Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Blame Where It's Due

So far, the response to the debt-ceiling deal announced last night has been as asymmetrical as its contents; the right has been mum, with few Republicans coming out to condemn or praise the agreement. The left, on the other hand, is apoplectic. That’s because the deal – which slashes spending by $1 trillion over the next decade, creates a bipartisan committee tasked with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, and establishes a “trigger” designed to enforce the cuts mandated by the agreement -- seems to be a full-on handout to the right wing of the Republican Party. Paul Krugman calls the deal “an abject surrender on the part of the president.” Robert Reich says that with this deal, “Democrats and the White House have proven they have little by way of tactics or strategy.” And speaking on behalf of the House Progressive Caucus, Rep. Raul Grivalja, a Democrat from Arizona, condemned the architects of the agreement: “Today we, and everyone we have worked to speak for...

Obama's Approval Continues Its Downward Trend

These new results from Gallup’s survey of presidential approval make me a lot less bullish about President Obama’s chances for re-election: Last week, I noted the extent to which the public still holds President Bush and the Republican Party responsible for the current state of the economy. According to the latest CNN/ORC poll , not only is this still true -- 57 percent of all voters say they think President Bush and the GOP are responsible for the country’s economic woes -- but the number is higher than it was several months ago. In May of this year, 55 percent said that Bush and Republicans were responsible, compared to September of last year, where 53 percent agreed. Most important, this is still true among independents -- 53 percent lay blame for the current economy on the former administration. That said, Obama doesn’t have much room to maneuver with regards to the economy; 59 percent of Americans are pessimistic about the country’s economic future. If Obama can’t count on high...

If the Threat of Default Can't Concentrate Their Minds ...

Even if Boehner gets the votes for his debt-ceiling deal, it won't end the fight.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Last night at 8 p.m., a few hours before House Speaker John Boehner postponed the vote on a package that would have extended the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, NBC's Luke Russert tweeted, "This is one of those rare DC moments where not one reporter knows what's really going on." Today, it's still true that we don't know what's really going on, as the political world and financial markets reel from the Ohio lawmaker's inability to secure support from his caucus and pass a debt-limit package. It's not that Boehner's plan wasn't right-wing enough; in exchange for an initial $1 trillion increase in the debt limit, the speaker's plan would reduce spending by $1.2 trillion, impose limits on future spending, and require Congress to vote on a balanced-budget amendment. What's more, it would require Congress to create a bipartisan committee to reduce the deficit by another $1.8 trillion. Rather, the most right-wing members of the House Republican caucus were adamantly against any...

Reid Plan? Boehner Plan? Either Way, the Right Wins.

Back in May, House Speaker John Boehner went before the Economic Club of New York to offer the GOP’s opening bid on debt-ceiling negotiations. His demands were straightforward: Republicans would only support raising the debt limit if it came with cuts that would exceed the increase in borrowing power. In his own words, “Cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions. They should be actual cuts and program reforms, not broad deficit or debt targets that punt the tough questions to the future.” I wrote at the time that this was an “extraordinarily radical” proposal that would cost thousands of jobs and deprive millions of needed benefits while preserving huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Now, after nearly three months of Republican intransigence, that radical proposal is the template for the Democratic offer on the debt limit. According to the Congressional Budget...

A Dispassionate Plea for Help

President Obama takes his case for compromise directly to the American people.

(AP Photo/Jim Watson)
To most of Washington, President Barack Obama's address on the debt ceiling last night was boilerplate, to say the least. For the fourth time in as many weeks, the president explained what the debt ceiling was, emphasized the importance of raising it, outlined his plan for a "balanced" approach of tax increases and spending cuts, and called on Congress to put aside its partisan differences for the sake of the country. But political junkies weren't the target audience for this address. From its constant refrain of "compromise" to its "pox on both houses" rhetoric, it was aimed at the majority of Americans who don't give much thought to Washington and who aren't engaged with congressional debates. Indeed, in a move intended to present himself as the adult in the room, Obama asked Americans to contact their representatives: "I'm asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve...

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