Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Return (But Not Really) of Social Conservatives

Jeff Zeleny takes an early look at conservative presidential politics in Iowa: The ailing economy and the Tea Party’s demand for smaller government have dominated Republican politics for two years, but a resurgent social conservative movement is shaping the first stage of the presidential nominating contest, complicating the strategy for candidates who prefer to focus on fiscal issues over faith. Here in Iowa, whose caucuses next winter will open the campaign, social and religious conservatives are pressing the likely candidates on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion rather than on jobs, the budget deficit and other economic concerns that leaders of both parties expect to dominate the general election. Hopefully, this will put to rest the fiction of a Republican Party unconcerned with social conservatism. Insofar that the Tea Party has been successful, it's in convincing a large swath of the political world that the GOP was less than concerned with gay people or abortion. Of...

New Fronts in the Conservative War on Immigrants

In an apparent homage to the Southern authoritarians of decades past, Republican lawmakers in the Old South are targeting undocumented immigrants (the current disfavored minority) with harsh, draconian legislation: Proposed legislation in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, where Republicans control the legislatures and the governors’ mansions, have moved further than similar proposals in many other states, where concerns about the legality and financial impact of aggressive immigration legislation have stopped lawmakers. Dozens of immigration-related bills showed up early in legislative sessions across the South. Some were aimed at keeping illegal immigrants from college or from marrying American citizens. Most died quickly, but three proposals designed to give police broader powers to identify and report illegal immigrants are moving forward. [...] This, in particular, is reprehensible: A similar bill is heading through the legislature in South Carolina. It would also make it...

Blue North Carolina

According to Public Policy Polling, North Carolina is definitely "in play" for Obama 2012: North Carolinians narrowly approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President and as a result it appears he should once again be very competitive in the state in 2012. 48% of voters like the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. The key to his solid numbers this month is that he's on positive ground with independents at a 46/43 spread. This doesn't come as a big surprise. Republicans made gains in last year's midterm elections, but those were in spite of the state's rapidly changing demographics. From 2000 to 2010, North Carolina's population increased by 18.5 percent, to just over 9.5 million people. The state's African American population increased by 17.9 percent to roughly 2 million people, and the state's Latino population increased by 111.1 percent, to roughly 800,000 people. In total, North Carolina is 40 percent non-white, a huge increase from 2000. Moreover, the growing white...

Freedom of Choice (But Not if You're Poor)

As we've seen, it's standard operating procedure for Republican governors to balance state budgets on the backs of the poor and working class. Insofar that there's anything to distinguish one governor from another, it's in the details: Wisconsin's Scott Walker wants to break unions and cut benefits, Florida's Rick Scott wants to flash Medicaid, and Michigan's Rick Snyder wants to impose martial law. Rinku Sen reports : Last week, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act. Now he can declare any city or district in financial emergency, appoint an emergency manager (at county, city, district or township level) and give that person the power to control budgets, sell off assets, bypass city councils and boards of education, take over school systems, de-certify pubic unions, and even to dissolve the city itself as an entity. This is corporate martial law—it won’t be the military taking over, but business interests that constitute an...

Why America Needs Better History Education

John Stossel has never been mistaken for an intelligent man, so it's no surprise that he would say something like this: John Stossel on Fox: "Why is there a Bureau of Indian Affairs? ... No group in America has been more helped by the government than the American Indians." Obviously, this is only true if you ignore the century-long genocidal war pursued against the various Native American tribes. Of course, as someone consumed by his narrow, right-wing ideology, it's no surprise that Stossel didn't think of that complication. Relatedly, you can easily imagine this coming from various John Stossel-like figures throughout American history. For example, "Why is there a Bureau of Refugees, Freedman and Abandoned Lands? No group in America has been more helped by the government than the freed slaves." Try it for yourself! Simply imagine a historically wronged group, and -- on the basis of a flawed and short-sighted view of the country's history -- complain about their representation in the...

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