Swingin’ low

Pundits confuse or conflate swing voters and centrists. They’re not the same. Swing voters can believe we need stronger environmental policies that protect us from sea level rise, endorse robust protections for reproductive liberties, yet believe the national debt is a problem and that Hillary Clinton is a cold bitch; some of the vilest misogynists,Continue reading “Swingin’ low”

The peril of cable news misogynists

As we inch toward another presidential campaign in which the odds are even that several Democratic finalists for the nomination will be a woman, a woman of color, or both, Scott Lemieux worries about the presence of media misogyny, despite the exit of several notorious figures: Mark Halperin was an early and highly influential TrumpContinue reading “The peril of cable news misogynists”

Who did what to whom

I’m not a fan of Scott Lemieux, but he at least grapples with the reality of door-to-door politics like his colleagues don’t. In light of recent “Joe Biden would have won talk,” another variant on the speculation around my preferred candidate Bernie Sanders, i.e. “Bernie would’ve won won Michigan,” he mentions enough hypotheticals that serveContinue reading “Who did what to whom”

Elections 2018, post-cockiness edition

One calendar year ago I was excited enough to amble around campus in a state of suppressed glee, a phenomenon I couldn’t attribute to having voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton a couple weeks earlier. Although I was under no illusions about the limits of ClLinton’s power and the adamantine resistance she would experience from aContinue reading “Elections 2018, post-cockiness edition”

Hillary Clinton has as much right to bore us as anyone in public life

The ponderous, politically tone deaf, and immune to improvisation Hillary Clinton discomfited me less than her husband did in the early nineties, so when she landed the nomination this Bernie supporter shrugged his shoulders and said the hell with it. After eight years of feeling spittle on my neck about Muslims in the Oval Office,Continue reading “Hillary Clinton has as much right to bore us as anyone in public life”

Beltway wisdom

“Washington always wins,” Joe Scarborough repeats at least once a day on Morning Joe, like a Catholic murmuring a Hail Mary. He’s right in this sense: diseased with an incurable self-regard, the Beltway press now excuses its mistake in thinking like the rest of us that Hillary Clinton was going to win last fall byContinue reading “Beltway wisdom”

What we lost when we lost Merrick Garland

Thomas Geoghegan ponders what we lost when Clinton lost the election, didn’t flip the Senate, and couldn’t get Merrick Garland confirmed: By a five to four vote, gerrymandering of congressional districts would have been struck down. Even more than “money in politics,” gerrymandering decides who controls the House of Representatives. A center-left Court might haveContinue reading “What we lost when we lost Merrick Garland”

A Day Without Hillary

Here is my A Day Without Women post, titled A Day Without Hillary: Most decisively, there was a sudden change in the net sentiment results that followed immediately after FBI Director James Comey released his Oct. 28 letter to Congress about a renewed investigation of Clinton emails. Immediately afterwards, there was a 17-point drop inContinue reading “A Day Without Hillary”

Liberal know-how, part 45

Politico occasionally posts worthwhile material, but not even this upteenth post mortem can avoid obtuseness. Why does the phrase “working class voter” need the adjective “white”? It has never occurred to these reporters that blacks and Hispanics are working class too — and they vote. Thomas Frank, author of books with subtle titles like Listen,Continue reading “Liberal know-how, part 45”

The nature of ‘identity politics’

Thank you, Jacob T. Levy, for explaining why “identity politics,” that execrable term, didn’t cost Hilary Clinton the election: Identity politics at its best, in other words, isn’t just a matter of being on some group’s side. It’s about fighting for political justice by drawing on the commitment that arises out of targeted injustice, andContinue reading “The nature of ‘identity politics’”

Elections 2016 — let’s end this!

Martini glass in hand, courage in my heart, I’m ready to blog. 11:04. In my first legitimate shock of the evening, Russ Feingold lost his race in Wisconsin. The West coast is decided, which we know. North Carolina goes to Trump: 209-187. 10:41. Florida isn’t close. But Obama won enough in 2012, recall, that FloridaContinue reading “Elections 2016 — let’s end this!”


Even if I didn’t live in the swingiest of states no way was I ever going to vote for Jill Stein. Presidents start wars, and if they don’t ask for congressional approval their national security councils and defense departments pay contractors (‘sup, Iraq!) or create paramilitary insurgencies (hi, Nicaragua!) to fight them. As a presidentContinue reading “#I’mwithgov’t”