America is in the midst of a dramatic shift in public opinion, one which began at least a decade ago and shows no signs of reversing any time soon. The concept of fully legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use must now actually be considered the mainstream opinion in America. The latest nationwide poll (that I have seen) put national support for legalization at a whopping 60 percent -- higher than it has ever previously been. Next Tuesday, five more states will vote on the issue on their ballots. Two of those states are on the East Coast. One of the five is the most populous state in the country, with over 39 million people living in it -- fully one-eighth of the total US population. Polling is sketchy on the issue (it always is), but it certainly looks possible that recreational marijuana legalization has a good shot of winning, in all five states.
Archive of Articles in the "2010 Elections" Category
So we had the fourth Democratic debate last night, and I suppose we should all be thankful that Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn't somehow manage to schedule it to compete with one of football's playoff games. I wouldn't be surprised if the debate had a pretty low viewership, appearing as it did on a Sunday night during a three-day weekend, but those who did manage to catch it saw a much more high-spirited contest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton than we've previously seen.
Sometimes, figuratively speaking, all the money in the world can't change a political outcome. This very idea runs counter to all the dire warnings about money's corruptive influence on American politics, of course, but it makes it no less true -- at least in certain situations. For all those that decry politicians who "buy" elections, sometimes outright attempts to do so are met with nothing more than sheer indifference from the voters. I have no idea what this means in the grand scheme of things, but when it happens it's certainly worth noting.
Added together, the differences from October to November for Obama's average monthly job approval and job disapproval ratings total a whopping 0.1 percent. That's pretty flat. Remarkably, this was during a month with several enormous political stories, from the midterm election results to immigration reform to Ferguson, Missouri. Before we get to all of that, let's take a look at the flatness of the chart for November.
We are now officially down to the wire for the 2014 midterm elections. How well will the Republicans do this year? Will the Democrats hold the line in the Senate? Tune in tomorrow night....
Holder certainly had a momentous term in office. Depending on when he is officially replaced, his will either be the fourth-longest or third-longest record as Attorney General in American history. Liberals found him lacking on civil liberties issues (especially in Obama's first term), and conservatives just despised him because he was serving a president they really, really hated (he's also the first Attorney General to be found in contempt of Congress by the House).
Today is primary election day in eight states across the land (including my own). The most media attention will be paid to the Mississippi Republican Senate primary, where the incumbent, Senator Thad Cochran, may be in trouble from a Tea Party challenger. So while the storyline a few weeks ago was "Establishment Republicans win big over Tea Party," the storyline tomorrow may be "Tea Party strikes back!"
Today's article title is meant as commentary on the media's overreactions to the first big round of primary election results (announced last night), and not any sort of supportive call to arms. Just to be clear up front, in case anyone was expecting a very different sort of article. It really should read "The Tea Party Is Dead / Long Live The Tea Party," since it represents a clear dichotomy in how pundits reacted to the primary results. Since the Tea Party candidates didn't do very well (and even that's putting it charitably) in this first big round of primaries, many are now proclaiming total victory for the Establishment Republican faction of the Republican Party, and an absolute rout of the Tea Party faction. The second way of interpreting the results warns that rumors of the Tea Party's death are premature, and that what really happened was that the Tea Party's takeover bid for the entire Republican Party is now a complete success. The Tea Party won, this way of thinking goes, because they have now become the Republican Party.
Over the course of the next two months, the Tea Party movement may become to be seen (to mix a few metaphors) as more of a paper tiger than the tail that wags the Republican dog. To put it a little more concretely, the Tea Party may be losing some of its outsized influence over the Republican Party. It is still too early to state with any degree of certainty (since the Tea Partiers have shown themselves to be impressively resilient on previous occasions), but if Tea Party power is indeed on the wane it could signal a turning point in modern American politics.
Has it really been a whole year since the Republican Party put out their "post-mortem" document, which tried to identify why they got shellacked so badly in the 2012 election? Since it's not a big date on my political calendar, the one-year anniversary kind of snuck up on me, I'll admit. But since the Republican National Committee used the term "post-mortem" in the first place, I guess it's now time for a post-mortem on the post-mortem (insert your own zombie or "dead man walking" joke here, if you must).