Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Rick Barber: Too Crazy for Alabama.

Alabama congressional candidate Rick Barber first entered the national spotlight last month, after releasing an ad called "Gather Your Armies ," which included a fantasy conversation with the Founding Fathers and an explicit call for violent revolt. A few weeks later, he went viral with a second ad that featured, among other things, a zombified Abraham Lincoln, slavery, and the Holocaust: Unfortunately for Barber, his Tea Party credentials and extreme disdain for the federal government were a little too much for the Republican voters of Alabama's 2nd District, who opted to nominate his opponent in the Republican primary, Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby . Roby first faced off against Barber in June but didn't earn enough votes to avoid a runoff. In the runoff, Roby walked away with 60 percent of the vote to Barber's 40 percent, and with the primary now behind her, she's well positioned to score a win in the general election against freshman Democrat Bobby Bright . The voters...

Too Many Vacancies.

Taegan Goddard flags a piece in t he Philadelphia Inquirer noting that, of President Obama 's 73 appointments to the federal bench, the vast majority have been women and minorities. To be more precise, nearly half have been women, 25 percent have been African American, 11 percent Asian American, and 10 percent Hispanic. Only 30 percent of Obama's appointees have been white men, compared with two-thirds for George W. Bush . While that's great, it's also true that Obama has had far fewer nominees confirmed than the previous five presidents. In a report released last year, the Alliance for Justice found that in Obama's first year in office, the Senate confirmed a mere 23 percent of Obama's judicial nominees. By contrast, Presidents Carter and Reagan had 91 percent of their nominees confirmed in their first year. That number dropped to 65 percent for George H.W. Bush , 57 percent for Bill Clinton , and 44 percent for George W. Bush. As I've written before , you can attribute the dismal...

GOP Likely to Win on the State-Level Too.

Generally speaking, gubernatorial races tend to slip under the radar, and this year isn't any different. Thirty-seven states are holding gubernatorial races this fall, and with the exception of California and Texas, they've mostly gone unremarked on by mainstream outlets. That's a shame: Not only do governors have a tremendous impact on the policies that directly affect most Americans, but governorships are often proving grounds for more ambitious politicians. Four of the last six presidents came from state houses, and 12 former governors now reside in the Senate. This year's gubernatorial elections are a little more important than most; these elections will have a lasting impact on next year's round of redistricting, and while both parties are working hard to win, Republicans are most likely to come out victorious. According to predictions by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, if states held their gubernatorial elections today, the GOP would walk away with a seven-seat...

Preparing for a Scandal-Happy 112th Congress.

One of the strangest things about the current political moment is the fact that conservatives are actually quite amenable to the idea of impeaching President Obama . It's not clear what "high crimes and misdemeanors" they had in mind, but as of last December, a whopping 35 percent of Republicans supported impeachment, and I wouldn't be shocked if those numbers were now higher given Obama's incredibly low stature with conservatives. I'm not sure if there are any congressional Republicans interested in impeaching Obama, but there are plenty interested in chasing as many scandals as possible. Indeed, if this Washington Post profile of GOP House staffer Larry Brady is any indication, the Obama administration can expect a torrent of investigations if Republicans regain power. Brady is the minority staff director of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and will wield subpoena power if his boss, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), ascends as majority chairman. Already, Brady has worked...

Cancel the August Recess, Harry Reid.

As The Washington Post 's Shailagh Murray reports , Senate Democrats are grasping for time as they attempt to close out the rest of their agenda. Among many other things, Democrats still need to extend unemployment benefits, pass financial reform, bring Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and confirm dozens of pending executive branch nominees. Of course, through all of this, Democrats will have to contend with a hyper-obstructionist Republican minority. Indeed, insofar that floor time is a precious commodity for Senate Democrats, it's because GOP senators have used filibusters to hugely delay the legislative process. Where it once took a few hours to pass noncontroversial legislation, it now takes days. And where it once took a few days to confirm noncontroversial nominees, it now takes weeks. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell 's strategy of intransigence hasn't been completely successful -- see: the passage of health-care reform -- but it has kept Democrats from completely capitalizing...

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