Now What? – Act II

The government has re-opened but governing by crisis continues. On Monday, Senate Democrats opted for a tactical retreat and agreed to a resolution to fund the government for three weeks in exchange for a promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to permit debate on an immigration measure. This allowed Republicans and the White House to […]

Now What?

Maybe presiding over a government shutdown on the first anniversary of his administration is too perfect a metaphor for the most incompetent president in American history. Perhaps it was inevitable that a president whose business resume is filled with wreckage would be at the center of negotiations that would lead to such a fundamental and […]

Beware the Undertow

Political events in 2017 offer many reasons to believe that 2018 will bring a sweeping rebuke to Donald Trump at the ballot box. With the mandatory caveat that nothing should be taken for granted or regarded as predetermined, the past year has provided all the necessary preconditions for a backlash which—depending on its size—threatens to […]

What Realignment Looks Like

Two items this weekend from the New York Times speak to the possibility that we are well along the road to a political realignment, a theme I have been writing about for a long time. First, a column by Frank Bruni describes Steve Bannon’s plan to destroy the Republican establishment if he is unable to reshape the […]

It’s Still A Change Election

I’d like to take a break from the ongoing Trump implosion and refocus for a minute on the fundamental forces shaping this election. Although the closing arguments of the campaign will be dominated by questions of basic human decency, we should remember that the primary political driver since early last year has been a cry for change. Dissatisfaction […]

What Democrats Should Do: Part II

Eight years ago, the economic meltdown gave Democrats control of the White House and Congress and an opportunity to govern in a more leftward direction for a brief two-year period. The resulting burst of government activism produced landmark legislation like the Affordable Care Act, the economic stimulus package and the auto industry bailout, although the imperative […]

What Democrats Should Do: Part I

In Next Generation Netroots, Chris Bowers and I argue that our era of zero-sum politics is not sustainable and the country will eventually break free of its present dysfunction. But we are less certain of what might replace it or when things will change. When we completed the manuscript in 2015, Bernie Sanders hadn’t yet surfaced as a movement leader and […]

DNC Day Four: The Dallas Cowboys of American Politics

The Democratic Party is now America’s Team. When Donald Trump claimed the Republican nomination on behalf of his party’s reactionary faction and promised to wage a campaign around their world view, he ceded a lot of ground to the other side. In Philadelphia this week, Democrats made a play for it all. Republicans now own the […]

DNC Day Three: Pitch Perfect

Forty-eight hours after Democrats threatened to tear themselves apart over lingering and meaningful rifts between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic convention blossomed Wednesday into an exultant celebration of American democracy. While vocal pockets of dissent remain, the contrast between the two days was stunning. Wednesday’s session was boisterous, upbeat and fun, not to mention flawlessly managed […]

DNC Day Two: Optics and Message

I didn’t attend the second day of the Democratic convention. This turned out to be fortuitous, because yesterday brought a dramatic change in optics best appreciated on television. As late as yesterday afternoon, questions remained about whether Democrats could nominate Hillary Clinton without sparking a rebellion by Sanders loyalists. Their solution was to choreograph a roll call of the states […]