ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Populism" Category

Friday Talking Points [465] -- And The Horse You Rode In On!

[ Posted Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 18:45 PST ]

Democrats -- and not a few Republicans as well -- spent most of this week metaphorically dancing on Roy Moore's political grave. To the very end, Moore proved to be a rather cartoonish villain, riding up to the polls on a horse he couldn't even control (named -- you just can't make this stuff up -- "Sassy"). This led to much ribaldry at his expense, after he lost the election Tuesday night, most of which ended with the refrain: "...and the horse you rode in on!"

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The Persistence Of The Resistance

[ Posted Thursday, December 14th, 2017 – 17:59 PST ]

Donald Trump's election spurred a political backlash. Diverse groups took it upon themselves to protest what had happened to their country, from the massive Women's March On Washington (held the day after Trump's swearing-in) to the "Indivisible" groups that soon spontaneously popped up across America. "Resist!" was the battle cry, leading some to name the entire movement "the resistance." Cynical observers of Washington politics (and yes, I was among them at times) wondered whether the whole thing would eventually peter out or whether it could continue long enough to be a factor in the 2018 midterm elections. After a year's time, though, there are no signs that it is waning. In fact, this resistance is showing a dramatic degree of persistence.

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Democrats Begin Eyeing 2018 Senate Takeover

[ Posted Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 18:21 PST ]

Can Democrats retake control of not just the House of Representatives but also the Senate in 2018? Well, they'd pretty much have to run the tables to do so, but with last night's Alabama's upset victory by Doug Jones, what has changed is that it is now a distinct possibility. While many Democrats are giddily celebrating their surprise win, they should also take the time to examine the factors present not just in Alabama but also in the other races that have happened over the past year, to identify the key factors in winning. Because if they've got any chance at all of taking the Senate, they should work as hard as possible to maximize what has been going well for them.

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Alabama's Stunning Upset

[ Posted Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 – 18:10 PST ]

Doug Jones will be the next senator from Alabama, according to all media sources. With over 90 percent of the votes counted, Jones snatched away the lead that Roy Moore had been holding for almost the entire night. Rural votes got counted first, but when the urban votes came in, they propelled Jones into the lead. Alabama has stunned the nation with this upset victory -- the first Democrat they'll have in the U.S. Senate in a quarter-century.

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Trump Hits New Polling Low

[ Posted Monday, December 11th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

I originally wrote "Trump Hits New Low" as this article's title, but then realized that it was far too generic a headline. After all, Trump hits new lows all the time, in many shocking and unusual ways. A sitting president endorsing an accused child molester to sit in the U.S. Senate, for instance. So I clarified it, since this is a more qualitative thing -- Trump has indeed hit a new all-time low in the polls. As of this writing, his daily job approval average (as calculated by Real Clear Politics) is a dismal 37.3 percent. Trump's job disapproval also hit a record high, to now stand at 57.9 percent. This is also (not surprisingly) the most he's ever been underwater in the polls -- a negative gap of 20.6 points.

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Friday Talking Points [464] -- Ending GOP Whataboutism

[ Posted Friday, December 8th, 2017 – 18:28 PST ]

In the same week that Time magazine gave its "Person Of The Year" award to the #MeToo movement, three members of Congress resigned because of it. The last week anything similar happened, according to historians, was during the Civil War, over the issue of slavery. On a single day in January of 1861, five senators resigned (as their states seceded from the Union). One historian noted: "If you look over the history of the 20th century in Congress, there just is no comparable event."

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Making The GOP Tax Bill Slightly Less Awful

[ Posted Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 – 18:11 PST ]

Republicans like to boast about how their current plan to reform the tax code is the biggest such effort since the 1980s. They especially like this line because it references Saint Ronald of Reagan [pause for GOP genuflections], whose irreproachable sanctity is about all the Republican Party can even agree upon, these days. But back in Reagan's day, Congress spent something like two years developing their tax code overhaul, with at least six months of that spent in committee hearings and bipartisan work toward a common goal. That common goal was to reduce taxes on individuals and increase them on corporations. None of that is true this time around, of course, as Republicans only even have a prayer of passing anything these days (despite controlling both houses of Congress) by rushing things so hastily that nobody has a chance to talk about what is in the massive bill. That two-year process will be smushed into a few paltry weeks, with a self-imposed Christmas deadline. Also, the end goal this time is exactly the opposite -- massively reduce the taxes corporations pay by increasing the share individuals pay.

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Friday Talking Points [463] -- Lock Him Up!

[ Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017 – 19:35 PST ]

This morning, Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped on Trump. Flynn is still at risk of being prosecuted for other charges as well, including lying about his foreign lobbying on government forms. But he's now apparently cut a deal with the prosecution to possibly avoid further charges and also reportedly to avoid charges for his son.

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How Democrats Should Solve Their Superdelegate Problem

[ Posted Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 – 18:22 PST ]

In December, the members of the Democrats' "Unity Reform Commission" will make their recommendations to the Democratic Party for changes in the way it handles presidential elections (among other things). Then it will be up to the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee to decide whether to fully or partially adopt any of these recommendations. This is a big deal for Democrats, as it is the culmination of the effort to bridge the still-raw divide between the Bernie Sanders wing of the party and the Hillary Clinton establishment wing. Nobody at this point knows exactly what the unity group is going to propose, but there's one festering issue which will likely take center stage: superdelegate reform. The answer to this problem, though, seems pretty obvious to an outside observer. There's one way to solve it which would seem to appeal to all concerned.

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Can Trump Deal With The Democrats?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 – 17:35 PST ]

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are apparently ready to play hardball at the start of the negotiations to work out a year-end deal with Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress. They signaled their intentions today by snubbing a planned photo op at the White House in response to a rather nasty tweet the president sent out about them, hours before the meeting was supposed to begin. Why negotiate when Trump is already calling them names, after all?

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