Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

America's Petulant Business Class.

Yesterday, David Gregory -- ostensibly well-informed host of MSNBC's Meet the Press -- tweeted this reality-challenged comment about Larry Summer 's impending departure from the White House, "After Summers does Obama tap someone from business community? Opportunity to ease the tension." I understand that Twitter isn't the best medium for explaining something in detail, but this is a little ridiculous; there is no meaningful way in which the Obama administration is anti-business. Remember, this is an administration that implemented a $700 billion bailout of failed banks and did everything it could to avoid nationalizing said banks. It's financial regulations preserved the basic structure of Wall Street, and its signature domestic achievement -- the Affordable Care Act -- was explicitly designed to maintain and expand the private insurance market. Hell, it was only last week that President Obama proposed a series of business tax cuts, including an immediate write-off for business...

Christianity is Bigger Than Christine O'Donnell.

This morning, Matthew Yglesias wrote a pretty decent post on Christine O'Donnell that was unfortunately marred by a pretty narrow take on Christianity as it applies to lying: I would further add that from a Christian perspective, I don’t think the Kantian view is all that problematic. When you lie you’re doing something wrong, and you’re not really serving any kind of greater good because the sin still exists in the heart of the murderer and for the truly innocent death is only a small penalty as it brings you closer to God. I take it that most nominally Christian people in America (of which I am not one) reject this line of argument, but that mostly goes to show that people tend not to fully think through doctrines of heaven and hell to which they’re formally committed. I had an e-mail back-and-forth with Charles Mathewes [ disclosure: I was his student ], a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, who strongly disagreed with Yglesias' reductive take on...

Guns and Crime.

Writing at Reason , Brian Doherty approvingly cites NRA statistics on crime, arguing that crime goes down as gun possession goes up: Quick and dirty macrodata chart from the NRA via LewRockwell.com on guns and crime in the U.S. showing that as gun possession goes up and gun laws loosen, violent crime goes down. From 1991-2009, total violent crime down 43 percent (with murder down 49 percent). This sounds great! Except for the tiny fact that gun possession hasn't actually gone up; in 1993, 45 percent of Americans said they owned a gun, by 2009, that number dropped to 33 percent. Beyond that, there isn't actually much of a correlation between gun ownership and crime rates; more guns doesn't equal less crime, and fewer guns doesn't equal more crime. Moreover, when looking at nearly 20 years of declining crime across the entire country, it seems a little silly to cherry-pick (declining rates of) gun ownership as the most important factor. More reasonable would be to note the fact that the...

Can It All Be That Simple? Yes.

Dan Balz in today's Washington Post: One of the persistent mysteries about the president is why someone who began his adult life as a community organizer, working with economically displaced workers in Chicago, has had so much difficulty making a connection with voters on economic issues. That was a problem during his presidential campaign. From the questions on Monday, it remains a problem today. Is this really a persistent mystery, or is it something some political journalists are aggressively trying not to understand? I think it's the latter, since there's actually a really straightforward explanation for why President Obama can't seem to connect with voters on economic issues: If unemployment weren't at nearly 10 percent and if the unemployed had a fighting chance at finding new jobs, then Obama wouldn't have a problem connecting with voters. It's really that simple. -- Jamelle Bouie

Who Is to Blame for the Enthusiasm Gap?

According to Gallup's most recent release , the enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans is large and growing: Lately, there's been something of an ongoing fight between Democrats who blame the "professional left" for the progressive enthusiasm gap, and liberal activists who blame President Obama for the progressive enthusiasm gap. David Sirota 's critique of the administration is pretty typical: On the other side are those progressive activists and media voices who say progressive voters are demoralized because the Obama administration hasn't fulfilled - or even tried to fulfill - it's most basic campaign promises... This side sees voters as fairly intelligent - or, at least intelligent enough to make voting decisions based on an analysis of concrete issues, rather than simply on orders from activists and media voices. Of course, there's a third possibility that nicely sidesteps the self-serving narratives of Democratic partisans and progressive activists; namely, Democratic...

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