Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

How to Win a Presidential Primary.

I've spent the last hour trying to write about Matt Bai 's most recent piece for the New York Times , but there are simply too many nuggets of wrongness to fit into a single blog post. In the piece, Bai tries to analogize the current Republican presidential contest with Democratic nomination battles in 1992 and 2004. In the piece, contrasts Bill Clinton 's Third Way centrism with Howard Dean's vocal opposition to George W. Bush . His lesson? Moderation always wins: Mr. Dean grabbed an oar and steered furiously into the current. “I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party!” he told the California Democratic convention in March 2003, bringing the crowd to its feet. Within months, Mr. Dean had so surpassed his rivals in money and glamour that ABC’s Ted Koppel, moderating a Democratic debate, felt moved to ask the other candidates if they thought Mr. Dean could beat Mr. Bush. He needn’t have wondered; as it turned out, Mr. Dean ended up winning only two primaries, in his home...

Conservatives Promised $100 Billion, and Want to Stick to It.

In the run-up to the 2010 elections, congressional Republicans promised to cut spending by $100 billion as a first step toward controlling deficits. Conservative voters loved it, and a whole group of GOP congresspeople were swept into office with those words on their lips. Of course, when it came time to actually write a budget, Republicans were a little more modest in their goals, pushing instead for a $35 billion cut in federal spending, which Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan called a "downpayment" on the party's promise to cut the budget. Unfortunately for Republican leadership, House conservatives don't want to put their cuts on l ayaway : Piling cuts on top of cuts, House Republican leaders outlined an additional $26 billion in spending reductions on Thursday in hopes of placating conservatives who rejected an initial draft as too timid. [...] [R[ank-and-file Republicans, many of whom have little hands-on knowledge of the budget and the impact the cuts will have on programs...

Q&A: Webb Out, Allen In?

TAP looks into Larry Sabato's crystal ball to find out what will happen after Sen. Jim Webb's retirement.

Sen. Jim Webb in October.(Flickr/cliff1066)
On Wednesday, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia announced he would not seek a second term. He won in an upset against former Sen. George Allen in 2006 and helped give Democrats control over the Senate. Allen is a likely Republican contender for the seat in 2012, which could be a critical year for Democrats. To get a handle on this, TAP spoke with Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, about what this means for Democrats in Virginia and on the national level. Jim Webb won in a big upset that gave Democrats control of the Senate in 2006. But after that, he slid under the radar. For Virginia and the nation at large, how has Webb been significant? Webb was serious, bold, and moderate all at the same time. At the very beginning of his time in the Senate, he maneuvered the passage of the new GI bill. His efforts to undertake a serious, comprehensive study of the incarceration system was another uncommon move that highlighted an often overlooked issue. He was unafraid to...

CPAC 2011: Everyone Is a Values Voter.

I remain baffled by last year's post-election assertion that Tea Partiers were a different breed of Republican. Tea Partiers weren't focused on social issues, and so the assumption was that they didn't care as much about social issues. Of course, we now know that's ridiculous. Between the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" and the "Protect Life Act," congressional Republicans have been nothing but relentless in their social conservatism. If there's any takeaway from today's CPAC speakers, it's that social conservatism is still a powerful force in the Republican Party. All major speakers said some variation of "we must protect traditional marriage," and one of the more well-received speeches was given by Rick Santorum , a potential Republican presidential candidate, and strong social conservative. There were sessions on Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal -- short summary, they don't like it -- and a number of speakers came out to warn listeners about the growing momentum for gay rights...

CPAC 2011: Was This the Right Choice?

If the applause following his introduction was any indication, Mitch McConnell is a popular man with convention-goers. As the architect of the "No" strategy, McConnell bit into Obama's popularity with long, drawn-out legislative battles and tough, uncompromising rhetoric. He blocked judicial nominations, kept Democrats from fully staffing the administration, and encouraged the Tea Party as it organized against Obama's policies. And of course, along with the House Republican leadership, McConnell was integral to the GOP's huge gains in November. On the other hand, McConnell might be the one person most responsible for Democratic successes in health care and financial reform. There were times during that health-care saga when Democrats wanted a compromise, rather than a long, drawn-out fight. Moreover, powerful elements within the White House and Congress were willing to make that compromise, and scale down aspirations to a few tweaks and expanded coverage for children. But by refusing...

Pages