It's a familiar plotline. An interloper runs for a party's presidential nomination and, with an anti-insider pitch, scores wins and near-wins in the first contests with vote pluralities.
His numerous opponents, fearful of antagonizing his enthusiastic supporters, launch attacks on one another that, predictably, hurt the attacker as well as the ...Read more
Are we watching a great political party commit suicide?
For more than a year, Democratic candidates, up to 26 of them at one point, have been crisscrossing Iowa's 99 counties, seeking votes in Iowa's precinct caucuses.
They were duly held on Monday night. But the Iowa Democratic Party did not release any results until Tuesday, and they were ...Read more
The old becomes the new. It's less than a week from of the Iowa caucuses, and Bernie Sanders, born in September 1941, three months before Pearl Harbor, leads the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls by 4 points in Iowa, 10 points in New Hampshire and 5 points in the biggest delegate prize, the Super Tuesday-voting California.
One hastens ...Read more
We live in history-making times. Not so much because of the impeachment trial going on in the Senate, which will make history only if it routinizes impeachments of impolite presidents when their opposition party gets control of the House, but because of what looks like an ongoing battle for control of the central narrative of American history.
Elections are a form of communication. Voting tells politicians, and the press if they're capable of getting the message, what citizens will tolerate and what they won't. The Democrats haven't voted yet, but they've been campaigning for more than a year and have just had their last debate before the Iowa caucuses two weeks from Monday.
That's ...Read more
In all the reportage and commentary on the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, I haven't seen much mention of an interesting parallel between the Iranian mullah regime's attacks on America this past week and its attacks when it first came to power 40 years ago.
The similarity is that both times, the Iranian regime violated diplomatic immunity. In...Read more
From the first years of the one-fifth of this century already completed, we've been told that a new, ascendant America -- more nonwhite, more culturally liberal, more feminist -- was going to dominate our politics for years to come.
Those predictions have partially come true. Barack Obama was elected and reelected president in 2008 and 2012, ...Read more
The best of times, the worst of times. Your instinct on which one we're living through is affected by your basic temperament, but it also depends on how well you're observing -- and quantifying -- things in the world around you.
Temperamentally, in the United States -- or at least in that loud, if not large, part of it dominated by political ...Read more
Last week the world's second-oldest political party showed, and not for the first time, its capacity to regenerate itself and win an impressive majority in difficult circumstances.
That's a reference to the victory of the Conservative Party in Britain's Dec. 12 general election, in which it won a 365-seat majority in the 650-member House of ...Read more
Some recent news stories verge on the bizarre -- the House Democrats' futile fuss over impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's acceptance of President Donald Trump's U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade treaty. But they're not as bizarre, or possibly as consequential, as unanticipated developments in the Democrats' presidential nomination contest.
Consider the...Read more
Sometimes the latest new thing is something antique. That's especially true in American politics, which has had seriously contested presidential elections every four years (with one exception) since 1800 and competitions between the same two durable parties since 1856. We're even on our (lucky?) 13th presidential race since the nominating rules ...Read more
It's Thanksgiving week in a country whose warring political tribes are not much inclined to giving thanks. But any American with a reasonable historic perspective can easily find reasons to do so.
For one thing, it's clear that we are a much fairer nation than we were in the past. Women, black Americans, immigrants and minorities of any ...Read more
"The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America" is the title of a 1960s book by historian and librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin. Pseudo-events, he wrote, are staged solely to generate news media coverage. Real events involve independent actors and have unpredictable outcomes. Pseudo-events are shows.
It's not difficult to say which ...Read more