Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Obama Go Hard.

Ultimately -- like I said earlier -- messaging doesn't matter, but good messaging doesn't hurt, and it's nice to see that President Obama is stepping up his rhetoric on the START treaty: After months of quiet negotiations blew up this week, Mr. Obama on Thursday escalated ratification of the agreement, the so-called New Start treaty, into a public showdown, enlisting former Republican officials and assigning Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr . to work on it “day and night.” An allied group, the American Values Network, kicked off a television and e-mail campaign. “It is a national security imperative that the United States ratify the New Start treaty this year,” said Mr. Obama, flanked by Henry A. Kissinger , J ames A. Baker III and Brent Scowcroft , all of whom served Republican presidents. “There is no higher national security priority for the lame-duck session of Congress.” Like middle-class tax cuts, the START treaty is a no-lose battle for Democrats, and President Obama in...

Messaging Doesn't Matter.

Generally speaking, Republicans aren't actually more disciplined or organized than Democrats, and vice versa -- whether your side is "good enough" is usually a function of whether you're winning or losing. That said, I'll make an exception for messaging; when Republicans lose elections, you really don't hear them complain about it for weeks afterward: In interviews after the marathon three hour meeting, several senators and senior aides told POLITICO that Nelson was just one of several senators to express anger at White House missteps – and air deep concerns about their own political fates if Obama and the Democratic Party leadership can’t turn things around by 2012. [...] Others said Democratic leaders need to clearly spell out what they believe are the motivations behind the Republicans' positions: that they are beholden to special interests, who bankroll their campaigns. If Democrats keep losing the message war, they worry, they will be wiped out in 2012. Two things: First,...

The Uncertain Future of Cable TV.

Shani Hilton (my housemate, I should note) picks up on a report showing a steady decrease in the number of "cord-cutters" -- or people who don't pay for cable -- and argues that we're seeing the "slow death of cable": Many cable providers have been raising prices, and right now, they can afford to do so because most subscribers haven’t even considered other options. But as many other industries have discovered, this isn’t sustainable in the long-term. The share of live-TV watchers is going to shrink — and if live HD sports become widely available on the internet, it’s a wrap — and many distributors will find themselves out of a job. I could be wrong, but I just don’t see how they can save themselves. I'm generally wary of declaring any technology "dead" or "dying," for the simple reason that it is easy to forget the size of the status quo and attribute too much weight to early adopters. Let's go through the numbers. 58.4 percent of all American homes subscribe to some form of cable...

Pelosi and the Blue Dogs.

Only in a Dana Milbank column does a margin of 150-43 turn into a vote of no-confidence: History will record that Nancy Pelosi won her bid to remain House Democratic leader by a comfortable margin. But nobody who heard Democratic lawmakers going in and out of the Cannon Caucus Room on Wednesday could call it a victory. "The truth is that Nancy Pelosi's season has passed," said Rep. Allen Boyd (Fla.), one of more than 60 Democrats who lost their seats on Election Day. "And she is the face of defeat." [...] And Rep. Bill Pascrell (N.J.), who called himself "one of Nancy Pelosi's closest friends here in the Congress," said that by holding Wednesday's vote to keep Pelosi as leader, Democrats "missed an opportunity today to send a signal to America that we understand what happened this past election." Actually, the opposite is true. Opposing Pelosi's leadership bid -- in favor of a Blue Dog -- is a very sure sign that you have no idea what happened this past election. Democrats lost their...

Americans Like Government Spending.

In what should be a shock to no one, the public isn't exactly happy with the provisions of Bowles-Simpson: In the survey, 57% of respondents said they were uncomfortable with gradually raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 over the next 60 years. Some 41% said they were somewhat or very comfortable with the idea. Roughly 70% were uncomfortable with making cuts to programs such as Medicare, Social Security and defense in order to reduce the deficit, with 27% saying they were comfortable. And nearly 60% said they were uncomfortable with raising tax revenue through such measures as boosting the gasoline tax, limiting deductions on many home mortgages and altering corporate taxation. Nearly 40% said they were comfortable with those ideas. To Democrats worried that "independents" are angry over deficits, take this as further proof that few people actually care about deficits, and fewer people are thrilled about what it would take to reduce those deficits. The simple fact is that...

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