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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How to Approach Extraction

In my last post, I addressed the dangers we face if Donald Trump, his supporters and the Republican Party refuse to accept a loss at the polls this November, and promised some thoughts on how we can protect against it. It will not be an easy task to preserve the legitimacy of the political system if a fair (or marginally fair) election is falsely denounced as being rigged against the Republicans (especially when evidence of foreign interference and voter disenfranchisement makes clear that attempts at rigging actually work the other way). This is why defeating Trump at the polls may

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Extraction Revisited

Last January, I expressed concern that Donald Trump will attempt to de-legitimize the election if he loses. I addressed conditions that I felt could lead to a dangerous post-election standoff, but when I said there may be wrinkles we can’t anticipate that could influence how the presidential outcome is received, I wasn’t exactly imagining a pandemic or an economic collapse. Now with Trump set up to be evaluated for his response to the crisis, and with that response generating public disapproval deep enough to have fellow Republicans worried about November, I feel a certain urgency to revisit the issue. Should

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Fundamentals

In less than five months, voters will start casting early ballots in the 2020 election. As the summer progresses, polling will give us an increasingly good sense of what those accumulated ballots will say. Even at this point, we can look to national and state averages of high-quality polls showing Joe Biden with a national lead of between 7-8 points and conclude with some confidence that Biden is in a strong position and Donald Trump is in trouble. At this point in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s lead was around 3 points — close to where she ended up in November. This

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Some Unsolicited Advice for the White House

Donald Trump has fallen on hard times. His poll numbers are sagging in key swing states. People don’t believe what he’s saying about the pandemic. He explodes at bad polling news and threatened to sue his campaign manager. Senate Republicans are starting to panic that he’s going to bring them down in November. He feels mistreated by the public, the press — everyone. Even worse treatment than Lincoln, he said. Well of course Trump is angry. Just a few months ago he was riding as high as the stock market. He had survived impeachment, Democrats were about to nominate Bernie, he

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The Fulfillment of Reaganism

Ronald Reagan has shaped American politics for 40 years. Prior to Reagan’s ascent to the presidency, the country had been transformed by over four decades of liberal policies, starting with FDR’s New Deal and culminating in Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. The modern social welfare state was established and expanded, and the reach of government expanded with it. By the end of the 1970s, the coalition that had supported these changes had come undone, and Reagan rose to power promising to reject the assumptions of liberalism. Government, long the solution to our problems, became the problem itself. Reagan and his three

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2020 Battlegrounds – First Look

With the 2020 election six months away, we can take our first realistic look at the Electoral College map and assess where the battlegrounds are likely to be in November. Six months is an interesting benchmark because the election is still far enough in the future to be influenced by unforeseen events but close enough for us to have a pretty good feel for the strength and placement of the electoral currents likely to shape the contest.  What stands out to me about the 2020 map is its consistency. Last May, I wrote that I thought the election would be

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