We’ve Seen This Move Before

Remember Mitt Romney? The guy Republican voters spent months trying not to nominate until they simply ran out of viable alternatives? The guy who spent most of the campaign pretending he had never been a moderate governor of a liberal northeastern state? The guy who ran away from his signature health care reform accomplishment lest it be seen […]

DNC Day Four: The Dallas Cowboys of American Politics

The Democratic Party is now America’s Team. When Donald Trump claimed the Republican nomination on behalf of his party’s reactionary faction and promised to wage a campaign around their world view, he ceded a lot of ground to the other side. In Philadelphia this week, Democrats made a play for it all. Republicans now own the […]


The Republican convention opened Monday with the Colorado and Washington, DC delegations walking off the convention floor in protest over being denied a roll call vote on the Rules Committee report in an apparent violation of convention rules. Several hours later it ended with the speech by Melania Trump that plagiarized Michelle Obama (Politico elected to […]


Chris Christie must be wondering what he has to do to get the national recognition he feels he deserves. By choosing Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump bypassed the bombastic New Jersey governor and decided to make sure his campaign remains all about himself. Pence reportedly bested two outsized figures—Christie and Newt Gingrich—who were among […]

As Cleveland Approaches, Uncertainty Abounds

How do you hold a national convention when you are about to nominate someone who is running a product placement scam rather than actually running for president? We’re about to find out. During these final days before Republicans (or at least those Republicans willing to be seen in public with Donald Trump) gather in Cleveland, the […]

Coming Apart

Let’s start with a simple premise: the Trump campaign is not about running for president. It is about product placement. With the eyes of the world on Great Britain as it voted on one of the most consequential matters in recent memory, Donald Trump positioned himself at one of his golf properties in Scotland, not to […]

Where Things Stand: Summer Solstice Edition

Periodically I like to take a comparative look at the nomination process, and with summer here and the conventions still several weeks away this seems like a good time to take the temperature of the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Besides, I promised last Sunday that I would. Right now the campaigns are in a silent phase between the […]

Five Excruciating Steps to Republican Renewal (long version)

For readers who requested this in one (very long) post, here is a lightly edited version of my recommendation for how the Republican Party might approach this election cycle. It’s hard to count the number of people who have asked me whether the Republican Party can survive this election. And while I have been tempted at […]

Step #5: Repudiate Trump

Here are some of the things Republican supporters have said about Donald Trump, courtesy of Talking Points Memo: “Well, look, I’m a Republican, I’m on the ballot in November. I support the Republican nominee for president. It’s pretty much that simple.” (OK Rep. Tom Cole) “Do I think that he will modify his positions or maybe explain […]

Step #4: Embrace the Wilderness

I have said elsewhere that radicalization of a portion of the Republican base has created a de facto reactionary party within the shell of what once was a center-right conservative party. The differences between reactionaries and conservatives are profound and explain why there is no common ground between them. Conservatives temperamentally and doctrinally seek to put the brakes on government. Reactionaries […]