Will Voter ID Laws Cost Obama Reelection?
July 16, 2012

The possibility that new voter-ID laws could disenfranchise thousands of Democratic- voters in pivotal swing states has received considerable attention recently. After all, 9.2 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania lack photo identification, including 18 percent of registered voters in heavily Democratic Philadelphia. But these flashy numbers might be misleading. If voter-ID laws have consequences for voter turnout, they’re difficult to detect. Several studies conducted in the wake of the 2006 midterms showed a weak correlation between tougher voter-ID laws and reduced turnout.

Achilles Tar Heel
July 13, 2012

IN 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency with a coalition that was impressive in its range: Young people loved him, African Americans overwhelmingly supported him, and he was a hit with college graduates. But he also picked up votes in key states from working-class whites—a group he’d struggled to win over in the Democratic primaries. Four years later, that coalition isn’t looking so good. Obama remains popular with minorities and college-educated whites, but enthusiasm among white working-class voters has collapsed.

How Title IX Became Our Best Tool Against Sexual Harassment
June 22, 2012

When former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh* wrote Title IX forty years ago, his goal was very simple: to make sure women could get a good education.

Will Obama Regret His Decision Not to Buy Ads in Michigan?
June 14, 2012

With the financial balance of power shifting toward the Republicans, Democrats are understandably alarmed that a deluge of cash from outside groups and Wall Street could swamp Obama’s reelection efforts. As an initial step, the Obama campaign has concentrated their expenditures on a smaller number of swing states, ensuring that they at least remain competitive in the markets they consider most important. But when you concentrate resources, some areas end up short-changed, and the decision to narrow the playing field has left Obama without substantial purchases in several media markets.

Even Moderate Conservatives Have Given Up on the Idea of Public Goods?
June 11, 2012

We live in disordered political times, when visceral antipathy to Barack Obama’s agenda drives even reasonable conservatives to say things they should know are not true. The reaction to the president’s unfortunate remark about the condition of the private sector is a perfect example. Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said this: “He [Obama] does not understand where wealth and jobs come from. It comes from a successful private sector or not at all … Government does not create wealth or income.

Yes Virginia, The Middle's Getting Screwed
May 21, 2012

The conservative meme of the moment on income inequality is that the middle class isn't getting screwed at all; it's doing just fine. “Don’t Believe Obama On Income Inequality,” writes Clark Judge, chairman of the conservative Pacific Research Institute, for U.S. News & World Report. “Obama’s Inequality Argument Just Utterly Collapsed,” writes James Pethokoukos in The American, a magazine produced by the American Enterprise Institute.

The Real Super PAC Menace (Hint: It Has Nothing To Do With Jeremiah Wright Ads)
May 18, 2012

Plenty of liberals and other Americans of good conscience no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when AmeriTrade founder and Chicago Cubs co-owner Joe Ricketts distanced himself yesterday from the $10 million racially-tinged Jeremiah Wright ad blitz that the New York Times had reported he was considering buying. But it would be a mistake to consider that any sort of significant victory against the disproportionate power wielded by super PACs.

All Opposed Say "Neigh": A Flawed Bill to Ban Horse Slaughter
May 14, 2012

“We’re Americans,” Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu told me two weeks ago in the Russell Senate building in Washington, D.C. “We don’t eat our dogs, and we don’t eat our horses.” She had just finished delivering a speech to a rapt audience of two-dozen bright-eyed teenage girls, a handful of congressmen, top members of the ASPCA and Humane Society, and Lorenzo Borghese, star of the ninth season of the reality television show The Bachelor.

A Tale Of Two Indiana Centrists
May 11, 2012

Pity Dick Lugar. Not only was he resoundingly rejected by Republican voters in the state he had served for decades, but he has not received anything close to the kind of valedictory from the Washington establishment that one might have expected for one of his reputation. Consider: when Evan Bayh announced that he would not run for reelection in 2010, the conservative Democrat from Indiana inspired all manner of Beltway laments.

How the Media is Enabling the GOP’s Rightward Drift
May 11, 2012

Richard Lugar’s loss in Tuesday night’s primary has been heralded by commenters on both sides of the aisle as a harbinger of doom for moderate Republicans. The conventional wisdom has quickly congealed: Lugar lost because he voted for Barack Obama’s Supreme Court candidates, worked with Obama on an arms control treaty, and was generally not partisan enough for a GOP dominated by the Tea Party. That interpretation is plausible. But it’s not the only, or even the most likely scenario.