» Realignment

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

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 undermine or possibly eliminate the … Read More

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 party in his white nationalist … Read More