ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

Vice-Presidential Debate Thoughts

[ Posted Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 – 21:14 UTC ]

Two down, two to go.

Continuing my "I watch them so you don't have to" commitment, tonight I watched the vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris in full. Boiled down to one thought, my main takeaway was that I seriously doubt that tonight changed any voter's mind out there.

I thought both candidates did OK -- not great, not bad, just OK. I thought that they both had a gameplan and pretty much stuck to it, and I thought both had weak moments as well as strong. All in all, I'd largely call it a draw, although my personal bias would have to give Kamala Harris the edge, in the end.

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Biden Gets A Chance To Make His Case

[ Posted Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 – 16:35 UTC ]

Last night, Joe Biden gave the debate performance we all wished we had seen last week. Now, that statement isn't strictly accurate, since the event Biden appeared at last night was a townhall meeting with undecided voters and not an actual presidential debate. Also, the reason we didn't see this performance last week was because the incessant noise and bluster from Donald Trump made it all but impossible to hear what Biden was actually saying. Nevertheless, last night's performance was indeed what most voters should have watched instead of last Tuesday's debate.

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Electoral Math -- Biden Gets Post-Debate Bump

[ Posted Monday, October 5th, 2020 – 17:27 UTC ]

Any given week of the presidency of Donald Trump can feel like an eternity. Last week was no different. We started with the revelation that Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes for two years running, then we all saw the worst presidential debate in American history, then at the end of the week Trump announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 and entered the hospital. All in one week. This is why we are now moving to a weekly schedule for these "Electoral Math" columns. We'll post a new numbers-crunching column every week until the Monday before Election Day (which is now only four weeks from tomorrow).

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Friday Talking Points -- October Schadenfreudefest

[ Posted Friday, October 2nd, 2020 – 15:59 UTC ]

Late last night, the political world began reeling from what could be the biggest October surprise in a generation (at the very least), as the White House announced that President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.

This was greeted in some quarters as not so much an October surprise as (to coin a term) an October schadenfreudefest. If there is any one individual who richly deserves to contract the coronavirus, after all, it is Donald Trump. Trump has pooh-poohed the virus from the very first, insisting that it will magically go away ("by April, when the weather warms up"), that it isn't that big a deal ("it's like the flu"), that testing is unnecessary, that it affects "almost no one," that most people get a mild case and recover, that many don't even know they've got it, that children "get the sniffles" (no big deal), that we've already defeated it ("we've turned the corner"), that it's all in the past, that getting the economy going again and getting kids back to school is more important than any imagined risk, and -- worst of all -- that wearing masks and social distancing and all that stuff is for sissies and definitely not for real macho men like him. Or to put it another way, the karma wasn't instant, but it caught up to Trump in the end.

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Schumer Successfully Trolls Republicans

[ Posted Thursday, October 1st, 2020 – 16:42 UTC ]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer managed a rather extraordinary feat this week -- he forced a Senate floor vote on a bill designed to become campaign ad fodder for Democratic challengers to vulnerable Republicans. This is notable, because normally the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell controls what gets floor votes, not the minority party. And it was even more notable because five Republicans voted for it out of sheer terror of it being used in an ad against them. Three others didn't take the bait, and can now expect such ads to begin airing soon.

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Being Hit On The Head Lessons

[ Posted Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 – 22:03 UTC ]

Well, that was downright stunning. And definitely not in a good way ("You look simply stunning tonight!"). More in the literal sense of getting brutally smacked upside your head by a blunt object. In fact, when I sat down to think up a title for this article, the only thing that popped into my mind was the line from the classic Monty Python "Argument" sketch: "It's 'being hit on the head' lessons, in here." Because that's exactly what watching the entire 100 minutes was like, at least to me.

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Friday Talking Points -- Plotting A Coup In Plain Sight

[ Posted Friday, September 25th, 2020 – 16:55 UTC ]

American democracy is on fire. Or on its deathbed, at the very least. Choose any dire metaphor you wish, but the red flags and warning signals are everywhere you look. The president of the United States of America made news this week when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, should he lose the upcoming election. Later, watching the reaction on the news, President Donald Trump reportedly laughed about all the fuss he had caused:

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Reform Moves To Center Stage For Democrats (Part 2)

[ Posted Thursday, September 24th, 2020 – 17:11 UTC ]

Yesterday, I took a look at several Democratic reform efforts directed at both the legislative and executive branches. In the second part of examining how potent the issue of reforming government has become, we're going to focus on the Supreme Court, which is now at the center of the political world due to the untimely death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Reform Moves To Center Stage For Democrats (Part 1)

[ Posted Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 – 17:32 UTC ]

Democrats were always going to run their 2020 campaign on a platform of "Reform!" They have made no secret of this fact. The very first bill Nancy Pelosi took up in the House of Representatives after regaining control of the chamber -- "H.R. 1" -- was a sweeping reform bill that is almost breathtaking in its scope of ethics and other governmental reforms. So from the very start, Democrats have signalled that this is going to be a key part of their agenda moving forward. Today, they followed up on this by introducing another sweeping reform bill, one that specifically addresses executive branch reforms which are now necessary after President Donald Trump's widespread abuses of power.

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R.I.P., R.B.G.

[ Posted Monday, September 21st, 2020 – 16:37 UTC ]

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg now rests in peace.

For the rest of us, there will be no rest and very little peace for the next few months -- of that much we can be certain. Because while the phrase is occasionally overused, it is no hyperbole to say that Ginsburg's death has now left America in what can only be called a true constitutional crisis.

There are all sorts of ways this could play out, ranging from the reasonable to the apocalyptic. At this point, the paths to reasonableness seem few and narrow, while the paths to chaos are much more wide and numerous. It's not even overstating the case all that much to say that we have never been closer to a second civil war in this country.

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