Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Because She's a Liberal.

Ezra Klein , " Why does D.C. care so much more about Pelosi than about Reid?": For all the hubbub over the decision House Democrats made to keep Nancy Pelosi , there's been almost nothing said on the decision Senate Democrats made to keep Harry Reid . But what's the difference? Pelosi might be a bit more unpopular, but they're both pretty unpopular. And Pelosi is a lot less vulnerable in her district than Reid is in his state. I think Matthew Yglesias has it right when -- in response to Klein -- he tweets that the "establishment is out to get Pelosi because she's too liberal." Harry Reid was critical in getting Barack Obama 's major agenda items though Congress, but as far as his own positions are concerned, he is a standard-issue Democrat. He isn't particularly liberal, and as a pro-life Democrat, has a nice contrarian stance against the party position on abortion. Indeed, Reid's actions as majority leader were mostly moderate, even as he shepherded a host of liberal policies through...

Ass-Kicking Jesus: A Cultural View.

I meant to comment on this the other day, but here is Brian Fischer -- of the American Family Association -- ranting about the "feminization" of the Medal of Honor. Instead of giving it to soldiers who save people, he wants us to reward it to soldiers who have "inflicted casualties on the enemy." Why? Because of Jesus: Jesus’ act of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless -- yes, meaningless -- if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own life. The significance of the cross is not just that Jesus laid down his life for us, but that he defeated the enemy of our souls in the process. It was on the cross that he crushed the head of the serpent. It was on the cross that “he disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). The cross represented a cosmic showdown between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, and our commanding general claimed the ultimate prize by...

Palin's Racial Dog Whistle.

Yeah, I would call this racially charged: Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright 's church listening to his rants against America and white people. This is an excerpt from Sarah Palin 's upcoming book, and it's mostly a rehash of the right-wing line on Wright from the 2008 campaign, nearly verbatim. The problem is that the right-wing line on Wright was pretty racially tinged; to equate Wright's entire career with a single sermon -- and then to call that sermon a "rant against America and white people" -- is to say, implicitly, that these are the things that consume black people when they are away from polite society. Barack and Michelle Obama might look like lovely people, but behind closed doors, they are plotting to...

Lily White.

Consider this the only time I'll approvingly quote Roland Burris : There will be no African Americans in the U.S. Senate when he leaves office at the end of the month, a fact outgoing Sen. Roland Burris called "unacceptable" and "troubling" in his farewell speech Thursday. "Throughout 220 years of Senate history and 111 Congresses, only six black Americans have been able to serve," Burris said. "This is troubling in its own right." Of the six, three are from Illinois and Chicago Democrats: former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, Obama and Burris. "When the 112th Congress is sworn in this coming January, there will not be a single black American who takes the oath of office in this chamber," Burris said. "This is simply unacceptable. We can -- and we will -- and we must do better. It says a lot about our media -- and our country -- that this isn't a big deal at all. -- Jamelle Bouie

The Wisdom of the People, or Lack Thereof.

From the Pew Research Center, "Public Knows Basic Facts About Politics, But Struggles with Specifics": If there's a pundit trick that annoys me the most, it's the tendency to attribute particular ideological views to the public at large. In reality, the public doesn't actually know very much and isn't particularly ideological; most people aren't terribly interested in public affairs or the minutiae of politics and come to their views by way of partisan affiliation and broad heuristics about the world. You can see this in Pew's survey; most people can't identify the incoming speaker of the House, and while the public is still very angry about the bailouts, few know that the TARP loans have been mostly repaid. For pundits, the lesson is simple: When you're trying to explain political behavior, you're better off focusing on macro-conditions and partisanship, rather than "moods" or ideology. The simple fact is that those two forces explain 90 percent of why and how people vote. As for...