Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

2012 and the Hypothetical Enthusiasm Gap.

In his most recent column, T he Nation 's Chris Hayes expands on the argument that the enthusiasm gap has more to do with the Democratic Party's demographics than it does with the action -- or inaction -- of activists and establishment figures: ...the people with the most faith in the president and the Democratic Party are the hardest hit by the continuing economic disaster; it's this brute fact that's driving the so-called enthusiasm gap between liberals and conservatives. More than frustration with the lack of a public option or anger at a White House that seems to relish insulting the "professional left," the flagging enthusiasm among Obama's '08 base is the product of a kind of cognitive dissonance between hope and reality. Riffing off of this, Digby worries that this might carry over into the 2012 presidential election: I assume they [the White House] believe that "when the economy turns around" that enthusiasm will return in time for Morning in America in 2012. I just hope they...

Blue Dogs Insist on Losing.

John Cole is angry at the Blue Dogs: Is there ANYTHING that centrists and moderates will not do to hurt themselves? Anything? The public is livid about jobs, centrists oppose job creation efforts. The public wants the middle class tax cuts extended while the taxes on the rich ended, the centrists oppose that. And on and on and on. I've wondered this myself; at nearly every turn, Blue Dogs have opposed or altered (usually for the worse) everything proposed by the administration, even when it benefited them politically. The fight over tax cuts is tailor made for a Democratic victory, but centrist Democrats insist on begging Republicans not to hit them. As I wrote earlier this month: At the beginning of his administration, moderate Senate Democrats and Blue Dogs in the House could have made the decision to stick with the whole of President Obama's agenda; they could have gone for the stimulus as initially proposed by the administration -- fewer tax cuts, more aid to states -- and could...

Dispatches From an Alternate America.

Policy critiques aside, the GOP's "new" Contract Pledge for America reads like a desperate message from a previously unknown Mirror Universe , where Barack Obama is a cruel tyrant, and the federal government isn't made up of elected and politically accountable officials. For example: An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down long-standing laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the America people. In the Mirror Universe, Barack Obama has used his mind-control powers to manipulate Congress into repealing, among other things: apple pie, baseball, the Republican Party, and optimism. The message continues: An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many. In the Mirror Universe, it seems, Barack Obama appointed...

America's Schools Have Failed Conservatives.

As Adam noted on his blog, conservatives are in a tizzy over comments President Obama made in an interview with Bob Woodward . Obama, in a welcome bit of rhetoric from an American politician, expressed his faith in America's ability to withstand another terrorist attack: "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger." Clearly, this is a message of affirmation; in some ways, it's a far-milder version of the speech President Thomas J. Whitmore gave on the eve of humanity's last stand against powerful alien invaders on July 4, 1996, "We're going to live on! We're going to survive!" Naturally, conservatives heard something far different: This is a ridiculous reading of words that don't actually require much context or interpretation. Indeed, I'm sure that a precocious five-year-old could discern the president's meaning with minimal effort. Adam attributes the conservative...

DADT and the Fragile Democratic Caucus.

Andrew Sullivan isn't making any sense : I think this could be a huge deal for the relationship between gay voters and the Democratic party. Over 75 percent of the public wants the ban ended, and yet even when the Democrats control both Houses and have a president opposed to the policy, they failed to end it in two years. Why? Because, sadly, it was not a real priority; and because the main lobby group, the Human Rights Campaign, is so enmeshed in the Democratic party establishment, it has no clout at all. I understand Sullivan's anger, but in a world where nearly every Democrat voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" -- and every Republican voted against -- it doesn't make any sense to hold Democrats responsible for its failure. In a later post, Sullivan acknowledges this but then goes on to say that Democrats had 60 votes for a full year, and could have taken a vote on repeal at any point during that period. But that's erroneous, on both counts; the 60-vote Democratic caucus began...

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