The Eternal Return of Economic Arguments

Seth Masket points out one more reason to be worried about the 2012 election:

It seems fair to say that the economy will not be roaring again any time soon, meaning that Obama will at best win by a squeaker. If it dips back into recession, he's toast. Most likely, it will end up just being a really competitive and interesting race on par with 2004.

In Eric Cantor's District, President Obama Demands That Republicans "Pass This Bill."

Last night, closing his assertive speech on the American Jobs Act, President Obama made a promise. “This plan is the right thing to do right now, and you should pass it,” he said to the joint session of Congress, “And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.”

TV News Gives More Tell, Less Show

Veteran TV newsman Dave Marash reports in the Columbia Journalism Review that television news operations, both cable and network, have been turning away from prepared video packages:

What Ever Happened to Glenn Beck?

Remember Glenn Beck? For a while there he was the most talked-about media figure in the country, his mug shouting from magazine covers as he channeled the particular brand of crazy that had seized the Republican party. His unhinged conspiracy theories and venomous hatred for Barack Obama were perfectly in tune with what a significant portion of the country was feeling; his books shot up the best-seller list, his Fox News show got great ratings, and everyone was talking about him.

More on Perry and the Death Penalty

Perhaps the most telling moment in last night's GOP debate was the crowd twice cheering the 234 executions Rick Perry has presided over. This would be grotesque enough if this high rate of executions was the product of a scrupulous criminal justice system.

When It Comes to the Death Penalty, Americans are A-OK

As Patrick Caldwell mentioned already, of all eight candidates at last night’s GOP debate, it was Rick Perry who sickened many progressives when he defended his record on the death penalty:

“In the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you’re involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is, you will be executed.”

Extremism and the General Election

At the moment, many liberals are looking at the abysmal economy and saying to themselves, "It'll be OK. Rick Perry is an extremist nut, and once people learn that, he'll never win a majority." He'll be the next Barry Goldwater or George McGovern, nominees just too far out of the mainstream for the American electorate to stomach. Jonathan Bernstein says don't be so sure:

How the Affordable Care Act Helps Republican Candidates

Last night's Republican presidential debate featured an interesting exchange about health care -- I haven't been able to locate a transcript, but the gist was that Rick Perry was asked why Texas has the highest rate of people with no health insurance in the country (over a quarter of Texans have no insurance), and he responded that it was the federal government's fault, because they aren't giving states enough "flexibility" in Medicaid.

It's Only a Surprise When Ed Rollins Sticks Around

The Bachmann campaign announced over the weekend that campaign manager Ed Rollins would be vacating that role and assume the more auxiliary position of "senior advisor." Rollins' health was cited as the explanation for the move. Though it does seem possible that the daily grind of a campaign could get to a 68-year-old, it looks like there was more going on in this case, as Rollins' deputy and ally David Polyansky left the campaign on the same day.

Drudge Goes Beyond the Dog Whistle

This, from the front page of the Drudge Report, is just unambiguously racist:

Get it? Because black people are lazy, shiftless moochers, they are naturally ecstatic about President Obama’s forthcoming push for renewed payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance.

On a related note, a July survey from the Pew Research Center found a large uptick in the Republican Party’s standing with white voters, from a modest lead of 46 percent to 44 percent in 2008 to this year’s gulf of 52 percent to 39 percent, a 13-point difference.

Anti-Government Conservatism, Sort Of

We'd all agree that our politics would function better if conservatives and progressives could understand each other's point of view better, instead of simply vilifying one another. In that spirit, I'd like to offer a window into the way we on the left think on one particular issue -- and particularly, what we think about what you think -- in the hopes that it will give our conservative readers (and I know you're there, since some of you take to the comments to tell me that I'm a stupid lying despicable America-hater) some perspective.

Polls on Obama Looking Surprisingly Good

Before we get into this post about polling in the presidential race, please understand that I'm not saying that anything we're seeing today predicts what will happen next November. With that out of the way, let me point out something interesting.

Courts Push Back Against Republicans

A.G. Sulzberger has a good article about about recent federal court decisions preventing various radical anti-abortion and anti-immigration measures passed by Tea Party-dominated legislatures from going into effect. Particularly interesting are the injunctions against measures like South Dakota's three-day waiting period for women seeking abortions and the onerous Kansas regulations designed to cause two of the state's three abortion providers to close. These regulations go beyond the regulations upheld in Planned Parenthood v.