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Archive of Articles in the "2018 Elections" Category

Are GOP Voters Delusionally Overconfident?

[ Posted Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 – 16:38 PDT ]

Just to warn everyone up front, this is not really going to be a proper column. I had actually intended to take the day off for unrelated reasons, but rather than running a re-run column or not running anything at all, the following caught my eye. So I'm running this excerpt to stimulate conversation in the comments, because it certainly is an interesting concept, if true -- especially given the fact that the poll came from the Republican National Committee itself.

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Anita Hill 2.0 In The Age Of #MeToo

[ Posted Monday, September 17th, 2018 – 16:51 PDT ]

We are all about to see a hypothetical scenario many have wondered about actually become reality. The hypothetical situation can be stated as: "In the age of #MeToo, how would the Anita Hill accusations against Clarence Thomas have played out differently?" Because we've now got another Supreme Court judicial nominee who has been accused of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process. What happens next is (as of this writing) uncertain, but it appears that the Senate committee handling his confirmation hearings is going to be forced to address the controversy in one way or another.

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Friday Talking Points [500] -- Manafort Flips!

[ Posted Friday, September 14th, 2018 – 17:50 PDT ]

Convicted felon Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to two additional serious federal felonies, one of which was conspiracy to defraud the United States government. He also had to pony up tens of millions of dollars' worth of real estate, because one of the frauds he perpetrated was avoiding paying $15 million in federal taxes by money laundering. The biggest news, however, wasn't Manafort pleading guilty to his ninth and tenth felonies, but the fact that to get a plea deal he had to agree to cooperate with Bob Mueller's investigation. This is what he's been fighting against doing all along, so it is big news.

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The Punditocracy Is Missing Democrats' Real Campaign Focus

[ Posted Thursday, September 13th, 2018 – 16:46 PDT ]

Pretty much all year long, there has been a popular parlor game played on the cocktail-party circuit inside the Beltway. It might be called: "Democrats Should Run On Bashing Trump And Impeachment." Both subjects were endlessly debated, and a consensus opinion emerged that this was obviously the best way for Democrats to campaign. Bashing Trump at every turn and using "the I-word" as often as possible would surely be the Democrats' best chance of success in the midterms. It became accepted as conventional inside-the-Beltway wisdom, meaning the punditocracy would ask actual Democrats about the subject whenever they got a chance. The fact that the answers didn't match with the perceived reality was barely even noted. Now, finally, some of them are beginning to take note that Democrats are actually running a very different campaign, out there beyond the Beltway.

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Trump's Polling Turns South

[ Posted Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 – 16:03 PDT ]

One of the best indicators of how midterm elections will turn out is the current president's approval rating. If he's got high job approval ratings from the public, his party can be expected to do well; sometimes even breaking historical norms. If, however, the president's job approval rating is low, then his party usually suffers in the midterms. This tracks closer than many other indicators that numbers wonks watch, such as the state of the economy or the "right track/wrong track" generic polling question. In the past two weeks -- and just two months before the 2018 midterms -- President Donald Trump's polling numbers (which were historically very low to begin with) have taken a pretty steep dive downward. Republican candidates for office are reportedly increasingly worried about this new development -- as they well should be.

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Primary Season's Last Lap

[ Posted Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 – 16:41 PDT ]

The 2018 primary election season draws to a close this week, with the final three states holding their primaries in back-to-back fashion. Today New Hampshire will vote, tomorrow Rhode Island will weigh in, and then on Thursday New Yorkers will get the final say. This seems fairly late in the year to still be holding primaries, considering that general election races have already been going on in other states for months, but I guess somebody's got to go last.

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Could Trump And Pelosi Actually Get Some Things Done?

[ Posted Monday, September 10th, 2018 – 16:37 PDT ]

So, assuming for the sake of argument that Nancy Pelosi does become speaker again and that Donald Trump is still president (there's another rather large assumption), the question that occurred to me was whether the two of them could actually work together to pass some decent new laws. Because that's not as unbelievable (or, if you will, downright laughable) a proposal as it might first sound.

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Friday Talking Points [499] -- The Constitutional Crisis Is Already Here

[ Posted Friday, September 7th, 2018 – 17:55 PDT ]

As we are occasionally wont to do, today's column will be nothing short of a rant. It just seemed like it was time for one, to us. There were two enormous stories in the world of politics this week: the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate, and the two bombshells about Trump revealed by Bob Woodward and an anonymous senior member of the Trump administration. All other political stories paled in significance.

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Democrats Need To Keep Fighting Even If Kavanaugh Is Confirmed

[ Posted Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 – 18:18 PDT ]

I'm writing this while watching the Senate confirmation hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. As usual for Supreme Court confirmation hearings, it is fascinating to watch. However, also as usual, it is likely going to be absolutely meaningless, because Republicans are going to have the votes to confirm him in the end. The [...]

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From The Archives -- Labor's Agenda Should Become Democrats' Top Priorities

[ Posted Monday, September 3rd, 2018 – 16:39 PDT ]

I wrote the following column last year, and sadly it still mostly applies. The Democratic Party has made some progress on the following issues, but by and large it has been individual Democratic candidates who have been left to carry this banner forward -- some of whom have done so in remarkable ways. Many pro-Labor and Progressive candidates have now advanced to the general election as Democratic nominees, which is good news. And, it must be said, when you discount all the hand-wringing happening inside the Beltway over what Democrats should be campaigning on, out in the rest of the country, Democrats have been running pretty solid campaigns on precisely the issues voters want addressed in a positive manner: healthcare, education, and lots of pro-Labor pocketbook issues.

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