Every four years, political reporters flood western Pennsylvania searching for the latest clue to decipher the shifting allegiances of coveted “Reagan Democrats,” the socially conservative voters who abandoned the New Deal coalition over cultural issues in the '70's and '80's. When a candidate visits Pennsylvania, the accompanying news reports remind us that “Reagan Democrats” are the consummate swing voters who maintain a stranglehold over the outcome of critical races in large industrial Midwestern states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
The Austere Land
June 22, 2012
THE LAST FOUR YEARS have created what economists call a “natural experiment” in economic policy. As a consequence of deregulation and globalization, Britain and the United States experienced the financial crisis of 2008 in much the same way. Large parts of the banking system collapsed and had to be rescued; the real economy went into a nosedive and had to be stimulated. But after 2010, the United States continued to stimulate its economy, while Britain chose the stonier path of austerity. The British are no more wedded to the idea of fiscal austerity than are the Americans.
Ties That Bind
May 18, 2012
On April 19, Republican Senator Marco Rubio appeared at a policy breakfast in Washington. The ostensible topic was his proposal for a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, but it wasn’t long before the conversation drifted to vice presidential talk. Since the start of the Republican primary, Rubio has been named at the top of nearly every short list of likely running mates—and for good reason. He is young, charismatic, and popular with both the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. He has a reputation for being serious about policy.
Home, Deductible Home
April 17, 2012
We continue our celebration of tax day, which began with a plug for my book, with a plug for someone else's book: The Benefit And The Burden: Tax Reform--Why We Need It And What It Will Take, by Bruce Bartlett. I'm not really sold on the need for tax reform this year (more on that in my forthcoming TRB column), but The Benefit And The Burden is a wonderfully clear primer on the relevant issues and the history is behind them. A conservative architect of the 1981 Reagan tax cut who lost patience with his team during the George W.
Bork-Backing, Activist-Hating Legal Expert: Obamacare Is OK
April 16, 2012
If you haven't already, please read what Henry Paul Monaghan has to say about the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act. Monaghan is the Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law at Columbia.
Santorum the Tactician Goes to Church
February 28, 2012
[Guest post by Molly Redden] Today, I wrote about Rick Santorum’s college years, during which he was much less the conservative ideologue than he is today.
Ross Douthat's Rule of Three
January 22, 2012
[Guest post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood] In his Sunday Review column “A Good Candidate Is Hard to Find,” Ross Douthat argues that successful presidential candidates must possess no fewer than two of three key characteristics. They need: “the gift of management,” the power of persuasion, and the ability to effectively demagogue opponents. Those who possess the “trifecta,” as Franklin Roosevelt did, are unstoppable. Those who master two of the three (Clinton and Reagan lacked management skills; Nixon was unpersuasive) do fine. Those who possess only one of the three (H.W.
What The Hell Is Happening In S.C.?
January 20, 2012
HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- If South Carolina is on the verge of its second great rebellion, then it is happening not with a bang but with a shrug.
A Pre-Emptive Eulogy For the Huntsman Campaign
January 11, 2012
We are gathered here in remembrance of the Jon Huntsman presidential campaign, which passed away quietly last night in its home state of New Hampshire. Yes, many of its next of kin are still in the first stage of grief (denial), but the rest of us should say our goodbyes, in preparation for moving on to more conservative Republican pastures.
Newt Gingrich, King Of The World
December 30, 2011
DES MOINES -- It cannot be a good sign for Newt Gingrich that I was one of only two reporters trying to slip into his second event this morning, a closed-door fundraiser for the Senate Majority Fund, an organization intent on reclaiming the Iowa Senate for Republicans. An aide came over to check on my credentials and I mumbled a response, but was allowed to stay -- it's gotten to that point for Newt where nothing really matters that much anymore.