Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

They Shoulda Never Given You Money!

Republicans on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission have released their final report. The culprit for 2008's global financial meltdown? Minorities !: “While the housing bubble, the financial crisis, and the recession are surely interrelated events, we do not believe that the housing bubble was a sufficient condition for the financial crisis,” the document states. “The unprecedented number of subprime and other weak mortgages in this bubble set it and its effect apart from others in the past.” [...] Citing several government agencies, the document argues that “the government subsidized and, in some cases, mandated the extension of credit to high-risk borrowers, propagating risks for financial firms, the mortgage market, taxpayers, and ultimately the financial system.” Granted, "high-risk borrowers" could mean a large variety of people. But given past Republican rhetoric, it's safe to assume they are referring to minorities and pinning the blame on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the...

Spoiled Children.

In today's Playbook, Mike Allen notes that Obama is meeting with a large group of business leaders in a "CEO summit": President Obama holds CEO summit at Blair House, 9-2 - Morning Money reports that the format includes "five or so main discussions, each led by one or more of the 20 executives expected to attend. Ironically enough, this comes as another group of business leaders complains to The New York Times about Obama's occasional willingness to hurt their feelings: Nearly halfway through Mr. Obama’s term, the dearth of business and Wall Street types in his administration rankles many executives, if only as a proxy for their unhappiness with his policies and occasional antibusiness political speech. This is getting ridiculous. Obama might not be as personally pro-business as George W. Bush or Bill Clinton , but he rescued the financial industry from total collapse, General Motors from oblivion, and gave millions of new customers to health insurers and pharmaceuticals. Wall Street...

The Supreme Court Is Political.

Adam Serwer has done excellent blogging on the court challenges to the Affordable Care Act, and I recommend you read it all, but I wanted to highlight this particular point : My personal belief is that Republicans hate the law and want to see it gone, and so the conservative justices on the court, with the possible exception of Anthony Kennedy , will happily oblige them. The justices' identities are simply more partisan than we acknowledge -- does anyone remember Scalia decrying the 17th Amendment before it became a Tea Party cause? Public discussions about the Supreme Court would be a lot better off if we all just dispensed with the fantasy that the Constitution has anything (or much) to do with Court decisions. Granted, it does in some cases -- usually those on the margins -- but for issues that fall within the public discussion, you can reliably assume that Justices will follow the path of public opinion and ideological preference. In other words, the Affordable Care Act will be...

Public Opinion and the Payroll Tax Cut.

The public loves the Obama tax deal but of the components, isn't too thrilled about the payroll tax cut: Megan McArdle is baffled by the results, but they seem pretty straightforward: The public is already hostile to Social Security cuts, and when a pollster asks about "Social Security payroll tax cuts," it's very likely that the respondent hears "Social Security cuts." Add that to liberals worried that a deal will eventually gut Social Security, and you have a sizable number of Americans who are skeptical about the payroll tax cut, despite the fact that they will directly benefit from it. For what it's worth, I think Social Security concerns are a little unfounded; the funds for a payroll tax cut will come out of general revenue, leaving the program untouched. Besides, Republicans will attack Social Security regardless of any deal, or lack thereof. Given that this is the last chance for the economy to receive any stimulus, it's probably best for liberals to take the current deal and...

Partisanship Is Good for Democracy.

Slate 's Chris Beam has the best take on "No Labels": Perhaps the greatest achievement of No Labels is to show why labels exist in the first place. They're so busy talking about what they're not—not Republican, not Independent, not conservative, not liberal—you never get a handle on what they are. Labels are a useful shortcut for voters who want to know what a group is all about. The lack of a positive mission beyond bipartisanship and civility (which both Republicans and Democrats also call for) makes it hard to know what they really want. If there is a case to be made for partisanship, it's that voters deserve a clear choice. It's easy to long for a time when the parties could work together on everything under the sun, but as Beam points out, this was terrible for voters; if you could count on the same policies regardless of who you voted for, what's the use in voting? Why should you participate when your vote has no impact on the behavior of your elected officials? Ideologically...

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