Against the World

In discussing the breakdown of political consensus in my last post, I referenced a piece from the Washington Post that documented how public opinion divides between Republicans and everyone else. It’s worth taking a closer look at the structure of this divide. Here is an updated version of the data used in the Post article, courtesy of Gallup, showing […]

Republican Island

People keep telling me it’s madness, this Republican effort to replace Obamacare with a toxic policy they know will cause human and political carnage. Why would a party want to pass legislation that promises to cost millions of people their health insurance while raising rates and denying benefits to tens of millions more? The answer […]

Impeachment Will Not Fix This

I left Washington last week while it was in a state of suspended animation over former FBI Director James Comey’s upcoming testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Now that Comey has sworn under oath that the president is an untrustworthy liar who operates like the head of a crime syndicate, it’s not surprising that the […]

It’s Either the Republican Party or the Republic

My second week in Washington played out against the dizzying backdrop of revelations that moved the Trump/Russia probe directly into the White House inner circle with allegations of espionage emerging from the lips of the talkers who populate cable news programming. Mounting evidence that the president is obstructing and undermining investigations into his relationship with Russia complement his bizarre […]

They Don’t Know What To Do

Every spring for the past decade I have led a group of Villanova students through official Washington, and every year Washington feels a little different depending on the political circumstances of the moment. During my first trip in 2008, the Bush administration was winding down, twenty-somethings had replaced veterans in responsible jobs, and Republicans were […]

Enablers

Remember when the grown-ups in congress were going to check the worst impulses of the president? That was the rationalization offered to reluctant Republicans by those trying to unify the party around a presidential candidate with authoritarian tendencies. Sure, he’s reckless and crazy, but Trump will be kept in line by the adults in the legislative branch. […]

Accountability

Democracy dies without accountability. The democratic system is built on our ability to know what our representatives are doing and kick officials out of office as a corrective to poor performance. This is how the mechanism is supposed to work: Candidates tell us what they want to do if they are elected. They give us honest information about their platforms which we use to […]

It’s Still A Change Election

I’d like to take a break from the ongoing Trump implosion and refocus for a minute on the fundamental forces shaping this election. Although the closing arguments of the campaign will be dominated by questions of basic human decency, we should remember that the primary political driver since early last year has been a cry for change. Dissatisfaction […]

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Reporters this week discovered a full-fledged Republican civil war. They are several years late. It should surprise precisely no one that Donald Trump is directing his rage at Paul Ryan for instructing members of the House Republican caucus to oppose the nominee if it will help them hold their seats. The self-described unshackled Donald Trump now taking aim at party leaders is the same candidate who […]

Can the Republican Party Ask Itself to Step Down?

By now you’ve seen the video that’s sending shockwaves through the Trump campaign and the Republican Party. To hear Donald Trump express his entitled belief that his celebrity status permits him to assault women at will shouldn’t be surprising by now. This is who he is. But that doesn’t make it any less nauseating to watch. In the immediate […]