for the other. And they're never entirely unconnected, though exactly how much so is a matter of debate.
That's especially true when it comes to evaluating Donald Trump's performance -- a word particularly ambiguous in his case, as referring to either oratorical style or ...Read more
Amid the turmoil of the first month of the Trump administration, with courts blocking his temporary travel ban and his national security adviser resigning after 24 days, the solid partisan divisions in the electorate -- modestly changed in 2016 from what they'd been over the previous two decades -- remain in place.
That's apparent in roll call ...Read more
Amid all the hurly-burly of President Donald Trump's first weeks in office, let's try to put the changes he's making and the feathers he's ruffling in a longer, 20-year perspective. Start off with his trademark issue -- one that clearly helped him win the 64 crucial electoral votes of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin: trade.
Twenty ...Read more
Donald Trump's second week as president has been full of surprises and Sturm und Drang.
His Friday afternoon executive order barring for 90 days immigration from seven countries designated by the Obama administration as "countries of concern" was obviously ill-vetted and prompted nationwide and international protests. His Tuesday night ...Read more