Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Other Important Things Happening Besides the Election.

I know it's Election Day and we're all supposed to be focused on how America is refudiating liberalism, but it's worth noting some of the other things that happened today. For instance, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has released a new report detailing intimate-partner violence in 2008 and showing a sharp increase in violence within the LGBT community: The total cases reported to NCAVP members in 2008 was 3419. This represents a slight increase, 1.2%, over 2007. The total percentage of those reporting as “Lesbian or Gay represents the majority of the reported incidents (67%). An increase in reporting in sexual orientation in the category “Bisexual” by 18%. There was a 21% decrease in the category of “Heterosexual” reports. The total percentage of those reporting as “Lesbian” or “Gay” still represents the majority of the reported incidents (67%). This isn't a scientific sample, but the NCAVP draws from 35 anti-violence organizations across the country, and there's a...

Recent History.

Matthew Yglesias makes his official election predictions: This reversion to a balance of political power that leaves Democrats in a stronger position than they were as recently as the 2005-2008 period will be treated by the press as a world-historical shift in favor of the right. Most press figures will probably explicitly note that election results are invariably over-interpreted and then proceed to over-interpret again, arguing that this time it’s different. I've really been surprised by the historical amnesia on display in this election season, especially since the relevant history is only a few years old, if that. Remember, it was only five years ago that Republicans held the presidency, as well as a majority in the House and Senate. They controlled a majority of governorships, a majority of state houses, and talk of a "permanent Republican majority" was still in the air. Fast forward four years, and Democrats control the presidency, a "filibuster-proof" majority in the Senate,...

Third Way Can't Wait for a Republican Majority.

Reading this Politico article , I get the impression that Third Way is salivating at the prospect of a Republican-controlled House: The group has spent months preparing to capitalize on this moment and take a more central role in the party. And it’s coming down squarely on the side of centrism — and planning to vigorously challenge the left. “The party is about to come to a major fork in the road,” said Jonathan Cowan , Third Way’s president. “A left turn at this juncture is a turn toward permanent minority status.” So, my question for the DLC: Part Deux is this: what exactly didn't you like about Obama's brand of politics? Unless this is a mindless desire to walk in step with some Beltway "centrism," there must be something particular about the Obama administration and the Democratic Party that you don't like. I, for one, am mystified by what it could be, as you can easily describe the Obama approach as "centrism for liberal ends." The Affordable Care Act was a tremendous liberal...

People Are Frustrated.

The Wall Street Journal notes that this is the third consecutive "change" election in a row: Voters this week look set to do something not seen since the early 1950s: Oust a substantial number of sitting House lawmakers for the third election in a row. The apparent Republican resurgence suggests the country is caught in a cycle of political volatility witnessed only four times in the past century, almost all during war or economic unease. James Joyner made a similar point today, and it's worth repeating: "We’ve had three consecutive 'change' elections because things simply aren’t going so well and the voters are frustrated." Americans aren't particularly ideological, and they aren't particularly informed, but they do have a sense of how they're doing, and most feel that things are pretty terrible right now. That, more than anything else, is driving this election. And that, more than anything else, will drive the next election if nothing changes for the better. -- Jamelle Bouie

Democrats Care About the Deficit, Republicans Don't (a Continuing Series).

Americans see the GOP as better able to reduce the deficit, but is that trust warranted? After getting push-back from readers for suggesting that neither party is "particularly credible" on the deficit, Megan McArdle tries to offer a conclusive answer to the question: Looking at our small group of post-1980 presidents, we have two GOP presidents who increased the deficit, one GOP president who took major steps to close it, one Democratic president who took steps to close it. The "Dems good, GOP bad" has another problem, of course: Barack Obama, the Democratic president who has set spending records as revenue collapsed. [...] So while, yes, we have one more "bad Republican" than "bad Democrat", that's out of a group of five -- not particularly compelling evidence. She cites the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 as a seminal piece of deficit-reduction legislation and attributes it entirely to George H.W. Bush , which is a mistake. Democrats controlled the 101st Congress, with a...

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