Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

A Lobbyist Paradise.

No one could have guessed : House Speaker-elect John Boehner announced Thursday that he hired the medical device industry’s chief lobbyist as his policy director, adding to a growing number of Republican lawmakers who have recruited top aides from K Street. Brett Loper, senior executive vice president at the Advanced Medical Technology Association, was deeply involved in the health care debate and fought against the fees Democrats ultimately assessed the industry to help pay for reform. To return to a point from yesterday, the incoming Republican Congress promises to be saturated with lobbyists and others working to further entrenched interests. Most of the new committee chairmen have strong ties to lobbyists, and John Boehner has promised to concentrate power on the committee level, which would have the effect of giving powerful lobbies leeway to change and write policy. Of course, this was expected; the Tea Party "revolt" that brought the GOP into power was created and (mostly)...

The Strategic Mistake of a Decade.

Now that the Senate has killed DADT repeal, I wonder if anyone remembers this ? In the nuclear option — some supporters call it the “constitutional” option — Bill Frist would push through a rules change that would eliminate Senate filibusters for judicial nominees. Democrats have been using filibuster threats, a promise to stall a nomination through extended debate, on 10 Bush judicial nominees. Such a threat requires 60 votes to overcome. The Senate did confirm 204 of the president’s 214 trial and appellate judicial nominees. Taking away the filibuster would mean Republicans would need 50 votes to confirm judges, well within the number of their 55-member caucus. Democrats and moderate Republicans responded with a "Gang of 12" that would preserve the judicial filibuster while allowing some of Bush 's nominees to go through. In retrospect -- with two years of Obama's presidency behind us -- I think we can safely say that Democrats made a huge mistake. I'm sure there are plenty of...

How Much Will Obama Work With Republicans in 2011?

This , from the Pew Research Center, should give you some idea: In short, when asked whether Obama was doing enough to work with Republican leaders, 34 percent of independents said he was doing too little, compared to 13 percent of Democrats. Only 29 percent of independents said that he was doing enough to work with the GOP. If you're hoping for Obama to spend the next year railing against Republicans, you should prepare to be disappointed; as long as independents believe Obama hasn't done enough to work with the GOP, he will continue to make overtures in their direction, whether it makes sense or not. -- Jamelle Bouie

Quick Thoughts on Timing.

In a new survey , most Americans say they are worse off under Obama: More than 50 percent of Americans say they are worse off now than they were two years ago when President Barack Obama took office, and two-thirds believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. The survey, conducted Dec. 4-7, finds that 51 percent of respondents think their situation has deteriorated, compared with 35 percent who say they're doing better. The balance isn't sure. Americans have grown more downbeat about the country's future in just the last couple of months, the poll shows. The pessimism cuts across political parties and age groups, and is common to both sexes. In a lot of ways, as far as his political fortunes are concerned, Obama is the victim of timing. Franklin Roosevelt had the advantage of entering office after the economy had bottomed out, creating the perception that he was solely responsible for rising fortunes. Had the economy collapsed in October 2008...

Wealthy Interests Looking Forward to New GOP Majority.

You can pretty much read the list of new GOP committee chairs as an invitation for powerful interests to buy off Congress: While many of the House chairmanships for the 112th Congress were foregone conclusions, the choice of Representative Fred Upton of Michigan to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee over Representative Joe L. Barton of Texas was a bit of a nail-biter. Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky won the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee over the current ranking member, Representative Jerry Lewis of California, and Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia. For example, Harold Rogers was listed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as one of the most corrupt members of the 111th Congress. Over the course of his 29-year career, he has steered millions of dollars to campaign contributors, including a company that employs his son. Spencer Bachus , incoming chair of the Financial Services Committee, wants to shovel favors at Wall Street by...