Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Obama, Liberal Anger, and African American Loyalty.

If you weren't already convinced, Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin show that a primary to challenge Obama is extremely unlikely: Two of the Democratic Party's most well-known progressives — Howard Dean and Russ Feingold — have both indicated that they won't take on Obama, and there are few others who have the stature and willingness to mount a credible campaign against the president. Top leaders of the institutional left say they don't want a 2012 intra-party civil war. And as disillusioned as some in Obama's base may be in the wake of his tax deal making with Republicans — and the frustration does seem to be at a high watermark — an array of Democrats said it is unlikely the president would face a challenge from within his own party. "At moments of frustration or in an attempt to leverage a policy agenda, it is becoming a regular attention grabber to raise the specter of a primary challenge," said former Service Employees Internation Union President Andy Stern . "In the case of...

Michael Bloomberg's Contempt for Democracy.

The New York Times calls this "sweeping," but it's mostly just warmed-over pablum: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Wednesday unleashed a blunt and stinging critique of the federal government’s handing of the economic recovery, saying that lawmakers from both parties have “abdicated their responsibility” in favor of partisan bickering, have vilified success in corporate America and have left the country lagging behind its international competitors. [...] “Last month, voters turned against Democrats in Washington for the same reason they turned against Republicans in 2006,” Mr. Bloomberg told a gathering of city business leaders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “Democrats now, and Republicans then, spent more time and energy conducting partisan warfare than forging centrist solutions to our toughest economic problems.” Not to repeat myself too much, but this "centrist" hackery is little more than a thinly veiled contempt for democracy. Bloomberg pillories Democrats and Republicans for indulging...

America: Still Richer Than China.

Though, try telling that to most Americans : In the poll, only one in five Americans said that the U.S. economy is the world’s strongest -- nearly half picked China instead. Looking forward, Americans are somewhat more optimistic about regaining primacy, but still only about one in three expect the U.S. economy to be the world’s strongest in 20 years. Nearly three-fifths of those surveyed said that increasing competition from lower-paid workers around the world will keep living standards for average Americans from growing as fast as they did in the past. Ruben Owen, a retired Boeing engineer in Seattle who responded to the survey, spoke for many when he said, “We’re still in a reasonably good place … but it’s going to get harder because other places are growing stronger.” As a rule, people are inclined to see most things as a zero-sum game. Other countries are becoming richer, so by definition, the United States is becoming poorer. Of course, the world isn't zero-sum, at least when it...

Bullying as Political Strategy.

When he's not losing federal education dollars or canceling valuable transportation projects, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is busy building his reputation on YouTube. Every one of Christie's public meetings is filmed by a loyal staffer, with the highlights plucked out for viewing pleasure. As for the content, most highlights consist of Christie handling questioners with aggressive pushback, regardless of actual provocation. Conservatives love them -- and have made him a video star -- but some New Jerseyans are tired of the bullying. Here is the New Jersey Star-Ledger : The latest display of contempt for anyone who disagrees with him was on display at a town hall meeting Friday in Parsippany. Keith Chaudruc, of Madison, asked the governor how he could sign off on a tax cut for the rich while lunch-pail stiffs were hit with painful increases like transit fare hikes. After some give and take, Christie invited Chaudruc to the stage for “a conversation.” Chaudruc, reluctant to be part of...

Let Down.

If there's anything good about Matt Bai 's most recent piece, it's this brief summary of liberal disappointment with Democratic presidents: Of course, Mr. Obama is only the latest in a long line of Democratic presidents, going back to Franklin D. Roosevelt , to disappoint the liberal wing of his party and to at least hear rumblings of a challenge. In 1960, the hipster John F. Kennedy represented for liberals something similar to what Mr. Obama embodied as a candidate; two years later, the writer Norman Mailer acidly concluded that Kennedy stood for nothing but the pursuit of power, “without light or principle.” Both Johnson and President Jimmy Carter faced liberal primary challenges when they stood for re-election: Mr. Johnson because of the Vietnam War and Mr. Carter because he was deemed to be ineffectual in advancing liberal ideals. Bill Clinton ’s stances on issues like free trade and welfare reform similarly infuriated the left, though he managed to avoid a primary. Presidents...

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