Ronald McDonald Exits Stage Right

We are witnessing the end of a political regime in real time. It may not be fully apparent just yet, but the curtain is coming down on a forty-year political alignment that began with Ronald Reagan and will end with Donald Trump — what I will call the Ronald McDonald Era. Its replacement will look […]

It All Fits Together

The question I am asked most these days is, “can you please explain what’s going on?” So I thought it might be a good time to step back and look at where we are, as I periodically do, and try to make sense of the chaotic and cascading events that now define our time. In […]

Revisiting Act II

Six months ago, I started writing about the Trump administration as a reactionary play in three acts.  As the impeachment process takes hold, let’s revisit that framework. On March 7, I wrote: Act I was an orgy of norm destruction enabled by congressional Republicans boxed in politically by their embrace of an outlaw administration, where […]

It’s Not Your Imagination–This IS Different

This is what an inflection point looks like. We’re four days into a concerted impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives and some of the core political dynamics that were propping up the administration are starting to buckle.  To review, one week ago we were living in a polarized world where a small, defiant Republican […]

Inflection Point

We have reached an inflection point in the struggle between confrontation and accountability. Last Saturday, I suggested that the Ukraine story would break the logjam on impeachment if the substance of the scandal overpowered a set of political dynamics which for the better part of this year have led congressional Democratic leadership to hold the […]

What’s Holding Things In Place

With the explosion of the whistleblower story this week, I’m being asked if credible allegations that Donald Trump is extorting Ukraine to undermine Joe Biden will finally — finally — break the political logjam preventing congress from holding Trump accountable for his actions.  I do think there is a well-placed urgency around this story that […]

No Way Out

An unsettling thing happened to the Republican Party on the way to its 2013 reboot. In the wake of Mitt Romney’s presidential defeat, the RNC commissioned a self-study to figure out what it would need to do to be competitive after twice losing by substantial margins to the Obama coalition. The results were expressed in […]

The Civil War Election

During my time in Washington last month, I had the opportunity to ask an informed observer of the political scene if 2020 is shaping up to be a change election, along the lines of 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018. He equivocated. Given how early it is, I couldn’t blame him. In hindsight, though, I may […]

Republicans and Democrats Are Scared of the Voters

I’m back from my annual three-week Washington program, where each year I have a chance to meet with public officials and take the temperature of politics inside the Beltway. The most striking thing about DC this spring is how the breakdown of political consensus has paralyzed both parties at a time when we most need […]

Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

I just completed the first of three weeks in Washington running my annual program for Villanova, and while the humidity was refreshingly low, the political barometric pressure was intense. Despite what they are saying in front of cameras, Democrats are out of patience with the unprecedented obstruction they have been facing from the Trump administration […]