Matt Kerbel

Liberation Day

  This is a dark moment. This is a time of celebration.  Our country suffers under the acute weight of a deadly plague made unnecessarily lethal and divisive by profound ineptitude, laziness and vengefulness. Tomorrow we will replace incompetence and sloth with energy and skill. We bear the burden of an economy torn apart by a coldhearted ignorance and malice toward those in need. Tomorrow we will elevate the value of expertise and rediscover empathy. We face an existential climate crisis ignored for greed and exacerbated by magical thinking. Tomorrow we will reclaim the importance of science and reason. For four years we have been ground down by a bully’s wrath. Tomorrow we will restore compassion. We have been steeped in lies so total that they have led to violence in the name of keeping a fake promise to honor a false god. Our capitol has been defiled. Tomorrow begins the hard work of repair and reclamation. We are divided by what we believe is real and have been immobilized by a corrupt leader willing to imprison a nation so that he can remain free. Tomorrow he will be extracted from power and lose his legal shield. He will leave.

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Unconventional and Effective

Democrats pulled off the first nominating convention of the Covid-19 era with a surprisingly compelling prime time presentation that probably won’t change many votes but managed to achieve a range of strategic and tactical objectives. When it became apparent late last spring that there would be no safe way to assemble tens of thousands of people in an arena in Milwaukee, Democrats were left pondering how to stage a spectacle without any of the elements of high drama. Their answer was to go small. Rather than try to reproduce the big stage on a video screen, they scaled down their

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2020 Update: Mid-Summer Wave Edition

Six weeks ago, I offered a comprehensive assessment of the 2020 election. In that piece, I looked at the fundamentals of the 2020 campaign and concluded that the forces responsible for the 2018 blue wave were still present and were being accelerated by Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic and protests against structural racism. Today and periodically until November, I plan to update that assessment by looking at the state of play in the presidential, House and Senate races. I will always start with a look at the fundamentals, because polls may fluctuate but the conditions underlying poll results tend to

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“What Do I Do?”

Donald Trump reportedly called Tucker Carlson recently and cried, “What do I do? What do I do?” in a desperate search for ways to salvage his crumbling re-election bid. There is no reporting on what the Fox News star told him, and with a single source for the story it’s possible the conversation never even took place. But the question is a good one, and I would like to answer it directly to Donald Trump because I’m sure he’s a big fan of this site.  Learn to swim. Please allow me to explain what I mean. We are in the middle of

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Check, Please!

Reality collided with the reality show president in June, and reality won. Donald Trump is in trouble. His campaign is in trouble. That means the entire Republican Party is in trouble. And it will not be easy to turn around.  Events of the past weeks have stripped away Trump’s illusion of strength, and strength is his entire brand. He is the self-proclaimed law and order president, a would-be strongman who urged governors to use troops to “dominate the streets” against peacefully assembled demonstrators. It was only a month ago that Trump had national guard troops attack peaceful protesters with tear

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Values

Watching this country move through what feels like a lasting inflection point has brought me back to my college graduation in 1980 and the last major realignment in American politics. The calm spring weather that year stood in contrast to an elusive and uneasy sense that something turbulent was about to happen to the political order. There was a presidential election ahead where the choices didn’t seem to fit the moment. The country had effectively given up on Jimmy Carter, but Republicans were about to nominate a second-rate movie actor and right wing pitchman to oppose him. Ronald Reagan was

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Will 2020 Complete 2018?

 As summer approaches, Joe Biden is in the best position of any challenger to an incumbent president since scientific polling began some 90 years ago. He hasn’t trailed in a single large-sample live interview poll during the past 17 months — something that’s never happened before — during which time he has maintained an average lead of between seven and eight points over Donald Trump. The stability we see in the presidential race is consistent with the inelasticity of Trump’s job performance ratings, which have never been in net positive territory, and which now put him in the company of the

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