» Republicans

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 of what it looks like … Read More

This Is How It Will End

Every con man knows he has to outrun reality because it will eventually catch up with the lies he tells. A good con man will make sure he’s in the next state before reality clashes with the lies he convinced his victims to believe. Sometimes, though, through hubris or miscalculation, he will stay too long, and circumstances will provide him … Read More

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

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

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

Subpoena Power

We awake this morning to a different world. Polling made it clear that the 2018 election could have gone in three possible directions. Option A: total annihilation of the Republican Party. Option B: a wave large enough to overwhelm the House gerrymander and return Democrats to power in state houses across the Midwest. Option C: a fizzled wave that maintained the status quo. … Read More

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