If Democrats Lose

It’s time to start bracing for what may happen after Election Day, because things are about to get rocky—even by contemporary standards—regardless of the outcome. Today, let’s consider what things might look like if Democrats fall short of expectations and fail to win a House majority. Tomorrow I’ll look at the risks ahead if Democrats […]

Three Elections

Perhaps the best way to think about the 2018 Midterms is to see them as three distinct elections—for control of the Senate, the House, and state governments—taking place in three different electorates, where Republicans enjoy three different sets of institutional or electoral advantages, and where three different but equally profound outcomes hang in the balance. […]

Collateral Damage

Shortly after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Mitch McConnell said he would not rule out filling a Court vacancy should one arise during the final year of President Trump’s term, despite refusing to act on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for this very reason. When it looked like Hillary Clinton was […]

The Kavanaugh Assault

Why are Republicans so determined to install Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court? That’s the question I’ve been asked most since last Thursday’s gut-wrenching, courageous testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about the Supreme Court nominee’s attempt to rape her at a drunken high school gathering. After all, there are plenty of conservative jurists with […]

Three Possibilities

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 local considerations, but there are enough overarching forces at work to permit political analysts (including me) to speculate about […]

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 […]

Now What? – Act II

The government has re-opened but governing by crisis continues. On Monday, Senate Democrats opted for a tactical retreat and agreed to a resolution to fund the government for three weeks in exchange for a promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to permit debate on an immigration measure. This allowed Republicans and the White House to […]

Now What?

Maybe presiding over a government shutdown on the first anniversary of his administration is too perfect a metaphor for the most incompetent president in American history. Perhaps it was inevitable that a president whose business resume is filled with wreckage would be at the center of negotiations that would lead to such a fundamental and […]

Mutually Assured Destruction

Republicans are not going to impeach Donald Trump. They are not going to invoke the 25th Amendment to take away his nuclear toys. They are not going to do these things because for the past ten years Republicans have been committed to finding ways to hold power after their political coalition had fallen apart, and […]

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 […]