Beware the Undertow

Political events in 2017 offer many reasons to believe that 2018 will bring a sweeping rebuke to Donald Trump at the ballot box. With the mandatory caveat that nothing should be taken for granted or regarded as predetermined, the past year has provided all the necessary preconditions for a backlash which—depending on its size—threatens to undermine or possibly eliminate the … Read More

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A Dangerous Moment

The first norm-shattering, chaotic year of the Trump administration will be remembered for the president’s relentless assault on every democratic institution that threatens his power and ego needs. He delegitimized the press as purveyors of fake news. He characterized bureaucrats as malevolent “deep state” actors. He attacked the judiciary when it refused to rubber stamp his dictates and the FBI … Read More

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Too Busy

It’s been well over two months since I last posted here—and that wasn’t by design. My day job has been keeping me unexpectedly busy while national events have moved so rapidly that a brief post here or there wouldn’t have been sufficient to keep up with our exhausting political reality show. Things are finally starting to quiet down at work, … Read More

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The Danforth Fallacy

John Danforth, a long-serving former Republican senator from Missouri, on Thursday became the latest unelected member of his party to condemn Donald Trump. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Danforth ripped into Trump as un-American for sowing dissent and division. He correctly noted that “Trump is always eager to tell people that they don’t belong here, whether it’s … Read More

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Cracks in the Foundation

So much winning. Donald Trump wanted congress to send him legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act and leave him alone to formulate foreign policy with Vladimir Putin. Instead, congress tied his hands on Russian sanctions and failed spectacularly to give him the victory he craved on Obamacare repeal. This led to a predictable stream of angry tweets toward the Republican … Read More

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Joe Scarborough Leaves the Island

It was a big deal inside the Beltway when Joe Scarborough told Stephen Colbert last week that he was quitting the Republican Party. An oracle of Washington conventional wisdom, the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe had been a lifelong Republican, representing a crimson Florida congressional district during the Newt Gingrich era. In an interview following his announcement, Scarborough said the “last straw” for … Read More

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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 Donald Trump’s job approval among … Read More

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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 lies in the structure of … Read More

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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 I-word has begun to enter … Read More

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