Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Barack Obama: Smart Man, Stupid Negotiator

I can't help but find this completely hilarious: Republicans have made defunding Democrats' health care law a top priority, but at a closed-to-the-press fundraiser Obama candidly described to donors how he defeated their attempts. Perhaps not realizing his mic was on, Obama's private remarks were caught by CBS correspondent Mark Knoller, who was able to listen to through a live audio feed. "I said, 'You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We'll have that debate," Obama said, describing his negotiations with Speaker John Boehner. "You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?'" [Emphasis mine] It depends on what President Obama means by "stupid." Does John Boehner question the president's intelligence? Probably not. Is John Boehner baffled/pleasantly surprised by the president's unwillingness to negotiate like someone with something to lose? Absolutely. Obama is an absolutely terrible negotiator, and his reactions to GOP hostage...

Donald Trump Loves Black People, or Something

Donald Trump has his finger on the pulse of black America (via Ben Smith ): Donald Trump was asked just now on Fred Dicker's radio show about African-American support for President Obama. "I have a great relationship with the blacks," he said, continuing to call the overwhelming black support for President Obama "frightening." Two things. First, anyone who refers to black people as "the blacks" is, by definition, bereft of a good relationship with African Americans. For further evidence of this truth, see Dr. Laura's recent outburst. Second, can we please put the "black people support Obama because he is black" trope to rest? Barack Obama won massive African American support because he is a Democrat; his 95 percent support among African Americans in 2008 was only slightly higher than John Kerry's 88 percent in 2004, and Al Gore's 90 percent in 2000. Yes, African Americans were excited by the promise of a black president (which may have contributed to their slightly higher turnout),...

No, FDR Wasn't a Stalinist

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) isn't a particularly bright man, and so I can forgive him for thinking this nonsense about Franklin Delano Roosevelt : Original intent was the general welfare, the general welfare of the nation, not welfare of individuals. We've developed this big welfare system in this country. It all started, in earnest, with President Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt just exploded the size and scope of the government with his New Deal. Both progressives. Both had socialist beliefs. In fact, Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent his advisors, his close friends, his cabinet people to go visit with Stalin in communist Russia to study what he was doing, what Stalin was doing there so that FDR could replicate it here in the United States . And he did everything he possibly could to do so. [Emphasis mine] Unless I missed something very important about Roosevelt's administration, I'm reasonably sure that FDR wasn't collaborating to bring...

Quick Reactions to the President's Speech

Flash Flash Rhetorically, President Obama is at his best when he has a foil, and part of the problem of the last two years is that he hasn't had a Hillary Clinton or John McCain ; that is, a particular opponent who crystallizes the difference between his approach and the opposition. In that sense, the elevation of Paul Ryan has been a godsend for the Obama team. Ryan's budget is terrible and cruel, but it heightens the stakes and gives the president a base from which he can pivot and provide his own vision. For today's speech on deficit reduction, Obama begins with an account of the situation (short story: blame Republicans) and hits his stride with a full-throated attack on Ryan's proposal: A 70% cut to clean energy. A 25% cut in education. A 30% cut in transportation. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That's what they're proposing. These aren't the kind of cuts you make when you're trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the...

Less War = More Money

With President Obama set to unveil his deficit-reduction plan this afternoon, it's worth noting the extent to which actual deficit hawks could find real savings within our massive military budget. To give you a sense of its size, here's a chart from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: Here's another one, for further context : Not only does the United States spend more on its military than its next four competitors combined, but it accounts for a plurality of global military spending. Surely it's possible to find savings in a budget that accounts for 20 percent of annual spending. That said, we should be careful not to overstate the extent to which excessive military spending is the product of waste. When it comes down to it, we provide the Pentagon with hundreds of billions of dollars because we insist on a global military presence and a United States that can quickly project force anywhere in the world. When it comes down to it, the only reliable way to reduce...

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