Archive

  • RUMSFELD STEPPING DOWN.

    RUMSFELD STEPPING DOWN. Just announced. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • ECONOMICS AND THE BLACK VOTE.

    ECONOMICS AND THE BLACK VOTE. Conor Clarke has a very good piece at TNR making a should-be-obvious-but-totally-isn't argument about why African Americans continue to vote for Democrats: because Democratic policy serves the economic interests of African Americans . Who'da thunk it? --Sam Rosenfeld
  • HEWITT, HIS COMMENTERS,...

    HEWITT, HIS COMMENTERS, AND DISILLUSION. This is hilarious . --Sam Rosenfeld
  • BACK TO THE CLOWN SHOW.

    BACK TO THE CLOWN SHOW. The defeat of South Dakota's abortion ban is evidently good news on the merits, and will also hopefully put to rest the ideas that abortion criminalization necessarily represents popular majorities. Even in one of the most conservative states in the country, an even minimally consistent (and the South Dakota legislation still flinched when it came to applying legal sanctions to women who were purportedly guilty of a serious crime) pro-life position is a political loser. What this means, alas, is a return to unprincipled abortion regulation that attempts to roll back abortion access through the back door. Appropriately enough, today the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Gonzales cases, which concerns the constitutionality of federal legislation banning so-called "partial birth" abortions. Nothing represents the extent to which the American "pro-life" movement is reduced to empty symbolism and intellectual dishonesty than these ridiculous laws. I will...
  • WHAT COUNTERMOBILIZATION? ...

    WHAT COUNTERMOBILIZATION? Remember all the speculation about how the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision requiring civil unions was going to create a major, pro-Republican backlash because the courts were "getting ahead of the people"? Strange how we're hearing less about that today, now that this seems to have had about as much impact on the election as the botched Kerry joke that obsessed the conservative blogosphere but apparently not the electorate. At any rate, this should be yet another reminder that arguments about litigation inherently generating greater levels of opposition than other forms of policy change are generally characterized by a surfeit of assertion and a paucity of evidence . --Scott Lemieux
  • GO AHEAD, CALL THEM CONSERVATIVE DEMS. WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

    GO AHEAD, CALL THEM CONSERVATIVE DEMS. WHY SHOULD WE CARE? Unlike Tom Schaller , I have to admit, I wasn�t bothered at all by the spin that the Democrats won because they embraced a lot of candidates with conservative views and backgrounds. Now Tom�s a political scientist, so he has to be concerned with empirical truth and all that stuff (didn�t Karl Rove get rid of that?), and as a matter of truth, he and the legendary political researcher Dennis Yedwab are of course right: the bulk of the Democratic majority came from Northeast, Midwest and Mountain seats where the winners were not conservative. So the spin that the Democrats won because they moved in a more conservative direction is inaccurate. But so what? Consider the alternative spin, which is that Democrats are a bunch of extreme liberals, who will be as far out of touch as the Republicans and who will be destroyed in 2008? I�d rather have a party that�s fairly liberal but has a reputation or image as moderate than one that�s...
  • STATE LEGISLATURES. Of...

    STATE LEGISLATURES. Of all the stories that got ignored last night as Chris Matthews worked through his many public man-crushes, and as CNN kept warning us about the evil, lurking genius of Karl Rove , and the folks at Fox just kind of wandered around the set like stunned cattle, this one right here , as well as the Democratic sweep among the nation's governors, strikes me as the most important of them in the long term. It gives the Democrats a longer bench, as my coach buddies always say. If the national party intends to solidify its gains last night, it's out of these state legislatures whence will come most of those candidates. And the sweep in Iowa probably changes the 2008 presidential dynamic in a couple of dozen ways that nobody's figured out et, but I feel safe in predicting that most of these newly minted state reps have a new best friend in John Edwards . --Charles P. Pierce
  • CRACK REPORTING. K-Lo...

    CRACK REPORTING. K-Lo quotes a congressional Deep Throat on the upcoming race for minority leader: One top house source tells me: �[ Pence ] believes the GOP must recommit to the principles and vision of Ronald Reagan in order to successfully take back the majority.� Whew. Lucky her source didn't say that on the record! In any case, brace yourself for some Reagan nostalgia. The right will spin this one as a rejection of liberalism, pork, and spending. That the last major Republican loss -- 1998's repudiation of the Gingrich revolution -- was a rejection of Gingrich's rejection of liberalism, pork, and spending won't, I predict, much matter. In any case, progressives would do well with a Pence-led majority, as the cruel austerity of his philosophy is the sort of thing Republicans have traditionally worked assiduously to conceal. Putting it on public display just as we enter a recession will be...interesting. --Ezra Klein
  • FIRST WOMEN. As...

    FIRST WOMEN. As an addendum to Addie 's post , the first woman was elected as chief justice of the Supreme Court in Alabama . --Kay Steiger
  • THE DAY AFTER....

    THE DAY AFTER. It's nice to finally write one of these election wrap-ups that doesn't have to account for a massive Democratic disappointment. Change is good, right? What it does have to do is punch back against the remarkably coordinated and quick campaign from the right (and sometimes the right includes the left ) seeking to paint this election as some sort of victory for ... conservatism. The ideological spectrum is a tricky thing. Take Heath Schuler , exhibit A in the rightwing Democrats meme. He's a cultural conservative, no doubt. But however far right he drifts on those issues -- which, under a Democratic Congress, he won't be voting on because they won't be brought to floor -- he's notably left on economic issues. Today, for instance, he's giving a press conference under the auspices of the United Steelworkers with Great Liberal Hope Sherrod Brown , where they'll discuss the need for new trade policies and their success in making active opposition to NAFTA a winning issue...

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