Archive of Articles in the "Populism" Category

The Growing Populist/Conservative Divide In The GOP

[ Posted Wednesday, September 6th, 2023 – 16:06 UTC ]

Mike Pence gave a speech today in New Hampshire, and it actually made some news (I know! I'm as astonished as you probably are...). Pence devoted the whole speech to an argument for the Republican Party to return to its conservative roots and move dramatically away from economic populism. Which is rather odd, since by "populism" he basically means "all that stuff Donald Trump said and did while I was serving as his vice president." Consistency has never been conservatism's strong suit, I suppose....

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Friday Talking Points -- Finally, A Messaging War Democrats Can Easily Win

[ Posted Friday, September 1st, 2023 – 16:51 UTC ]

It is rare in American politics when Democrats manage to win a political "messaging" war with Republicans, but it certainly seems like they've got a doozy of an opportunity to do just that, on the issue of lowering prescription drug prices. This messaging battle really began in earnest this week, and so far Republicans are losing badly.

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Friday Talking Points -- Mugging For The Cameras

[ Posted Friday, August 25th, 2023 – 17:17 UTC ]

We will start this column (as every public speaker is taught to) with a joke. We saw two Republican spectacles this week: the first was watching all the "not-named-Trump" presidential candidates trying to verbally mug each other onstage for two hours, and the second was Donald Trump himself scowling into a jail camera for his first-ever mugshot. You might say it's been a very muggy week all around.

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The First Republican Presidential Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 – 22:01 UTC ]

Overall, tonight's first Republican debate was pretty entertaining, at least to me. These days, the entertainment value of a debate is a lot more important than scoring any kind of ideological points, so I'm using the same scale everyone else will.

There wasn't a whole lot of actual debate about differences in ideology... some, but not a lot. It was instead more of a series of one-on-one shouting matches between two of the candidates. More on those in a moment.

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Laying In Popcorn Supplies For Tomorrow Night

[ Posted Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023 – 16:16 UTC ]

Tomorrow night will be the true kickoff to the Republican presidential primary season, as Fox hosts the first GOP presidential debate. I should mention in advance that I will be doing my usual "snap reactions" column after the debate tomorrow night, so this is my last chance to comment on things beforehand.

I thought I would run down my impressions of all the candidates who qualified for the debate, from what I have seen and heard of them so far. Some have done a better job of getting their faces out there in the media than others, which leaves for plenty of "getting to know you" moments (for me, at any rate) tomorrow night.

Anyway, without further ado -- listed in order of the strength of their polling (which will also determine how close to the center of the stage each candidate gets to stand), here are the Republican candidates who will be on stage for tomorrow night's opening GOP presidential debate:

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Could Trump Dominate The Debate In An Unexpected Way?

[ Posted Monday, August 21st, 2023 – 15:08 UTC ]

It is already conventional wisdom that Donald Trump is going to try to steal all the thunder from the first Republican presidential debate, by counterprogramming with a Tucker Carlson interview (which will assumably air simultaneously with the debate). But I think there's going to be more to it than that -- in fact, it seems incredibly obvious to me, although so far not many others seem to have picked up on it. I think Donald Trump is going to steal the show in a different and perhaps unexpected way -- by turning himself in to be processed at the Atlanta jail either right before or during the debate.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quad-Indicted?

[ Posted Friday, August 18th, 2023 – 16:54 UTC ]

Once again, the political week was dominated by news of Donald Trump. And we can all now properly identify Trump as a "twice-impeached, four-times-indicted ex-president." Sadly, the English language stops after "once... twice... thrice..." so there is no (legitimate) snappier way to say that (although we would suggest "quad-indicted," since it does seem to have a ring to it... but we digress...).

Linguistic kidding aside, Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis finally completed Trump's quartet of indictments, adding 13 more felony charges for Trump (who has now been charged with a whopping 91 felony counts in total) as well as plenty of other felonies to go around among his 18 co-defendants. Rather than take a targeted approach by just charging Trump with the easiest-to-prove-in-court charges, Willis swung for the fences and corralled all the wrongdoing within one RICO charge covering everyone. Trump and his campaign and all his legal team and even his thugs on the ground in Georgia are all now accused of being a "racketeering-influenced and corrupt organization." Sounds about right... especially after the news broke that the grand jurors who voted for the indictment have been doxxed online and are now getting threats -- just like you'd expect to see in any mob case. Trump even attempted to tamper with a witness before he even showed up to testify for the grand jury on Monday. The witness was not cowed and did testify, and very late in the evening the indictment was made public.

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Political Violence Must Be Universally Condemned

[ Posted Thursday, August 17th, 2023 – 15:19 UTC ]

Donald Trump has normalized all kinds of bizarre behavior in American politics, but the one that needs a whole lot more attention is his acceptance of the idea that violence can be used to achieve political outcomes in this country. More and more, this is becoming a mainstream idea among his MAGA followers, while his fellow Republicans either say nothing or actively join in the incitements to violence. The media has completely fallen down on the job of pressing politicians to denounce such language and pointedly ask every politician they interview whether they support such a disgraceful concept. This is a dangerous place for our country to be, and it seems like it's only going to get more dangerous over time.

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...A Rare Three-Dot Wednesday...

[ Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2023 – 15:31 UTC ]

We know it is not at all alliterative, but it seems the time has come for a three-dot Wednesday. We speak, of course, in honor of the undisputed king of all three-dot journalism, the late, great Herb Caen of San Francisco. It's the format Caen was the master of... where you just string together a whole bunch of little news or commentary snippets... without a whole lot of connection... into some sort of narrative column... using ellipses (three dots) to tie the whole thing loosely together. OK, that last sentence was a bit much, even we admit, so we'll try to only use the format in traditional Caen fashion from now on. Everybody ready? Then here we go...

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Friday Talking Points -- Ohio Continues Winning Streak For Abortion Rights

[ Posted Friday, August 11th, 2023 – 17:38 UTC ]

The biggest political news of the past week came from Ohio, where the voters resoundingly rejected a stealth plan by the Republicans to kill an abortion ballot measure that will appear on November's ballot. By a 57-43 margin, the voters sent a loud "No!" to the GOP, who were trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. This will have national reverberations, especially after Buckeye voters return in a few months to enshrine abortion rights in their state's constitution.

This was merely the latest in an unbroken series of victories for those fighting for women's rights at the state level. These have included ballot measures that either directly addressed abortion or stealthily sidled up to it as well as a state supreme court race in Wisconsin -- and in all of them the forced-birth side lost. Badly.

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