Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

In Punditry, Honesty Is the Best Policy

Yesterday on Twitter, Matthew Yglesias flagged a 2004 Reason piece on health care that proposed an individual mandate as opposed to the socialistic designs of John Kerry and the Democratic Party. And today at Grist, Sarah Goodyear points out conservative pundit George Will 's reversal on high-speed rail. Ten years ago -- in the wake of 9/11 -- he proposed high-speed rail as a safer alternative to short-distance air travel. These days, he sees high-speed rail as a progressive plot to destroy our freedom-loving habits of mind. This isn't to play "gotcha," as much as it is to note a simple fact about our world: We're all partisans, whether we admit it or not. Reason's opposition to the individual mandate has almost nothing to do with the substance of what is truly a center-right policy and everything to do with current political circumstances. The mandate was implemented by a Democrat. Reason , as a right-libertarian institution, is part of the conservative opposition to the liberal...

Social Conservatives Are Still Going Strong

For some reason, Politico's Alexander Burns completely buys the fiction that there is a truce on social issues within the Republican Party: For the first time in three decades, a wide-open Republican presidential primary is unfolding in the shadow of an economic recession. That means even in the heavily socially conservative GOP, voters are more focused on the pocketbook than the Good Book. A host of leaders on the cultural right told POLITICO they don’t intend to fight it. Instead, they hope to protect their role in the campaign by ensuring that social issues are part of a larger conservative message. Republicans have been asserting this for the last year — and reporters have gone along with it — but outside of a few quotes, there is very little evidence to show that it's actually true. Indeed, not only have Republicans been vocal about their commitment to social conservatism, but they have been completely energetic about assaulting women's rights with radically...

Obama is Popular. His Policies? Meh.

According to a new poll from Quinnipiac Unniversity, Americans love that guy Barack Obama , but aren't so sure about his policies: Given four choices to describe their feelings about Obama, American voters say: 41 percent like him personally and like his policies; 33 percent like him personally, but don't like his policies; 1 percent like his policies, but don't like him; 19 percent don't like him or his policies. Two quick points. First, Barack Obama's popularity is no surprise. Since his inauguration, Obama has been the most popular politician by a long shot, even when his approval was in the mid-40s. His core supporters — African Americans and liberals — love him, and voters tend to like his conciliatory rhetoric and willingness to work with Republicans. Why hasn't this translated into support for his policies? Generally speaking, the public takes its cues from elites, and when elites are broadly supportive, the public is broadly supportive. Obama's major policy...

Perriello for Senate?

In Virginia political news, a new survey from Public Policy Polling has former Democratic governor Tim Kaine in a toss-up against former Republican governor George Allen for the 2012 Senate race: The Virginia Senate race is about as much of a toss up as it could be: Tim Kaine and George Allen tie at 47% in our first poll since Jim Webb announced his retirement. Kaine is slightly more popular than Allen, sporting a 46/38 favorability spread to Allen's 39/40. Both benefit from a pretty unified party base, with 87% of Republicans going toward Allen and 86% of Democrats to Kaine. Allen is able to earn the tie despite the fact that there are likely to be more Democratic than Republican voters in a Presidential year electorate because independents lean toward him by a 50/41 margin. More interesting are the results for other Democratic candidates besides Kaine. Rick Boucher , the former representative Virginia's 9th district, trails Allen by 5 points — 47-42 — while Tom Perriello...

A Win-Win Scenario

To repeat a point, most Americans don't really understand the deficit and its relationship to the broader economy. Insofar that the deficit is a concern, it's as a proxy issue; Americans worry about the deficit when the economy is poor, and aren't too concerned when the economy is doing well. For example, here are the results from the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll: In the poll, eight in 10 respondents say they are concerned about the growing federal deficit and the national debt, but more than 60 percent — including key swing-voter groups — are concerned that major cuts from Congress could impact their lives and their families. What’s more, while Americans find some budget cuts acceptable, they are adamantly opposed to cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and K-12 education. And although a combined 22 percent of poll-takers name the deficit/government spending as the top issue the federal government should address, 37 percent believe job creation/...

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