It's been apparent for years now that increasingly large elements of the conservative movement in this country have been building a parallel universe with its own facts, its own rules, and its own drama of good versus evil. It's largely impervious to empirical data, and relies heavily on assertion and reassertion of key claims that flow from ever-more-lurid (and thus inherently unverifiable) conspiracy theories. One key claim that's grown to truly monstrous proportions is that the U.S.
A new Washington Post poll of Republicans records the remarkable extent to which today's rank-and-file GOPers can't identify much in the way of any clear-cut Republican leaders.
It’s hardly a secret or an accident that much of politics revolves around the elimination of doubt among voters on public policy issues. Base-mobilization strategies for elections typically involve convincing people with clear preferences but weak civic engagement (or doubts about their own “team”) that any given trip to the ballot box is of epochal importance. Swing-voter persuasion strategies also tend to focus on efforts to convince the undecided that one’s party or candidate will make the country a much happier place.
There's a well-established rhetorical practice available very often in the op-ed pages of The New York Times that ought to be called the Brooks Maneuver. It involves framing a complicated public policy issue in terms of abstract and conflicting principles that the columnist sympathizes with but deems tragically incompatible, before concluding that any resolution will require a brave new kind of politics that just doesn't exist.
As has been the case all year, progressives are giving mixed reviews to the latest legislative step health care reform legislation, the 60-40 Senate vote-to-proceed, which is basically a preliminary cloture vote.
I will be on a semi-hiatus the next month, traveling far from posting availability. But I may pop up now and then, and will return full-steam on November 21. I do indeed hope I miss some important progressive accomplishments, particularly on health care reform.
I will be on a semi-hiaitus the next month, traveling far from posting availability. But I may pop up now and then, and will return full-steam on November 21. I do indeed hope I miss some important progressive accomplishments, particularly on health care reform.
It´s too early to write off the gubernatorial aspirations of Creigh Deeds in Virginia, but if he doesn´t overcome a consistent lead by Republican Bob McDonnell in the next twelve days, you can be sure many pundits will attribute his defeat to Barack Obama. There´s only one problem with this hypothesis: despite his extraordinary unpopularity in other parts of the South, the President remains relatively popular in the Old Dominion. According to pollster.com, Obama´s average approval/disapproval ratio in recent Virginia polls is 51/46. Even Rasmussen has him in positive territory at 53/47, and
For much of this year, one of the surest bets in political circles has been that embattled New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine would go down to defeat at the hands of Republican former U.S.
The progressive zeitgeist during the last week has leaned pretty strongly in the direction of a health care reform system that would provide for a strong public option that states could either opt into or opt out of, as opposed to a "triggered" public option where, in theory at least, objective market conditions would determine what happens in particular states. Interestingly enough, one of the Democratic senators considered shaky on health reform, Bill Nelson of Florida, said today that he favored the "trigger" over any state option. When you look at the state Nelson represents, you can per