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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Once Again: Three Possibilities

As we await the results, I’m re-posting my comments from September 15 about three ways today’s election could go. Labor Day is in the rear view mirror and the contours of the upcoming election are coming into view. Midterm elections are influenced by a lot of factors, some of which are specific to candidates and […]

If Democrats Win

Yesterday, we considered the risks to the nation if Democrats fail to win a House majority on Tuesday. Today, I’ll look at what happens if they succeed. On one hand, the country will be spared the prospect of an empowered Donald Trump waging an unrestrained assault on institutions he thus far has been able to […]