It's been mostly cheers for Michael Sam, except on the right—where it's been mostly silence. Can that change?
A recent Senate vote is good news for those who care about tolerance
Last week, the Pacific Standard made the intriguing claim that online dating is worsening America's political polarization. Scanning the headline, it seemed possible. Match.com, OKCupid, and the like give all their lonely hearts access to a lot of demographic data—age, race, income, hometown—that can serve as a surrogate for party affiliation, and some users even slap their political views up on their profiles.
Immigration reform isn’t quite dead yet, but the political fall-out of immigration reform’s demise is pretty clear: the GOP rebrand is going to be pretty tough. Despite relatively favorable circumstances, immigration reform advocates weren’t able to drag the party toward the center.
When West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller announced this morning that he won't seek reelection to the Senate in 2014, political commentators immediately downgraded Democrats' chances of holding his Senate seat. Politico wrote that Rockefeller’s retirement put the seat in deeply conservative “in play,” while The Fix’s Sean Sullivan said that Rockefeller’s retirement "boosted" Republican hopes.
Maryland’s 3rd congressional district, the most gerrymandered in the nation, is a Rorschach test in the most literal sense. The Washington Post called it a “crazy quilt.” A local politician compared it to “blood spatter from a crime scene.” A federal judge said it reminded him of a “broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.” DCist suggested we ditch metaphor altogether and change the word “gerrymander” to “Marymander.” It would be an apt name.
When the Spanish-American War of 1898 ended with a victory for the United States, John Hay, U.S. ambassador in London, felt moved to celebrate. In a letter to Teddy Roosevelt, he described it as a war “begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by the fortune which loves the brave.” It was, in short, “a splendid little war.” The fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya has inclined many contemporary commentators to similarly effusive bursts of cheer. But does the war in Libya deserve all the praise being bestowed upon it?
Is there good political news for President Obama in the unemployment numbers? The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza thinks so. Citing an analysis from Republican strategist Matt McDonald, he notes that the unemployment rate in only four swing states was higher than the national average. The four states are hardly inconsequential: They are Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Nevada. And they account for 66 electoral votes.