Archive of Articles for February, 2020

From The Archives -- Our Forgotten "Presidents"

[ Posted Monday, February 17th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

Happy Presidents' Day, everyone!

The two formerly-individual holidays celebrating Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday have been merged into a single federal holiday -- a holiday which, while intended to honor both Washington and Lincoln, has now become somewhat "genericized" (in name, at least) into a celebration of all our presidents. But what about the forgotten presidents? [Or, to be scrupulously accurate, "presidents"?]

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Constitutional Crisis Of The Week

[ Posted Friday, February 14th, 2020 – 18:31 UTC ]

It was a fairly quiet week in politics, since we only had one new constitutional crisis erupt from the White House. OK, that's only partially tongue-in-cheek, but at least it wasn't one of those weeks where multiple such crises arise, we suppose.

Read Complete Article »

Don't Let Bloomberg Have A Free Pass

[ Posted Thursday, February 13th, 2020 – 17:07 UTC ]

That headline might be misleading, because some might read it as me joining in the complaints that Michael Bloomberg is somehow getting a "free pass" into the next debate. Nothing could be further from my meaning, though, because my actual message is that continuing to exclude Bloomberg from the Democratic primary campaign process -- which includes not only the debates, but also full media vetting and crossfire from the other candidates -- is the "free pass" that Bloomberg has, up until now, both enjoyed and ruthlessly exploited. To state it even more bluntly: Bloomberg needs to be challenged directly, and the sooner this happens the better. Any Democratic candidate who doesn't yet realize this is ignoring Bloomberg's possible impact on the race to his or her own peril, plain and simple.

Read Complete Article »

Democratic Realignment Continues Apace

[ Posted Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 – 18:03 UTC ]

There are now two early-voting states in the rearview mirror, after New Hampshire proved last night that it was far better at counting votes than Iowa. Otherwise, I would have had to wait a few days to write this article, but thankfully things went much more smoothly in the Granite State. So now we've got actual voters weighing in rather than just public opinion polling and punditry. And New Hampshire has shaken up the race even more than Iowa did, continuing the realignment of the Democratic presidential field.

Read Complete Article »

My New Hampshire Picks

[ Posted Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 – 15:16 UTC ]

It's "first in the nation" primary time, which means it is time once again to throw down my own markers and predict the winner of New Hampshire tonight. I've long felt that pundits who merely vaguely describe the race as it stands are craven, because it's a lot tougher to actually try to foresee the results ahead of time in an article under your own name. So I've always publicly announced my picks ahead of time, even if they turn out to be disastrously wrong in the end.

Read Complete Article »

Can Bernie Successfully Follow The Trump Playbook?

[ Posted Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 17:57 UTC ]

In 2016, Donald Trump ripped up the playbook on how to get elected president and then he wrote his own unique version. Quite obviously, it worked a lot better than anyone expected. Democrats now face a surprisingly similar situation in 2020 with Bernie Sanders, because he seems poised to use almost exactly the same playbook that allowed Trump to succeed against a field of candidates much more acceptable to his party's establishment.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- A Momentous Week

[ Posted Friday, February 7th, 2020 – 16:46 UTC ]

Throughout the presidency of Donald Trump there have been many weeks that have left everyone completely exhausted, because so many momentous events have happened with such blinding speed. Each time, it's been tempting to say: "Trump can never top that week" at the end of it. We've all but given up doing so, because no matter how intense things get, there always seems to be a way to ratchet things up the very next week. However, that temptation was almost overwhelming this particular week.

Read Complete Article »

Reforming Iowa's Voting Process

[ Posted Thursday, February 6th, 2020 – 18:22 UTC ]

Iowa royally screwed up. That much is beyond dispute. In fact, as I write this -- days after the Iowa caucuses concluded -- the results still are not complete and no winner has been anointed. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are within a tenth of a point of each other in the metric used to determine winners, although Bernie's clearly going to win the popular vote (both of them, in fact). Perhaps by the time New Hampshire votes we'll all know who the winner in Iowa was. But at this point, even that isn't guaranteed.

Read Complete Article »

Democratic Field Realigns

[ Posted Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 – 17:09 UTC ]

As I write this, the Iowa Democratic Party has now reported 85 percent of the caucus returns. Perhaps after a full 48 hours we'll know the full results, but at this point I wouldn't bet on it. But while heaping scorn on Iowa is amusing, the results as they stand are realigning the entire Democratic presidential field, so it's worth taking a look at how everything is shifting.

Read Complete Article »

Snap Reactions To The State Of The Union Speech

[ Posted Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 – 22:02 UTC ]

As I sit down to write my reactions to the State Of The Union speech and the Democratic response, votes from Iowa are still trickling in. That's a rather bizarre overlap, caused by the total breakdown of the Iowa Democratic Party's reporting system. The spectacular failure of the whizzy new app taken together with the equally spectacular failure of the backup phone hotline reporting system meant it was almost 24 hours from when the caucuses started to when any results were made publicly available. And the only saving grace was that there was indeed a full paper trail to follow, so the votes themselves (we are assured) will all be counted accurately.

Read Complete Article »