Jamelle Bouie

The Future Is Far from Certain

(The White House/Flickr)

For Democrats, the last month has been filled with Schadenfreude and glee. Beginning with their opposition to the administration’s contraception mandate—which bled into a general opposition to contraceptives—Republicans have done everything they could to alienate women voters, from dismissing birth control as an integral part of women’s health care, to standing on the sidelines as key conservative activists unleashed vitriolic rhetoric against contraception advocates—and women who use birth control in general—attacking them as “sluts” who need to keep their legs together.

If it sticks in the public consciousness—and if they refuse to back down from their anti-contraception stance—this incident promises to be a disaster for Republicans in the fall.

Closing Time

(maistora/Flickr)

As you may have noticed, I'm out for today and tomorrow on something of a vacation. But I'll be back on Monday, and ready to go. See you then!

The Future of Apple Is the iPad 2

(yum9me/Flickr)

Matthew Yglesias makes a smart point about Apple and the iPad:

The iPad is already the market leader to such an extent that simply coming out with a better one doesn’t change the landscape. But if Apple’s supply chain allows them to ramp up production of a new high-end product while continuing to sell the iPad 2 in volume as a cheaper option, that shakes up the landscape.

Rick Santorum Can't Win

Rick Santorum speaking to supporters at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Frontloading HQ’s Josh Putnam crunches the numbers and finds that under the most optimistic scenario, Rick Santorum is limited to a delegate haul of 1,075, which falls somewhat short of the 1,144 needed to win the nomination.

Putnam notes that you could goose that even further and assume big wins for Santorum in the remaining primaries. Even still, the most he could win is 1,152 delegates. By contrast, Mitt Romney’s minimum 1,162 delegates while his maximum extends to 1,341 delegates.

All Mitt Romney Wants is to be Himself

(Jamelle Bouie/The American Prospect)

For all of his gaffes and unforced errors, it’s important to remember that Mitt Romney never promised to be a likeable presidential candidate, or someone for whom personality was a selling point. The point of Romney has always been that he is a generic Republican candidate, with the skills and profile necessary to win a general election. He has conventional experience (a business career with a stint in the public sector), a conventional persona (competent businessman), and a standard-issue message—the economy is off-track, and only I can bring it back to station.

By the Skin of His Teeth

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Mitt Romney’s Super Tuesday wasn’t a disaster, but you’d be hard-pressed to call it good, either. The primaries he won decisively—Massachusetts, Virginia, Vermont and Idaho—were ones where he held an overwhelming advantage; either he was governor, or he was in friendly territory, or he was one of two candidates on the ballot. The states he lost were also expected, on account of their deep conservatism and religiosity. Georgia went to Newt Gingrich, while Rick Santorum picked up wins in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota.

This Station is Non-Operational

(Jamelle Bouie/The American Prospect)

I never understood why it’s so hard to believe that Iranian leaders are rational actors. They might be awful people, but they care about maintaining their power.

John Cole defends the (large majority of) women who have sex for pleasure. More of this please.

Economists Project Eight Percent Unemployment by Election Day

(The White House/Flickr)

As far as political news is concerned, I would rate this as considerably more important than the minutae of what happens in the Republican primary elections today:

The economists think the unemployment rate will fall from its current 8.3 percent to 8 percent by Election Day. That’s better than their 8.4 percent estimate when surveyed in late December.

By the end of 2013, they predict unemployment will drop to 7.4 percent, down from their earlier estimate of 7.8 percent, according to the AP Economy Survey.

The Reactionaries Were Right!

(Stacy Lynn Baum/Flickr)

When it comes to the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, progressives minimize the extent to which this is actually about a woman’s ability to have sex without pregnancy. Despite right-wing crowing about her sex life, Sandra Fluke’s congressional testimony was about the medical need for hormonal birth control—not her desire to enjoy sex without having to worry about pregnancy. The problem with this is that it obscures the extent to which recreational, non-procreative sex is as common as breathing in the United States, and reinforces the troublesome notion that there is something shameful about female sexuality.

Halftime

(pantagrapher/Flickr)
  • At Mother Jones, Tim Murphy and Andy Kroll have the goods on Rick Santorum’s first Senate campaign, where he warned that single mothers are “breeding more criminals.”
  • Here at The Prospect, Abby Rapoport reports on the crazy notion that a state might encourage voting, not work to restrict it.
  • The iPad 3 debuts tomorrow. Get ready.

Obama, Black Voters, and Same-Sex Marriage

Registering voters during a Mardi Gras parade in Louisiana. (Barack Obama/Flickr)

On Twitter, I’ve been in something of a friendly back-and-forth with The New York Times’ David Leonhardt about the African American vote and President Obama’s support—or lack thereof—for same-sex marriage. In its most recent survey, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that 49 percent of Americans favored same-sex marriage, while 40 percent opposed. What’s more, for 54 percent of Americans, the question of support or opposition wouldn’t make a difference in how they voted.

When in Doubt, Spend

(Flickr/401K)

The people who vote in presidential primaries might be more partisan than the median voter, but that says nothing about their overall knowledge of the political process, or the candidates in particular. For the most part, presidential primaries are low-information elections: Few voters know anything about the candidates outside of what they learn from media, and the circumstances of presidential primaries—a relatively short window for campaigning, multiple candidates, and the fact that everyone belongs to the same party—make it difficult for voters to form strong opinions. Go to almost any primary event in any state, and you’ll meet a large number of attendees who are there with an open mind—they just want to see what the candidate "is all about.”

This Station is Non Operational

This neat calculator lets you figure out how many jobs the economy needs to create to get to a given unemployment rate within X number of months.

Everyone knows that the best character in The Wire is that unsung hero, Lester Freamon.

Historian James Cobb speaks out against an attempt by the Georgia state senate to whitewash American history and present the Founding Fathers as blameless saints.

GOP Successfully Alienates Latino Voters

The most you can say about the Republican Party’s performance with Latino voters right now is that it isn’t in the single digits. Eight years after George W. Bush won 44 percent of Latino voters—and four years after John McCain nabbed 31 percent of the overall Latino vote—the GOP has seen the bottom drop out of its reputation with Latinos.

Romney's Problem with Health Care is that He Actually Believes in Reform

In a scoop that demolishes a year’s worth of rhetoric from the Romney campaign, Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski discovers three separate videos in which Mitt Romney urges Barack Obama to adopt Massachusetts-style health care reforms as a model for the rest of the country. Here is one of the more damning videos:

Somewhere, a Romney staffer is shaking his fist at those “meddling kids” at Buzzfeed.

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