Suburban Realignment and Other Thoughts About Tuesday’s Election

Statewide and local elections held in odd-numbered years are generally not predictive of the big national elections held the year following, but they can offer meaningful insights about the electorate. Tuesday’s off-year contest provided Republicans with glaring warning signs about their 2020 prospects, although it’s unclear they will be able to do anything to address them. Going into Tuesday, I … Read More

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What You Wish For

Jimmy Carter wanted to run against Ronald Reagan. Having lost the support of the public over a miserable economy and the never-ending Iranian Hostage Crisis, he understood that his path to re-election depended on having an unacceptable opponent. In Reagan, it was as if Carter’s ideal foil had been sent by Central Casting. A movement conservative who had fronted for … Read More

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It All Fits Together

The question I am asked most these days is, “can you please explain what’s going on?” So I thought it might be a good time to step back and look at where we are, as I periodically do, and try to make sense of the chaotic and cascading events that now define our time. In the past few weeks we … Read More

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Revisiting Act II

Six months ago, I started writing about the Trump administration as a reactionary play in three acts.  As the impeachment process takes hold, let’s revisit that framework. On March 7, I wrote: Act I was an orgy of norm destruction enabled by congressional Republicans boxed in politically by their embrace of an outlaw administration, where congress and the president operated … Read More

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It’s Not Your Imagination–This IS Different

This is what an inflection point looks like. We’re four days into a concerted impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives and some of the core political dynamics that were propping up the administration are starting to buckle.  To review, one week ago we were living in a polarized world where a small, defiant Republican base drove political outcomes while … Read More

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Inflection Point

We have reached an inflection point in the struggle between confrontation and accountability. Last Saturday, I suggested that the Ukraine story would break the logjam on impeachment if the substance of the scandal overpowered a set of political dynamics which for the better part of this year have led congressional Democratic leadership to hold the line against intense and repeated … Read More

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What’s Holding Things In Place

With the explosion of the whistleblower story this week, I’m being asked if credible allegations that Donald Trump is extorting Ukraine to undermine Joe Biden will finally — finally — break the political logjam preventing congress from holding Trump accountable for his actions.  I do think there is a well-placed urgency around this story that distinguishes it from the scandals … Read More

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No Way Out

An unsettling thing happened to the Republican Party on the way to its 2013 reboot. In the wake of Mitt Romney’s presidential defeat, the RNC commissioned a self-study to figure out what it would need to do to be competitive after twice losing by substantial margins to the Obama coalition. The results were expressed in what Republicans officially called the … Read More

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Impeachment Isn’t About Removal

Now that Democrats have quietly initiated an impeachment inquiry, they have put into motion a process that will end with either articles of impeachment or a tortured explanation for not impeaching a president who has made high crimes his brand. Unless and until they are able to hold hearings that focus the public’s collective attention on the collusion (it’s in … Read More

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