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Archive of Articles in the "2020 Elections" Category

An Avenatti Run Would Help Democrats

[ Posted Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 – 16:38 PDT ]

The best commentary on the Omarosa-versus-Trump saga I've yet heard came from Republican pundit Ana Navarro. Forgive me for paraphrasing (I'm doing this from memory), but last Sunday she pointed out: "Omarosa is entirely the creation of Donald Trump. Trump deserves Omarosa." That pretty much sums it up. A reality-show president is being attacked by a former (three-time!) contestant on his reality show, with all the drama and faux outrage of a scripted encounter on that reality show. The question for most viewers isn't (as the media anguishes over): "Which one do you believe?" but rather: "Whose presentation is more entertaining?" As Navarro pointed out, Trump does indeed deserve Omarosa. Especially seeing as he was the one that hired her -- for the fourth time -- to be an aide in his White House.

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Taking Back The Streets

[ Posted Monday, August 13th, 2018 – 16:13 PDT ]

This weekend, decent people -- and by that, I mean people who are not white supremacists -- took back the streets, in both Washington D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia. One year after the tragic deaths in Charlottesville (one at the hands of the white-supremacists, two from a police helicopter crash), the neo-Nazis were shamed and shouted down successfully. Thus proving the old adage: "the answer for free speech you don't agree with is more free speech." This time, the voice of decency was louder, which is entirely as it should be.

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What A Democratic House Would Mean

[ Posted Thursday, August 9th, 2018 – 17:09 PDT ]

Representative Devin Nunes, at a rally for a Republican House leader, let slip the real reason Republicans want to hang onto control of the House -- because if the Democrats win, his committee (and others like it) will no longer be under GOP control. Which would mean investigative and governmental oversight committees would return to doing the job they are supposed to be doing -- investigating possible wrongdoing and overseeing the Trump administration to discover exactly what they're up to (and how much of it is actually illegal).

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Memo To Myself: Maintain Skepticism Next Week

[ Posted Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 – 17:13 PDT ]

Although I intend to take to task two of my favorite targets in this column (the mainstream media and the inside-the-Beltway cocktail-circuit chattering class), my real purpose in writing today is to create a memorandum to myself. Next week I will be attending the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, which will be as intense a gathering of lefties as is possible to imagine. This year, obviously, feelings will be running high and the rampant enthusiasm and optimistic expectations for the upcoming midterm elections should be off the charts. A little more than 100 days from now, America will vote -- and midterms are always seen as a referendum on the job the current president is doing. But like all ideological gatherings, Netroots Nation will be an echo chamber or (to be more polite) "speaking with only one voice." And it's important, when joining such a gathering, to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism. I guess what I'm trying to say was best said by that learnèd philosopher Yogi Berra, when he quipped: "It ain't over 'til it's over."

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Trump Takes His Trade War To Iowa

[ Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is going to attempt to pivot this week to domestic policy, after his disastrous summit with Vladimir Putin didn't exactly turn out as planned. Trump has a meeting with a European leader this week where Trump's proposed European automobile tariffs will be high on the agenda, and Trump will also head out to Iowa to hit the campaign trail for Republicans. Iowa is already one of the front lines of Trump's trade war, since a lot of soybeans are grown there. So far, his farm country base seem to be supporting Trump's trade war (for the moment), but their patience isn't going to be inexhaustible. At some point blind faith in Trump's dealmaking prowess is going to hit the brick wall of reality, in the form of a seriously depressed agricultural market.

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Democrats Should Be Prepared To Lose This Nomination Battle

[ Posted Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 – 16:26 PDT ]

I normally prefer optimism over pessimism when writing about politics, and I always try to steer completely clear of downright defeatism. I think my work over the years would prove this to be generally true. At the same time, I always strive to be realistic, which leads me to the sad conclusion that Democrats are almost sure to lose the upcoming battle over Donald Trump's most-recent Supreme Court nomination. Democratic politicians and their supporters should be mentally prepared for this outcome, because it is far and away the most likely to occur. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is probably going to be a fight Democrats are going to wage unsuccessfully on the Senate floor.

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Friday Talking Points [491] -- FART Act, Pruitt Out

[ Posted Friday, July 6th, 2018 – 16:55 PDT ]

We are (of course) not drawing any onomatopoetic comparisons to Scott Pruitt's last name with that title -- perish the thought! -- because it is merely a reference to two political stories which bookended this week. That's all. Ahem.
We begin with a little history. Benjamin Franklin was a funny guy, and was [...]

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An Elegant Solution To The Superdelegate Problem

[ Posted Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 – 17:07 PDT ]

With all the bombs bursting in air and rockets' red glare emanating continuously from the White House, other important political news sometimes gets buried. Which is my way of apologizing for not noticing a very important change which is likely to come soon to the Democratic National Committee. On the same day Anthony Kennedy announced he would be stepping down from the Supreme Court, the D.N.C.'s Rules and Bylaws Committee held a very important vote. They voted (almost unanimously, with only one holdout) to adopt a modified version of a proposal to dramatically reduce the importance of superdelegates in selecting a presidential nominee at the party's quadrennial convention. But the way they chose to do so was actually pretty elegant, because while it does reduce their power, it will also guarantee that the superdelegates get to take part in the process, one way or another. Senator Bernie Sanders is happy with the way things worked out, which is important since he and his followers were the ones pushing to make changes in the first place. Sanders released a statement right after the committee voted, in which he said: "This decision will ensure that delegates elected by voters in primaries and caucuses will have the primary role in selecting the Democratic Party's nominee at the 2020 convention. This is a major step forward in making the Democratic Party more open and transparent, and I applaud their action."

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Democrats Need To Campaign More On Judicial Picks

[ Posted Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 – 17:21 PDT ]

Gerald R. Ford once famously pointed out that the practical definition of what constituted grounds for impeaching a president (since it is only vaguely defined in the Constitution itself) consisted of whatever a majority of the House of Representatives decided were valid grounds for impeachment (Ford, on the House floor, before he became Nixon's vice president: "The only honest answer is that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history"). Likewise, it almost appears self-evident that defining what is constitutional and what is not can be similarly reduced to whatever a majority of the Supreme Court decides is constitutional, at the present time. Dred Scott was constitutional -- right up until it wasn't -- because a Supreme Court had determined it was. It took a shift of opinion on the highest court to reverse this. Again, this should all be pretty obvious to even the most causal observer of American history. Which is why, in fact, the conservative movement has focused so intently on the judicial branch for the past three decades and more. This began at the height of the anti-abortion movement during Ronald Reagan's time in office, and it continues today on the right side of the spectrum. But for some unfathomable reason, liberals have never matched this level of political fervor about judicial appointments. But now the stakes are higher than ever.

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Ohio Takes Half-Step On Redistricting Reform

[ Posted Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 – 17:24 PDT ]

Last night, Ohio took a half-step towards the goal of ending political gerrymandering by removing politicians from the process of redistricting House seats after every decennial U.S. Census. The ballot initiative that passed in last night's primary election is somewhat convoluted, but will at least provide some sort of brake on rampant gerrymandering for purely political purposes. It may only be a half-step (or, if you like baked metaphors instead, half a loaf), but it certainly is a half-step in the right direction.

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