Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Slow Pace of Nominations.

This is actually a fair criticism of the president: Republicans, after two years of criticism from the White House for blocking government appointments, have started to complain that the Obama administration is failing to fill senior financial and economic jobs. The White House is expected to announce soon a replacement for Larry Summers, the top economic adviser to the president, who left the administration last week after delaying his departure to avoid leaving an empty chair for an extended period. But replacing Mr Summers, who said in September he was leaving his role as director of the National Economic Council, is only one of a number of personnel moves yet to be completed by the administration. [...] Mark Calabria, a director at the libertarian Cato Institute, said: “You really can’t blame people for holding up your nominations if you don’t send them to begin with.” The White House has been incredibly slow at nominating people to fill executive branch and judicial vacancies...

Ruining Sane Conservatism.

Via Andrew Sullivan , Bruce Bartlett wants President Obama to "rescue sane conservatism" by highlighting serious Republicans and dissident conservatives: In your State of the Union address, single out and mention by name a few Republicans who have taken actions or proposed ideas worthy of consideration. Quote some conservative intellectuals who have been critical of the Republican Party’s lack of a governing philosophy or meaningful legislative agenda. This will raise the status of a better class of Republicans and create a group with whom you can possibly develop a partnership. What I am suggesting is really just a broader version of a tactic you have already occasionally used. In November, for instance, you invited Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger, and James Baker to a high-profile White House meeting to highlight their support for the new START treaty your administration negotiated. That meeting led to several weeks of press coverage in which Senate Republicans who were resisting a...

Too Serious to Win.

David Leonhardt sat down for a long Q&A with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and came away impressed : I recently sat down with him in his office to talk about what small government might actually look like. To be clear, it would be very different from the Tea Party dream, in which taxes could be cut; Medicare, Social Security and the military could be left untouched; and the deficit would somehow vanish. Mr. Daniels is willing to acknowledge as much. He says he avoids using the phrase “waste, fraud and abuse” because “it’s too glib — there’s no wand you can wave.” He says military spending should be cut. He called the Republicans’ recent attacks on Democratic efforts to slow Medicare’s cost growth “not a proud moment for our party.” He had kind words for the Tea Party but pointed out that it did not have a solution. [...] Cutting government is no economic panacea. But it will surely have to be part of the solution to our long-term budget problems, in Washington and in the states. Mr...

Political Violence in America.

Political violence struck in Pakistan today, where a prominent politician was gunned down for his opposition to the country's blasphemy laws: Salmaan Taseer , who was governor of Pakistan's most-populous Punjab province, was attacked in Kohsar Market, a strip mall in the heart of one of Islamabad's toniest neighborhoods as he got into his car after lunch. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told local television the attacker, who he named as Malik Mumtaz Qadri , was a member of Mr. Taseer's elite forces security detail. Mr. Qadri allegedly shot repeatedly into Mr. Taseer's silver Honda Civic before giving himself up to police, the minister said. The attacker later told police he shot Mr. Taseer because of his views on removing Pakistan's blasphemy laws, according to Mr. Malik. This is just a quick musing, but it's worth noting the extent to which political violence is virtually nonexistent in the contemporary United States. The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981 was the last...

Up or Down Votes.

Bruce Ackerman wants an end to filibusters on executive branch nominees: The way the Senate deals with executive branch nominees is a scandal. If a single senator issues a "hold" on a nominee, the filibuster rules require 60 senators, and lengthy floor debate, to overcome his or her objection. Senators regularly use holds as bargaining chips to force administration cave-ins to their special-interest demands. For example, Sen. Richard Shelby held up 70 Obama nominations to obtain special funding for a couple of home-state projects. Senatorial obstructionism has had a devastating impact. Between 1979 and 2003, Senate-confirmed positions were vacant 25% of the time. As presidential nominees slowly gain confirmation, other positions open up, continually undermining the team effort needed for effective operation of cabinet departments. What's more, as Ackerman notes, the status quo has led to a flood of recess appointments, which -- over time -- will erode the Senate's ability to advise...

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