Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Legislating Is Hard

The Onion is on point, as usual: Relatedly, Matthew Yglesias points out the dysfunction that comes with having an explicitly "populist" legislature, as is the case in Arizona, where lawmakers are limited by low-pay, small staffs, and term restrictions: [T]his is something to keep in mind in the federal context when you hear about how this or that area of policy should be left up to the states. However unimpressed you may be by the wisdom of the United States Congress, it’s very difficult for me to think up complicated issues where pushing the issue down to under-resourced state legislators is likely to radically improve policymaking. This gets to one of my (admittedly many) hobbyhorses: Legislating is much, much harder than we tend to give credit for. This makes life easier for anti-establishment candidates -- "I'll bring my business sense to Washington!" -- but a bit more difficult for the actual business of governing, as House Republicans are currently discovering. If I could...

The Future of White People

Matthew Yglesias predicts that the white voters will become more Republican as nonwhites become a greater share of the population: I used to hold to the view that the growing non-white share of the electorate would, over time, tip elections to Democrats. I now think the system will remain near equilibrium and what we’ll instead see is white voters growing more Republican as Democrats are more and more seen as the party of non-whites. Mississippi and Arizona, after all, have very large minority votes but they’re hardly hotbeds of liberalism. Instead they’re hotbeds of very conservative white people. Jonathan Chait isn't so sure and -- noting the significant liberal advantage among younger whites -- predicts a relatively durable Democratic majority going forward: For Yglesias's thesis to be born out, those white voters would have to undergo a massive pro-Republican shift as they age -- not only getting more Republican, but getting more Republican than current old white voters are right...

Palin's Problems

According to the most recent Washington Post /ABC News poll, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are a little less than enthused about Alaska's former half-term governor: For the first time in Post-ABC News polling, fewer than six in 10 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents see Palin in a favorable light, down from a stratospheric 88 percent in the days after the 2008 Republican National Convention and 70 percent as recently as October. [...] But Palin’s unfavorable numbers are significantly higher than they are for any of these possible competitors. Fully 37 percent of all Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now hold a negative view of her, a new high. The obvious question is why? Chris Cillizza suggests Palin's tendency to polarize, but I'm skeptical. For starters, she continues to score a high favorability rating among Republicans: 58 percent, compared to 60 percent for Mitt Romney and 55 percent for Newt Gingrich. Moreover, her views are within the mainstream...

Naked Corporatism

Unlike Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker , Michigan's Rick Snyder isn't even trying to hide the radical corporatism of his agenda. Think Progress reports : Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan. In addition, Snyder's income tax "reforms" would significantly raise rates on everyone but the top 1 percent of Michigan's taxpayers. And of course, this is to say nothing of Snyder's plan for unelected, unaccountable emergency "town managers," who could break contracts and circumvent the decisions of local elected officials. It's worth noting that Snyder ran as a moderate Republican; in his primary campaign, he presented himself as...

Recruiting Government

The Republican attack on public-sector workers hurts recruitment efforts -- and that hurts liberals in the long run.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
By now, Republican attacks on public workers have crescendoed from a drumbeat to a steady drone. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decries firefighters and police officers as "greedy," Ohio Gov. John Kasich talks about the need to "break the back of organized labor in the schools," and GOP lawmakers in Congress fall over themselves to attack federal employees. "Our taxpayers can no longer be asked to foot the bill for these federal employees while watching their own salaries remain flat and their benefits erode," said Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican from Florida, during a meeting of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, says it's "offensive" to give bonuses to federal workers while others lack jobs -- and indeed, more than a few Republicans are pushing bills that would cut the federal workforce by 10 percent, furlough most workers for up to two weeks, and freeze federal pay raises. Of course, Republicans aren't blind to the long-...

Pages