If You Can Keep It

There is a tendency in some quarters to look at the way our nation is surviving the death throes of the Trump administration and proclaim that the guardrails of democracy held. I’m not inclined at this moment to be so generous. Trump will fail in his efforts to reverse the results of the election, but […]

Act II

Michael Cohen’s riveting testimony last week opened Act II of the three-act immorality play that is the Trump administration. Nearly four months after the country handed Democrats control of the House of Representatives, and with it the power to set the House agenda and compel testimony and documents from Trumpland, we had our first glimpse […]

The Electoral College Should Do Its Job

More people have asked me to explain the Electoral College over the past two weeks than at any time since I last taught the subject in my American Government course. And at no time in memory has the Electoral College been more relevant to a presidential election. For as long as anyone can remember, electors […]

New Traffic Patterns Ahead (Part 5 of 5) [WARNING: LONG]

Trump voters wanted to blow up Washington. Regardless of what else they may disrupt, they have succeeded in disturbing the entrenched partisan divisions which for years have cemented our politics in a tedious and angry stalemate. The election has handed Republicans the imperative to govern and Democrats the need to regroup. These realities will place pressure on both parties and create […]

Donald Trump as Jimmy Carter (4 of 5)

One of the key analytical frameworks of my book Next Generation Netroots is derived from the work of Yale political scientist Steven Skowronek, who views presidential administrations in terms of their relationship to prevailing political coalitions rather than as isolated entities. Skowronek contends that the options available to presidents and the results they achieve are determined to a large degree by […]

The Hard Path (3 of 5)

In my previous post, I compared the political climate to an intense storm and suggested that it has been building for years. The frontal boundary is the place where the portion of the electorate that supported Hillary Clinton is pushing against the portion that supported Donald Trump. The Clinton electorate—young, multicultural, progressive and connected to the […]

Change (2 of 5)

Let’s return to the fundamental premise of this cycle: it was a change election. During the campaign, I wrote extensively about the irony that, according to available public polling, voters clamoring for a new direction were going to ratify the status quo by electing a Democratic president and a Republican congress. Even when a Democratic wave appeared to be building several weeks […]

Sorting It Out (1 of 5)

At the Democratic Convention this summer, a respected political operative told me that Hillary Clinton would win the election because Democrats have a structural advantage in the Electoral College, enough to make up for whatever weaknesses she had as a candidate. Demography drives this advantage, which remains in place despite the uprising of rural and suburban white […]

What Happened? What Now?

With a few days to reflect and some unsettled sleep, I’ve been able to put together a few observations about how I think we can understand what happened in Tuesday’s election and what it may mean for our politics in the near and long term. Starting tomorrow and over the next several days, I will share […]