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The Fulfillment of Reaganism

Ronald Reagan has shaped American politics for 40 years. Prior to Reagan’s ascent to the presidency, the country had been transformed by over four decades of liberal policies, starting with FDR’s New Deal and culminating in Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. The modern social welfare state was established and expanded, and the reach of government expanded with it. By the end … Read More

2020 Battlegrounds – First Look

With the 2020 election six months away, we can take our first realistic look at the Electoral College map and assess where the battlegrounds are likely to be in November. Six months is an interesting benchmark because the election is still far enough in the future to be influenced by unforeseen events but close enough for us to have a … Read More

Suburban Realignment and Other Thoughts About Tuesday’s Election

Statewide and local elections held in odd-numbered years are generally not predictive of the big national elections held the year following, but they can offer meaningful insights about the electorate. Tuesday’s off-year contest provided Republicans with glaring warning signs about their 2020 prospects, although it’s unclear they will be able to do anything to address them. Going into Tuesday, I … Read More

What You Wish For

Jimmy Carter wanted to run against Ronald Reagan. Having lost the support of the public over a miserable economy and the never-ending Iranian Hostage Crisis, he understood that his path to re-election depended on having an unacceptable opponent. In Reagan, it was as if Carter’s ideal foil had been sent by Central Casting. A movement conservative who had fronted for … 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

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

I Have Seen the Future

When student survivors of the mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida say they will not be quiet until the political class brings about meaningful reform to gun policy, you can be forgiven for believing against all historical evidence that the response to this atrocity may be long-lasting. Immediately after the shooting they began rallying the … Read More

Why This Isn’t 1974

By the summer of 1974, it was clear to leading Republicans that Richard Nixon would not be able to survive Watergate. It fell to Republican leaders like Barry Goldwater, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, and House Minority Leader John Rhodes of Arizona to tell the president that support among his partisans in congress had collapsed and his presidency … Read More

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