» Matt Kerbel - Page 2

No Exit

So it comes to this: Mitch McConnell refuses to permit the Senate to consider legislation passed by the House that would reopen the federal government in order to protect Donald Trump from either having to accept it and cave on the border wall or reject it and draw further blame for the shutdown. It’s been this way for weeks and … Read More

About That Wall

Why would Donald Trump find it preferable to shut down the government over congressional refusal to fund his border wall when there was an agreement in place to kick the issue down the road and avoid chaos over Christmas, into the new year, and beyond? Why would he take a position where he has no leverage and where opposition Democrats … Read More

A Guardedly Happy New Year

As we entered 2018, I warned of a dangerous time ahead when congressional Republicans would let ¬†Donald Trump get away with anything to stave off challengers during the long spring and summer primary season. Absent a legislative check and with political pressures at their height, I feared Trump’s efforts to consolidate power by delegitimizing every institution that stood in his … Read More

Go Big, Democrats

There is opportunity in chaos. As Democrats contemplate the 2020 campaign, they should recognize that Donald Trump has shattered longstanding political alignments, giving them the chance to reassemble the pieces to form a lasting political majority. Doing this will require setting aside incremental thinking and embracing a platform of economic and social justice that would have been unthinkable in 2016. … Read More

Lasting Damage

Longtime readers of Wolves and Sheep know that I keep returning to the theme of partisan realignment, because I believe this moment of political instability shares characteristics with other realigning periods in American politics, most recently the transition between New Deal liberalism and Reagan conservatism. The potential for party realignment was a theme of my last two books on the … Read More

2020 Blues

Previously, I wrote about how it will be difficult if not impossible for Donald Trump to adjust following a disastrous midterm and position himself for re-election. Today, I’m going to look in detail at what the midterms suggest about the challenges facing Trump in 2020. In my next post, I will consider the longterm implications of the 2018 results for … Read More

It’s Not About That Base

Every president has a base, and every president lets them down. They have no choice, because presidents have to govern broadly to survive politically. This lesson has escaped the current president, and until now you could be forgiven for believing that he had upended the laws of political gravity by governing expressly and exclusively for his core supporters. For the … Read More

“Tremendous Success”

In 1994, when Republicans picked up 54 House seats and emerged as the majority party for the first time in 40 years, the incumbent president was self-reflective and contrite. Bill Clinton knew the results were devastating and read them as a failure to abide by his campaign promise to govern as a centrist New Democrat following a divisive and failed … Read More

Reflections on a Blue Wave

Some weekend thoughts after the most important election of your lifetime. The blue wave was real. Election narratives are always open to interpretation, but when you consider what Democrats accomplished in light of the the obstacles they faced, the sweep and strength of their victory Tuesday is striking. They smashed a supposedly impenetrable gerrymander, minimized Senate losses despite facing the … Read More

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