On Wisconsin

Last week, I wrote about the Wisconsin primary, where the gerrymandered Republican legislature in conjunction with a conservative state supreme court conspired to force people to risk their health in order to vote in a special judicial election that the Democratic governor tried unsuccessfully to postpone. Republicans had hoped to suppress the vote in Democratic […]

The Coming Ballot War

On Tuesday, with much of the country sheltering at home or practicing social distancing, voters in Wisconsin went to the polls to vote in their primary. The reason is partisan. Democratic Governor Tony Evers had issued an executive order delaying in-person voting, but it was challenged by the state’s Republican legislature and the challenge was […]

The Irony of Incompetence

On election night 2016, as Donald Trump was over-performing his polls in every state touching Appalachia and a Trump victory looked likely, my initial reaction was that Donald Trump cannot be president. Not that he cannot be elected president, but that if elected he would lack the discipline, depth, knowledge, skills and interest necessary to […]

Leadership Crisis

December 10, 1979. Fifty-two Americans had been taken hostage in Iran one month earlier, and the public was rallying around Jimmy Carter. The deeply unpopular president saw his job approval soar thirty points to 60% in just a few weeks. At the time it was the largest short-term increase ever recorded by the Gallup organization. […]

Trump’s Re-election Strategy Is Falling Apart

Donald Trump has finally collided with a reality he can’t make disappear. His arsenal of weapons is useless against the coronavirus. He tried spinning it away, thinking it would be enough to “win” the daily news cycle by pretending it wasn’t a big deal. The failure of that effort is evident in how quickly he […]

Before and After

Remember when the field of Democratic candidates was large and diverse, when people argued over whether a multi-billionaire could buy the nomination without campaigning, when Joe Biden’s campaign was pretty much done? That was — two weeks ago? It’s hard to believe how much the campaign — and life overall — has changed so quickly. […]

Extraction

In my year-end post, I raised the possibility that a large portion of the country is poised to reject the outcome of this year’s election, regardless of what that outcome might be. That’s because the 2020 election will be about whether to bring the Trump Reaction to an end or ratify it. Barring an unlikely […]

Conflict and Accountability

I have long viewed the Trump administration as a reactionary three-act play. I described Act I as an “orgy of norm destruction enabled by congressional Republicans boxed in politically by their embrace of an outlaw administration,” and felt Act II would be characterized by discovery, where Democrats — newly armed with their congressional majority — […]

The Airing of Grievances

About a month ago, I predicted that House Republicans would try to upend the impeachment process rather than engage Democrats on the facts. I thought they would continue to push debunked narratives about Hunter Biden and alleged Ukrainian election interference, complain about the majority’s unwillingness to let them call witnesses who would advance those debunked […]

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 […]