Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Haley Barbour: Gaffe Machine.

Haley Barbour needs to find a better press secretary, or at least someone who won't let him put his foot in his mouth at every opportunity: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Tuesday he won't denounce a Southern heritage group's proposal for a state-issued license plate that would honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. [...] Mississippi NAACP president Derrick Johnson said it's "absurd" to honor a "racially divisive figure" such as Forrest. Johnson has also called on Barbour to denounce the license plate idea. Asked about the NAACP's stance Tuesday, Barbour replied: "I don't go around denouncing people. That's not going to happen. I don't even denounce the news media." Also, notice how he conflates "news media" with "Ku Klux Klan." Haley Barbour is so generous, he won't even denounce the media, much less a group of white supremacist terrorists. To be fair, his unwillingness to oppose the license plate has less to do with his...

Real People, Real Suffering.

National news stories about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fall into two categories: stories about Chris Christie, and stories about people who criticize Chris Christie. This New York Times profile of Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy falls into the latter group: But what is most striking about Mr. Malloy, a Democrat, is that just six weeks after taking charge of such a mild-mannered state, he is publicly taking shots at his celebrated counterpart in New Jersey, attacking his politics and policies, his intellect, even his personality. “Being bombastic for the sake of being bombastic,” Mr. Malloy said, “has just never been my take on the world.” Most of this is style and partisan difference: Malloy is a Democrat, Christie is a Republican, and they tend to disagree. That said, Malloy makes a few points that extend beyond Christie and to the political conversation writ large: Nor is he shy about trying to avoid public-sector layoffs, which would result in the opposite of a stimulus, he has...

You Gots to Chill, Cont.

Andrew Sullivan remains apoplectic about Obama's budget proposal: I didn't send eight years excoriating George "Deficits Don't Matter" Bush to provide excuses for Barack "Default Doesn't Matter" Obama. Like other fiscal conservatives, I'm just deeply disappointed by Obama's reprise of politics as usual - even as the fiscal crisis has worsened beyond measure in the last three years. My point is that actually being honest about the budget and what it will take to resolve its long-term crisis is not political suicide, as Chait says. It's statesmanship. It's what a president is for. By disposition, I'm not that worried about the debt. But even if I were, I have yet to hear a compelling reason for why now is the time to be hyper-concerned about the debt. Inflation is low , interest on 10-year bonds is low , and foreign investors aren't rushing to dump U.S. dollars. Indeed, when it comes to debt, we're still in the realm of potentialities; the dollar might collapse, inflation might explode...

Early Polling Doesn't Matter.

Nate Silver notes the stunning unpopularity of the current GOP field: In the previous five competitive primaries — excluding 2004 for the Republicans, when Mr. Bush won re-nomination uncontested — each party had at least two candidates whose net favorability ratings were in the positive double digits, meaning that their favorables bettered their unfavorables by at least 10 points. All five times, also, the nominee came from among one of the candidates in this group. Republicans have no such candidates at this point in time. This doesn't strike me as something Republicans should worry about. As Brendan Nyhan points out, presidential contenders are rarely popular at this stage of the game. Indeed, Nyhan digs up polling numbers to demonstrate the low significance of early polling. In January 1979, Ronald Reagan was at 38 percent favorability and 39 percent unfavorability. Likewise, Bill Clinton began 1991 with favorability numbers in the low teens (15 percent/12 percent). In the last two...

You Gots to Chill.

Andrew Sullivan would benefit from a little more perspective, and a little less apocalyptic rhetoric : In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road. To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you're fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama's cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of...

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