Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Obama and Conservative Democrats.

Liberal discontent notwithstanding, conservative Democrats are the real weak link in , says Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen : Conservative Democrats are ultimately a bigger threat to Obama's reelection prospects than liberal ones. They don't necessarily make a lot of noise about it when they're unhappy- they just go out and vote for Republicans. Liberals on the other hand really have nowhere to go- they can stay at home or vote for Ralph Nader but ultimately that's just going to get them someone who makes them a lot more unhappy than Obama. It's not a pleasant reality, but in our two party system that's just the way it goes- conservatives definitely have more leverage than liberals within the Democratic coalition and that's why they so often get their way despite their smaller numbers. To go back to an earlier point, the most likely outcome of a credible primary challenge to Obama, even from the left, is a more conservative presidential nominee. Either Obama goes right to counter...

John McCain and Civil Rights.

With his hardened opposition to the Dream Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, John McCain has all but lost any goodwill he had among Democrats, moderates, and the press. For example, here is Joe Klein on his old friend: I used to know a different John McCain, the guy who proposed comprehensive immigration reform with Ted Kennedy, the guy--a conservative, to be sure, but an honorable one--who refused to indulge in the hateful strictures of his party's extremists. His public fall has been spectacular, a consequence of politics--he "needed" to be reelected--and personal pique. He's a bitter man now, who can barely tolerate the fact that he lost to Barack Obama. But he lost for an obvious reason: his campaign proved him to be puerile and feckless, a politician who panicked when the heat was on during the financial collapse, a trigger-happy gambler who chose an incompetent for his vice president. He has made quite a show ever since of demonstrating his petulance and lack of grace. Others...

Friday Nerd Blogging.

Via Ta-Nehisi Coates is an...interesting new AMC series: AMC has officially given a 10-episode series order to Hell On Wheels, the post-Civil War drama (which we previously told you about) set during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and those uncertain years immediately following emancipation. But aside from providing a big, steam-powered metaphor for America building its own railway to the future out of blood, sweat, and racially-charged tears, Hell On Wheels is at its heart a vengeance story about an ex-Confederate rebel hunting the Union soldiers who killed his wife, as well as a gritty Western that takes place in the lawless, eponymous traveling camp of the title. In the comments, "Cynic" notes Hollywood's long-standing fascination with the (fictional) tales of former Confederates: Note that these cinematic narratives all focus on the victimization of the flower of Southern womanhood. The Birth of a Nation apparently lives on in tinseltown. But perhaps even more...

Do We Need More Laws for Sex Offense?

A new Government Accountability Office report finds that some sexual offenders have found jobs in some schools: In eleven cases, GAO investigators found, the teachers or staff members had targeted children before, and in six of the cases they were in new positions where they abused children again. The GAO report follows a 2004 Department of Education report estimating that millions of students experience sexual misconduct by a school employee at some point between kindergarten and 12th grade. [...] Without mandated training for educators, and punishments for those that pass along the offenders or fail to check backgrounds thoroughly in hiring, “I’m not incredibly optimistic that dramatic change is going to occur,” Mr. Shoop says. [...] Mr. Miller, who requested the GAO investigation, has pledged to work with Republican counterparts to develop related legislation. It goes without saying that abusing kids is terrible, and we should punish people who do it. But we should also exercise...


Political correctness and people who call things racist are the greatest threats to free speech, says Andrew Breitbart in this video from Reason (zoom ahead to 1:35): This is a nearly pure expression of conservative anti-anti-racism, or the idea that accusations of racism (against white people) are far more harmful than actual incidents of bigotry against minorities (with the corollary that minorities are guilty of tremendous racism against white people). Smearing Shirley Sherrod is perfectly OK, but calling out Breitbart's race-baiting is beyond the pale and harmful to free speech. In other words, as is the case with many conservatives, "responsibility" is great when it means denying help to poor people but is preposterous when it comes to owning up to your words and actions. -- Jamelle Bouie