Political Animal

November 2012 Archives

November 30, 2012 5:49 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

So the week that began with GOPers expressing great optimism about a quick fiscal deal ends with them looking and sounding like small cornered animals, alternately whimpering and showing their...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 5:17 PM Guess Who Else Doesn't Understand Marginal Tax Rates?

Regular readers know that after a tough week of heavy blogging, I often succumb to the temptation of devoting just one teeny tiny post to the deconstruction of the prose...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 4:54 PM Progressives' Stake in Strengthening Democracy

In my last post on one of TAP's November/December issue essays on a forty-year plan for progressives, I noted that Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson posed a choice between counter-polarization...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 2:56 PM Another Reason Obama Should Avoid Self-Negotiation

Earlier today I noted Ezra Klein's astute observation that Barack Obama has decided not to "negotiate with himself" in the fiscal talks by initially offering anything other than the preferred...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 1:36 PM Lunch Buffet

It's a stormy afternoon here on the Central Coast, which is fine blogging weather. And there's even a bit more out there to blog about than has been the case...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 12:30 PM Conservatives and Inequality

I'm not in the habit of paying a lot of attention to writers who are in the business of telling conservatives to do things they won't in a million years...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 11:59 AM Odds Improving on Filibuster Reform

As consideration of the "constitutional option" of a Senate rules change restricting the filibuster by a majority vote becomes serious, handicapping of individual senators is also getting underway. Thanks to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 11:33 AM Some Socialism

Those who argue that America has been drifting into socialism, redistributionism, and confiscatory tax policies aimed at "successful" people in recent decades should be compelled somehow to read the following...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 9:58 AM Who's "Serious" Now?

The President's formal opening offer on a fiscal deal to avoid year-end appropriations sequestrations and a full expiration of the Bush tax cuts hit Capitol Hill last night, and congressional...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 9:30 AM Crazy People's Rights

So Lindsay Graham and Rand Paul got into a bit of an argument on the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday about the rights of detained terrorist suspects that got...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 9:07 AM Team Mitt Fell Prey To Two Big Myths

Before we get into the Daily Kabuki of the fiscal talks, it's worth taking a look at the new evidence TNR's Noam Scheiber dug up about the misplaced confidence that...

By Ed Kilgore

November 30, 2012 8:20 AM Daylight Video

Trying to get myself enthused about the day's likely political news diet of fiscal talks and austerity demands. So here's Roxy Music performing "The Thrill of It All" in 1976....

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 5:21 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Happy to finish up a 13th post in time for a good post-jet-lag nap, and then maybe that Dexter episode I fell asleep during last night. Here are some final...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 4:49 PM Another Brave Conservative Goes Under the Bus

Why write about the media lionization of yet another marginal GOP voice speaking truth to the Norquistian Power when you can quote Charles Pierce? It appears that Tom Cole, a...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 4:30 PM When Republicans Didn't Hate Unions

At the Daily Beast today, David Frum tells this story to illustrate the steady drift of American politics to the Right--and of the Republican Party to a position of open...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 3:37 PM Where Does One Meet "The Press?"

The New York Times' former veteran legal Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse has a stimulating post up at The Opinionater site discussing the Supremes' drift away from viewing "the press"...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 3:07 PM Hey! Those Emails Worked! Hells Yes!

Anyone living in the large universe of the Obama campaign's email lists during the last year or so undoubtedly noticed the extraordinary volume, and sometimes the unusually casual tone, of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 1:33 PM Lunch Buffet

It's great to be back home and no closer to airplanes than the occasional distant hum of engines. Let's get to some mid-day news-and-views items: * In an important follow-on...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 1:13 PM Fork in the Road For Progressives' Uphill Climb

As I noted briefly yesterday, TAP is publishing a large number of essays in its November/December print issue (and rolling them out gradually online) based on the idea that progressives...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 12:02 PM Tough Spot For the Saviors of Medicare

The most amusing thing about the fiscal talks as reflected in the VandeHei/Allen Politico "inside account" was immediately identified by Ezra Klein: The austerity crisis talks have hit a peculiar...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 11:27 AM Scarlet D

In what purports to be a definitive statement of the case against Susan Rice's hypothetical appointment as Secretary of State, a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Anne Bayefsky and Michael...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 10:59 AM Loaded Terms

In a finding that helps explain the infernal influence of people like focus-group-manipulator-supreme Frank Lutz, Gallup has published reactions of Republicans and Democrats to key terms often tossed about in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 10:28 AM Do Corporations Pray?

The most significant bunch of legal challenges to Obamacare beginning to work their way through the courts involve claims that corporations--some for-profits, some non-profits, some distinctively religious enterprises, some entirely...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 8:53 AM The Deal Going Down--But Not Without Kabuki

I make a lot of derisive comments about Politico here, and for good reason. But there's no doubt they do some things really well, like sniffing around Beltway staff sources...

By Ed Kilgore

November 29, 2012 8:10 AM Daylight Video

This could be the news cycle blogger's anthem: Lowell George and Little Feat performing "Willin," in 1977. UPDATE: Yeah, sorry, original post was video of Little Feat performing "Dixie Chicken,"...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Finally home, sitting at the iMac, and getting ready for the first normal work day in more than a week. But here's what is left from sifting through today's news...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 4:40 PM Payback Politics

One of the odd things about the conservative hysteria over Benghazi and now over Susan Rice's possible future is how many old axes are being ground. Rush Limbaugh compares the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 4:04 PM Different Cliff-Dwellers

There are, as you probably know, quite a few progressives who don't particularly fear the so-called "fiscal cliff," mainly because they don't think the most contentious issue, an increase on...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 3:46 PM The Business Constituency That Hates Republicans

Nate Silver has a remarkable post up today showing that the pro-Democratic proclivities of the tech community and the geographical areas dominated by it have reached really astounding levels that...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 3:13 PM Honkified By Design

Those who have been breathlessly following all the intra-Republican discussions about diversifying the party's appeal beyond white men should take note that all 19 House committee chairmanships announced for the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 1:12 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm at SFO waiting for a long-delayed flight to MRY (flights before and after mine have already been canceled), and with luck may be home for the afternoon blogging blitz....

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 12:55 PM War on Voting Post-Mortem

Since The Nation's Ari Berman probably did more than any other individual writer to draw attention to Republican-backed voter suppression efforts during the 2012 cycle, it's appropriate to turn to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 11:03 AM Money and Mouth

So unless it's just a publicity stunt (and his friends say otherwise), wingnut blogger and pundit Erick Erickson is mulling a primary challenge to Georgia's U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 10:19 AM The 2012 Margin

In a post that begins with confirmation that yes, Mitt Romney will wind up with 47% of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential election, Slate's David Weigel makes a...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 9:58 AM Filibustering Non-Amendable Measures

We've heard quite a bit now that blaming Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for the astronomical rise in filibusters is unfair because such tactics were made necessary by Harry Reid's...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 9:23 AM "Entitlement Reform" and Health Care Spending

To hear most conservatives, Democrats are resisting "entitlement reform" as part of a fiscal "fix" for some combination of three reasons: (1) they fear the wrath of "the left" or...

By Ed Kilgore

November 28, 2012 8:08 AM Daylight Video

Since I'm in San Francisco and still trying to get to Monterey, here's Quicksilver Messenger Service performing "Dino's Song" at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967....

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm still sitting at ATL, waiting for a long-delayed flight to Poppy International in Houston, and then on to SFO and eventually Monterey. Won't get home until tomorrow, and then...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 5:16 PM The HillaryWatch Begins

Well, it had to start soon, given the general consensus among Democrats that even a sitting two-term vice president wouldn't have a prayer of beating her in the primaries. So...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 4:30 PM Naked Truth

As you may have heard by now, a group of naked people showed up in Speaker John Boehner's office to protest the potential impact of automatic spending "sequestrations" on funding...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 3:37 PM The Very Last Ditch

Perhaps it's a testament to the size and breadth of Barack Obama's victory on November 6, or maybe it's because so many conservatives were stunned by MItt Romney's failure to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 3:20 PM Liberal Horizons

I mentioned late yesterday a new Pew analysis of the under-30 vote in the 2012 elections, suggesting a generational trend to the political Left unlike anything we've seen since the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 3:10 PM Another Attack on the Sovereignty of America, God and Family!

It's hardly news any more when conservatives oppose ratification of a treaty reflecting widely shared American values. Concern for U.S. "sovereignty," often based on conspiracy theories about the United Nations...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 1:19 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm en route to the Atlanta airport to head back to California, but to the extent allowed by the suspension of the car I am in, here are some mid-day...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 12:38 PM An Authority

If you needed any additional reason to read Jacob Heilbrunn's review of Thomas Ricks' latest book (The Generals: American Military Commanders from World War II to Today) in the November/December...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 11:30 AM White Identity Politics

Of all the conservative raps in circulation, the one I have the most trouble with personally is the anti-anti-racism meme: the idea that white people are being persecuted for the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 10:31 AM The MSM Does Not Define "Moderate"

Occasionally I'll write something like the last post, raging at the right-wing boilerplate that passes for "moderation" in Washington today, and wonder if I'm more or less credible for having...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 9:16 AM Extremism Vindicated Once Again?

The way the whole "fiscal cliff" thing (itself a contrivance based on the Republican view that expiration of the Bush tax cuts and imposition of defense spending cuts would be...

By Ed Kilgore

November 27, 2012 8:03 AM Daylight Video

Ran across this video last night, and just had to post it as a fine travel song for a travel day back to California: Golden Earring performing "Radar Love" in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 5:03 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Since I wrote the last several posts sitting in a mall, I'm certainly aware of the transition from the Thanksgiving to the Xmas season. Few of the folks passing me...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 5:02 PM Pew on the Youth Vote

Pew has a big analysis out on the under-30 vote in 2012, and while the basic numbers are well-known by now, there are some fascinating nuggets, including this one: The...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 4:49 PM Living Under the Ban

Those of you who are familiar with the formerly-conservative economics writer Bruce Bartlett--who worked in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and held very visible posts at the Heritage...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 4:27 PM Campaigns, Lobbying and Social Movements

One of the big mysteries--and sources of progressive angst--during Barack Obama's first term in office was the virtual disappearance of Obama's powerful and technologically enabled supporter network during the long...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 3:54 PM Getting the CIA Back on Track

Beyond the sexual scandal-mongering and the spurious linkage to the spurious Benghazi issue, the main impact of the Petraeus resignation as director of the CIA is, of course, that the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 3:11 PM Back to the Bench For Obamacare

It's been obvious--certainly since Speaker John Boehner's op-ed vowing to continue legislative challenges--that conservatives weren't going to let little things like a landmark Supreme Court decision and a national election...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Still in Georgia, and still completing the family circuit, so if posting is occasionally irregular, please forgive me (and blame the dreadfully slow news as well). Here are some mid-day...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 12:10 PM The Spare-Us-the-Pain Coalition

As noted earlier, a lot of the supposed compromise, "share-the-pain" proposals kicking around Washington right now as "solutions" to the "fiscal cliff," don't really offer a lot of compromise, unless...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 11:36 AM First Big 2014 Announcement

So the GOP drive to do in 2014 what it failed to do in 2012--dominate a favorable landscape to take control of the U.S. Senate--is off to a good start...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 10:35 AM Quick, Quick, Give Me Your Wallet

Today's overriding political news is about the brave Republicans (a mob of three or four, at this point) who are signaling their defiance of Grover Norquist and a willingness to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 9:16 AM Bring on the Filibuster Fight

According to Politico's Manu Raju, Republicans are threatening to "shut down" the Senate if Harry Reid proceeds with limits on the use of filibusters as part of the Senate rules...

By Ed Kilgore

November 26, 2012 8:10 AM Daylight Video

After the Thanksgiving weekend with its various excesses, seems appropriate to post Neil Young performing "After the Gold Rush" in 1998....

By Ed Kilgore

November 25, 2012 5:44 PM A terrible story

Before I knock off for the evening and hand the keys back over to Ed, I wanted to write about an extraordinarily powerful article I happened to see when I...

By Kathleen Geier

November 25, 2012 2:20 PM The Walmart way is not the only way

To follow up on yesterday's post about the Black Friday Walmart strikes, I wanted to write about an argument that Walmart and its apologists frequently make -- namely, that so...

By Kathleen Geier

November 25, 2012 12:46 PM Spanish bombs

Highly recommended: this piece by Dan Hancox in today's Salon (it was originally published in The New Inquiry), about the political and economic unrest that Spain is experiencing as a...

By Kathleen Geier

November 25, 2012 10:35 AM When conservatives talk about ideas, they euphemistically rely on abstractions -- because it covers up the creepy reality

Yesterday, I briefly alluded to my belief that two of the Republican "rape guys" from this past election, U.S. senate candidates Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Todd Akin of Missouri,...

By Kathleen Geier

November 24, 2012 4:03 PM The Tea Party . . . comin' back at ya!

If you still haven't finished Schadenfreudegasming over the elections, you might particularly enjoy this article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal, about how the Tea Party movement is responding to the...

By Kathleen Geier

November 24, 2012 2:37 PM Fascinating new study on immigration reveals the policy preferences of voters and elites differ sharply -- but not the way you think

One of my favorite economists, Dean Baker, frequently makes the point that we don't really have free markets in the country. What we actually have is crony capitalism, which is...

By Kathleen Geier

November 24, 2012 12:15 PM Grover Norquist: the end of an error?

Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia is making headlines today, for his recent comments about the no-tax-increase pledge he once made to powerful wingnut activist Grover Norquist. Chambliss said he's not...

By Kathleen Geier

November 24, 2012 9:07 AM The Black Friday worker actions at Walmart: why they mattered

By most accounts, yesterday's worker actions at Walmart have were a rousing success. Organizers say there were strikes at 1,000 stores in 46 states; hundreds of workers walked off the...

By Kathleen Geier

November 23, 2012 5:12 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Hope those of you who worked today had an easy one, and those of you who (like me) were visiting multiple relatives had as many sinful things to eat as...

By Ed Kilgore

November 23, 2012 3:50 PM The Heart of the Matter

The recent intra-Republican wrangling in Iowa about the impact of the quadrennial Ames Straw Poll--soon to be echoed, inevitably, by complaints beyond Iowa about power of the First-in-the-Nation-Caucus--is yet enough...

By Ed Kilgore

November 23, 2012 12:02 PM The Small Business Store-Front

As observers try to sort out various "compromise" scenarios for both sides in the ongoing fiscal talks, there's one kind of obvious Republican "fallback" position that probably strikes fear into...

By Ed Kilgore

November 23, 2012 11:31 AM The Lickspittle Business Channel

Ryan Chittum has an excellent piece on CNBC, which has moved beyond its traditional worship of Wall Street, business executives, and the rich generally to outright fiscal scold advocacy: So...

By Ryan Cooper

November 23, 2012 11:24 AM Where the Waters Still Rise

It's become so common to think of the Great Recession as an event demarcated by rising and (perhaps now) falling unemployment rates that we sometimes have to be reminded that...

By Ed Kilgore

November 23, 2012 10:11 AM Advice For the Ad-Battered

This isn't directly related to politics, but since some of you may still be trembling on the threshold of a decision to go out into the commercial wilds of Black...

By Ed Kilgore

November 23, 2012 8:49 AM More 2012 Fun From the Numbers Crunchers

We haven't heard a lot since the day after the elections from the no-doubt-exhausted numbers-crunching guild, led by the man whose influence was inestimably enhanced by his know-nothing conservative critics:...

By Ed Kilgore

November 23, 2012 8:17 AM Daylight Video

After witnessing (though not joining) unbelievable lines of people waiting for tiny discount cards at midnight sales last night, it occurred to me to post this Black Sabbath video from...

By Ed Kilgore

November 22, 2012 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Not a lot more news or views to share, as even the chattering classes seem to have taken the day off. But here are a few more items: * Mark...

By Ed Kilgore

November 22, 2012 9:37 AM Holiday News Thread

There is not, as you might guess, a lot of U.S. political news to accompany your Thanksgiving Day feast. But here are a few items: * White House rejects Boehner...

By Ed Kilgore

November 22, 2012 8:00 AM Daylight Video

I know I've posted this video before, but it's one of my all-time favorites, and good mood music for this holiday: Fairport Convention performing "Now Be Thankful" in 1970....

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 5:51 PM Day's End and Holiday Watch

Finally landed in the ATL, and for those few of you who haven't vaulted fully into Thanksgiving, here are some remainders of the day: * That terrific trio of GOP...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 2:16 PM Gratitude Open Thread

I'm about to board a plane to Atlanta to visit family members for whom I am eternally grateful. I'm grateful for a lot of things this year (and not just...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 2:12 PM The Dangerous Cycle Of Ignorance About Obamacare

Sarah Kliff has an important article in today's WaPo about the extraordinarily low levels of information about the Affordable Care Act among the people most affected: the uninsured. And it's...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 1:41 PM Lunch Buffet

As I warned might happen, we had some publication-timing issues with posts this morning (mainly because Movable Type's "schedule" function works strictly when it wants), so sorry about that. As...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 12:48 PM The Dastardly Tactic of Drawing Attention to Idiocy

Ah, Mark Halperin is at it again. On Morning Joe today, he accused what he likes to call the "Left-Wing Freak Show" of progressive new media outlets of leaping on...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 12:33 PM What Obama Can Do Without Congress

Thanks to the de facto "sixty vote threshold" Republicans imposed on the Senate via abuse of the filibuster, and then the enhanced power the GOP gained in 2010 by winning...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 12:02 PM No Such Thing as A La Carte Science

While it is true that the metaphysical foundations of science, just like those of external reality, tend to crumble to bits when you look at them too hard, I would...

By Ryan Cooper

November 21, 2012 11:42 AM An Unconvincing Case for the DC Height Limit

Over at the Atlantic Cities, Kaid Benfield has an "urbanist" case for the DC height limit, which might really be an elaborate plot to get Ryan Avent and Matt Yglesias...

By Ryan Cooper

November 21, 2012 8:08 AM Jumping the Gun

Hate to be the first to tell you, but 2016 speculation has already begun, and worse yet, I'm not talking about candidates but about process. In Iowa, Republican Gov. Terry...

By Ed Kilgore

November 21, 2012 8:00 AM Daylight Video

Since I'm heading to Atlanta today, here's that city's Mother's Finest performing "Thank You For the Love."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 5:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Many readers, I assume, are already gearing down for the Thanksgiving Weekend, but for those who need a few more news jolts, here you go: * Here's Jeffey Toobin's succinct...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 5:20 PM The Envoy

I know this is not exactly hard news, but then again, these days, it's likely this report from New York's Dan Amira may get more attention than hard news: As...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 4:49 PM Black Friday Advisory

Amidst the frenzy of Black Friday, there's an important labor action occurring that does not--directly at least--involve a union. Yes, it's at America's most famously non-unionized company, Wal-Mart, where a...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 4:15 PM War on Voting--By Incompetence

In repeated posts about voting suppression, I've tried to constantly note that aside from all the bad laws and deliberately discriminatory policies, one of the most important weapons against voting...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 3:32 PM Redding of the South

Addressing a subject near and dear to my heart, TNR's Alec MacGinnis politely dismantles an argument from University of North Carolina-Charlotte's Karen Cox that the Republican domination of the Deep...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 2:09 PM Taking the Politics Out of Politics

Given the endless posturing and litmus-test imposing nature of recent Big Fiscal Talks, and the dangerous futility of efforts to overcome the usual tensions through congressional Supercommittees, it's not surprising...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

Time to start downsizing the food consumption in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day. But no need for news diet, other than product shortages: * After much thundering, Rep. Allen West concedes...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 12:38 PM Hell Yes, Ron Paul is Fergettin'

Even as his son the junior senator from Kentucky signals a possible 2016 presidential run, retiring congressman Ron Paul is demonstrating that even he has some opinions that political exigencies...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 12:13 PM Another Non-Struggle For the Soul

Even as much of the MSM buys into the largely phony meme of bitter internecine controversy among Republicans, who are actually united in a more-conservatism-with-tweaks strategy going forward, there's growing...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 10:59 AM Polarization and Federalism

Without the phenomenon receiving a whole lot of national attention, the partisan polarization that has made national politics so fractious and closely contended has had a very different impact on...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 9:55 AM The Phony War Intensifies

For the cynical-minded, today's front-line reporting from the Struggle for the Soul of the Republican Party can induce bitter laughter: in response to "establishment" talk that Republicans need a clearer...

By Ed Kilgore

November 20, 2012 8:26 AM Daylight Video

Moving right along with the theme of the week, here's the Beastie Boys performing "Gratitude."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 6:05 PM Day's End and Night Watch

* Michael Kinsley conducts a long, insider-y interview with Tina Brown on the demise of the print version of Newsweek. * WaPo's Cillizza designates as the Worst Candidate of 2012:...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 5:44 PM "Gift" Killers

If there's a constant theme I've been hitting since Election Day, it's that no one should be fooled by all the "soul-searching" going on in the Republican Party. To the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 5:11 PM The Perilous Stability of Kings and Generals

One of the enduring problems of U.S. foreign relations has been the tendency to support authoritarian governments in the eternal quest for "stability," sometimes as just a matter of inertia...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 4:51 PM The Broader Front in the Twinkie Spin War

As the back-and-forth over the demise of Hostess Brands continues, there's considerable discussion among progressives about how the company's feckless management and its conservative echo chamber is succeeding in blaming...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 3:36 PM Behind the Benghazi Frenzy

The continued Republican frenzy over the killings in Benghazi, which has now been going on for more than two months, is pretty obviously motivated by partisan opportunism, linked to the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Yesterday's failed experiment at a holiday treat to take home to family in Georgia is today's rich chocolatey indulgence. Yum. Here are some mid-day treats for you guys, from another...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 1:45 PM Rubio's Best Friend (Other Than His Wife)

A GQ interview with Sen. Marco Rubio is mainly getting attention because of his incoherent answer ("I'm not a scientist, man!") to the question: "How old do you thing the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 12:55 PM Opening Shot of the 2016 Democratic Nomination Campaign?

Last week I suggested there were some suppressed divisions in the Democratic Party which will eventually emerge, if not sooner then later, and that the shape of the 2016 presidential...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 11:58 AM "But Seriously--" Said the Clown

In a numbingly predictable development, a variety of Beltway Republicans are vowing to make sure the Big Boys are in charge next time the GOP has a shot at controlling...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 10:36 AM Ryan's New Catbird Seat

It's fascinating (if somewhat predictable) to watch the rapidly diverging post-election prospects of the two members of the Republican presidential ticket. Mitt Romney is going to disappear from public view...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 9:43 AM The Man Who Couldn't Whistle

Much of the weekend political "news" involved serial Republican efforts to bury Mitt Romney far below the surface of future visibility, mainly on grounds that he has created the outrageous...

By Ed Kilgore

November 19, 2012 8:36 AM Daylight Video

I'm going to try to stick to seasonal music this week: the Avett Brothers performing "November Blue" in New York in 2008....

By Ed Kilgore

November 18, 2012 4:37 PM Rolling Jubilee: a distraction, or a way forward?

One of the offshoots of the Occupy movement is an intriguing project known as Rolling Jubilee. Billing itself as "a bailout of the people by the people," Rolling Jubilee is...

By Kathleen Geier

November 18, 2012 12:28 PM Groundbreaking new study: what happens to women who can't get abortions

Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, and one of the central political issues of our time. Yet in spite of this, there is...

By Kathleen Geier

November 18, 2012 11:53 AM Elections have consequences -- like tax increases on the wealthy?

Shellshocked by the election results, a number of Republican officials are doing the unthinkable, by seeming to move, albeit rhetorically and ever so slightly, to the center. They're insulting their...

By Kathleen Geier

November 18, 2012 8:21 AM Recommended reading

Here are some of the more interesting articles and posts I've run across on the internets lately: -- An poignant interview with Philip Roth in the New York Times, on...

By Kathleen Geier

November 17, 2012 1:43 PM Why are the Democrats underrepresented in the House? It's (mostly) the geography, stupid!

The 2012 election gave progressives much to cheer about. In practically every high-profile race where the outcome was at all in doubt,the more progressive candidate won -- from the presidency...

By Kathleen Geier

November 17, 2012 11:15 AM Elizabeth Warren fights the good fight against the filibuster, but it's probably a losing battle

Here's some intriguing news: Elizabeth Warren has vowed that her first priority upon entering the senate this January will be an effort to reform the filibuster. On the first day...

By Kathleen Geier

November 17, 2012 10:54 AM Twilight of the Elites, UK edition: The Daily Show on the BBC child abuse scandal

Below is an excellent Daily Show segment on the horrific BBC child molestation scandal. There are two particularly mind-blowing details. One is that in 1990, the late BBC personality and...

By Kathleen Geier

November 17, 2012 7:31 AM Democratic women defend Susan Rice, call out her critics' sexism, racism, and mediocrity

This is gratifying; Democratic women have gone to bat for UN Ambassador Susan Rice, defending her against racist, sexist attacks by conservative Republican critics. In case you missed it, as...

By Kathleen Geier

November 16, 2012 5:26 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

You know, if I really had the hang of this news-cycle blogging thing, I'd never do what I just did: write a long, meaty post on a late Friday afternoon....

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 4:36 PM Peeling the Onion of Conservative Delusion

We are far along now into the post-election season that it's beginning to become possible to sort out Republican reactions to their defeat. It's like peeling an onion, essentially, since...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 4:04 PM Kate Boo Wins Well-Deserved National Book Award

We at the Washington Monthly were extremely proud to see one of our alumni, Katherine Boo, see such great success for her book about the slums of Mumbai, Behind the...

By Ryan Cooper

November 16, 2012 3:14 PM About Those Triumphant Republican Governors

As expected, there's been a whole lotta talk since Election Day about how a new, exciting future for the Republican Party lies in the hands of its problem-solving, idea-hungry governors,...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 2:53 PM The Demise of the Twinkie-Makers

So by now most of you have probably heard about Hostess Brands announcing it would begin to shut down its operations, blaming its demise on labor costs and a just-initiated...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

A rainy day here on the Central Coast of California, but still beautiful. Here are a few mid-day news bites in another slow day for anything other than symbolic gesturing...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 12:58 PM Elijah, Ahab, Obama, and the Call For a New Falwell

Supplementing the growing conservative fascination with "missing white voters" who cost the GOP the 2012 elections (and whose return, it is implied, could mean better GOP performance among minorities would...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 12:14 PM Redistricting, Vote-Distribution, and the U.S. House

Anyone interested in truly understanding why Democrats won a majority of the national popular vote for the U.S. House but made only small gains against the GOP majority won in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 11:21 AM Status Quo Minus in Middle East

I don't regard myself as any sort of expert on the Middle East, so it's impossible to ignore the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas that could soon lead...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 9:59 AM Two Signs 2012 Mattered To the Fiscal Negotiations

There's been an awful lot of talk about the impact of the 2012 elections on the ongoing fiscal negotiations in Washington in terms of the additional leverage the president either...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 9:35 AM The Red-State Equivalent of Nuke-Free Zones

In a post joining the general hilarity over the four-hour briefing that Republican State Senators in my home state of Georgia were treated to in October on the deadly threat...

By Ed Kilgore

November 16, 2012 8:20 AM Daylight Video

Saw the new Bond movie. So naturally, had to post this: The Animals performing "Boom Boom" at Wembley Arena in 1965....

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 6:10 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The longer we get from Election Day, the more pundits already seem ready to forget what happened and why. Here's today's leftovers, including the top two items of GOP spin:...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 5:20 PM The Right Honorable Gentleman From Tennessee, a "Consistent Supporter of Pro-Life Values"

I don't usually get into personal scandals involving politicians; they are virtually required by the nature of the game to be hypocrites and often the kind of egomaniacs who live...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 5:02 PM Brave Conservatives Expose Obama's Sexism

I don't know how long Fox News' Kirsten Powers is going to be able to get away with calling herself a "Democrat" or a "feminist." Without question, she's dipped pretty...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 4:09 PM The Two Sides of the Dear Beer Agenda

By now many of you, I hope, have already read Tim Heffernan's provocative article from the November/December issue of the Monthly about the possible descent of the United States into...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 3:02 PM The Roots of the Benghazi Frenzy

Regular readers know that I am deeply puzzled by the GOP frenzy over what happened in Benghazi. Sure, before the election I can see how it might have been misperceived...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

Throat's raw from trying to hit high notes at choir practice last night, so attribute any sudden lapses in posting to coughing fits. Here's what I've got in the way...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 1:01 PM How Mitt Can Stay In Touch

I had totally missed Mitt Romney's remark during his now-infamous post-election donor call that he was considering staying in touch with his friends and supporters via a "monthly newsletter" of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 12:28 PM The Coming "Struggle For the Soul of the Democratic Party"

Parties who have just won a big presidential election don't usually have to worry a lot about internal strife. Certainly there's little or no sign of disunity in the election...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 10:55 AM It's Still 1980!

Anyone paying attention to the late election cycle had to have become aware at some point that Republicans were obsessed with seeing parallels to the 1980 elections. Obama was cast...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 9:52 AM Did Conservatives Foil Their Own Plan To Gut Voting Rights?

The irony of the U.S. Supreme Court accepting a challenge to the necessity for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act two days after an election characterized by blatant voter...

By Ed Kilgore

November 15, 2012 8:57 AM The Beer is Too Damned Cheap

Over the last few years, two giant multi-national companies, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, have managed to gain control of 80 percent of the beer market in the United States. Now...

By Paul Glastris

November 15, 2012 8:24 AM Daylight Video

Much of conservative fiscal policy reminds me of this song title from David Bowie: "Putting Out Fire With Gasoline."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A real cats-and-dogs day for bloggers. And the random news continues: * Louie Gohmert does it again: nominates Newt Gingrich to become Speaker in closed House GOP Caucus vote. *...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 5:03 PM Nothing New Under the Son

Here's how Pete Kasperowicz of The Hill briefly describes Rep. Ron Paul's "farewell speech" to the House today in recognition of his impending retirement: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) delivered a...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 4:54 PM Black-Out Ops

In his brief summary of Jeffrey Leonard's article in the new November/December issue of the Monthly on the imperative of shifting to relatively cheap, clean and plentiful natural gas to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 4:13 PM Beaten Into a Hasty Retreat

On a slow (meaningful) news day like this one, it's the perfect time to sample some long-form journalism, as is provided by the new November-January issue of the Monthly, which...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 2:59 PM Obama's Presser: Misplaced Anger?

There wasn't anything particularly surprising in the president's first post-election press conference, which focused on fiscal talks, the Petraeus mess, Benghazi, and (briefly) even Syria and climate change. But the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 1:32 PM Lunch Buffet

Man, what a wretched news day! Republicans endlessly raving about Benghazi, the Petraeus mess getting the Celebrity News treatment, and a million phoned-in columns on the fiscal-you-know-what (which I'm calling...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 12:48 PM The Secessionist Boom

Well, we're discovering that at least one segment of the GOP's conservative "base" has found something to do in reaction to the election results other than engaging in a "struggle...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 11:45 AM Time Flies, People Age--But Don't Change Political Identities

One of the most obvious--yet somehow easy to forget--facts about comparing elections over time is that age cohorts age. Today's over-65s were yesterday's 40-64s. So when the voting patterns of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 11:07 AM Mandate From Seniors?

The highly selective nonsense surrounding various claims that "the American people" provided a "mandate" on November 6 for this or that just reached a new peak of absurdity: the idea...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 9:29 AM The Breathlessly Inevitable Result

At the Columbia Journalism Review, Brendan Nyhan makes a good point about the pre- and post-election CWs: The media has undergone a strange change of mindset. Immediately before last Tuesday’s...

By Ed Kilgore

November 14, 2012 8:37 AM Obama's Game of Chicken: How the Administration Took on Big Ag, and Lost

Two years ago, in an effort that went largely unnoticed by the mainstream press, the Obama administration launched a frontal assault on the giant meat and dairy processing companies that...

By Paul Glastris

November 14, 2012 8:17 AM Daylight Video

After a few hours of contemplating holiday travel, here's where I am: the Ramones performing "I Wanna Be Sedated."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

An odd day of waiting for scandal shoes to drop, and distracted partisan spinners to figure out how it affected their spin. Here are some leftovers: * Don't look now,...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 4:51 PM Legalization of Pot: Let's Find Out What Works

In the wake of successful ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana production and consumption, the rest of the country--and the federal government--need to decide what to do. In...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 4:08 PM Another Premature Burial For Christian Right

Brother Benen, among others, is enjoying the discomfiture of the Christian Right's leadership in the wake of Election '12, wherein they not only participated in the GOP's presidential and Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 2:42 PM The Ryan Precedent

Speaking of Paul Ryan: While the inevitable 2016 speculation hasn’t broken out just yet, there’s little doubt the Ryan's is the name we will hear most often from Republicans. He...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 2:09 PM The Bloc Vote Strikes Again

Think Progress' Igor Volsky reports these lines from Paul Ryan about how and why he and Mitt lost: In his first interview since losing the election, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 1:31 PM Lunch Buffet

My wife came downstairs this morning about 7:00 PDT and asked: "Wonder what your momma would think of you eating cookies and pizza for breakfast?" But I was fresh out...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 12:58 PM A Tale of Slow and Surprising Redemption

As a one-time crime policy wonk who drifted into other areas of interest and haven't much kept up, I was startled and pleased by the radical change in conservative attitudes...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 12:23 PM Names To Remember On Filibuster Reform

If Harry Reid does indeed impose some sort of filibuster reform as part of the Senate's rules at the beginning of the next Congress, he only needs 51 votes to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 10:42 AM Grover's Lock on Congress Slipping?

An article by The Hill's Russell Berman suggests that the control over the Republican Members of the U.S. House and Senate by Americans for Tax Reform chieftain Grover Norquist via...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 9:29 AM Sex and Benghazi! Benghazi!

So let's get this straight: a woman who is a close friend of CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and his wife triggers a FBI investigation of threatening emails from another...

By Ed Kilgore

November 13, 2012 8:47 AM The Conservative War on Prisons and the Future of "Bipartisan" Reform

For decades, conservative politicians cleaned up at the polls by championing tough-on-crime policies that swelled America’s prison population to gulag-like levels. But in the last few years, outside the view...

By Paul Glastris

November 13, 2012 8:21 AM Daylight Video

Some mood music for the Petraeus Frenzy: Ry Cooder and the Chicken Skin Band perform "Dark End of the Street" in 1977....

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Wound up working reasonably hard today--but then again, I am not a veteran. Here are some remainders of the day: * As Brother Benen notes, coal baron and maximum GOP...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 4:49 PM No House GOP Mandate, Either

To hear John Boehner, Republican spinners and big elements of the MSM the last few days, the election ratified the 2010-2012 status quo, meaning that the Speaker and other GOP...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 3:37 PM Jerry Brown To Replace California GOP?

An underappreciated election night story (at least nationally) was a historic set of victories achieved by California Democrats. An initiative backed by nearly all Democrats raising taxes passed by a...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 2:29 PM "Fiscal Staircase" Explained

If you've been longing for a simple but thorough explanation of the fiscal-you-know-what, Kevin Drum obliged today, complete with EZ charts on CBO estimates of the impact of various current-policy...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 1:42 PM Lunch Buffet

Don't know if you have the day off, but if you are a veteran, you should. Here are some mid-day morsels for those at work or at home alike: *...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 12:32 PM "Manchurian Candidates"

U.S. Representative Steve LaTourette of Ohio, long hostile to the Tea Folk, has penned the classic Politico op-ed blaming said Folk for the failure of Republicans to win back the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 10:59 AM Closest Thing To a "Mandate"

I've already made my negative views known about the relevance of some purported electoral "mandate"--or its absence--on what happens over the next two-to-four years in Washington. But since much of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 9:56 AM Lost In Babylon

A WaPo piece by Eli Saslow that's getting a lot of buzz today profiles a Republican activist in Tennessee named Beth Cox who is wandering through the tasks associated with...

By Ed Kilgore

November 12, 2012 9:25 AM How We Could Blow the Energy Boom

Tropical Storm Sandy left hundreds of thousands of people without power for days longer than necessary for a simple, frustrating reason: America’s power grid is old, decrepit, poorly maintained, and...

By Paul Glastris

November 12, 2012 8:08 AM Daylight Video

Since Veterans Days (actually yesterday) is being observed by the federal government and many state and local governments today (and we'll be on the usual somewhat relaxed holiday schedule here...

By Ed Kilgore

November 11, 2012 11:34 AM Republicans: Driven by Ideology or Hatred?

[Let me note as a preface that when I say "driven by ideology" I don't mean that in a negative sense, I mean the extent to which Republicans got into...

By Ryan Cooper

November 11, 2012 10:48 AM The Party of Organization

Will Rogers famously said, "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." But James Fallows, musing on the election, writes: For the first time in my conscious life,...

By Ryan Cooper

November 11, 2012 9:09 AM The Deficit Scolds Are a Bunch of Frauds

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy I was watching some Up with Chris this morning (update: posted above) and Hayes about came unglued making...

By Ryan Cooper

November 11, 2012 8:17 AM The Legacy of Petraeus

The military and foreign policy isn't normally my wheelhouse, but this David Petraeus thing is just irresistible. Today the Washington Post reports with some new, truly wretched details: The collapse...

By Ryan Cooper

November 11, 2012 8:04 AM Morning Tunes

For today a track off the Bastion soundtrack, a game I finished last night: It's a great title if you're into that sort of thing. Excellent story. @ryanlcooper...

By Ryan Cooper

November 10, 2012 1:08 PM The Bottomless Money Pit May have Hurt Republicans

Like most liberals, I had some fairly grim thoughts about the shadowy bunch of conservative SuperPACs that were supposedly going to deluge the 2012 race in a sea of money...

By Ryan Cooper

November 10, 2012 10:42 AM For the Good of the GOP and the Nation, Time for a Constitutional Right to Vote

Julius Malema, via Wikimedia. The sad product of a racialist polity. The Supreme Court indicated recently it would take up a Voting Rights Act case. Adam Serwer provides some...

By Ryan Cooper

November 10, 2012 9:31 AM Climate Change Will Blow Up the Deficit

One point that remains little-understood about climate change is that it isn't a traditional environmental issue, where we preserve some bit of nature for the sake of its beauty (with...

By Ryan Cooper

November 10, 2012 8:34 AM President Obama Must Pardon this Man

From the New York Times: Consider the case of Chris Williams, the subject of this Op-Doc video, who opened a marijuana grow house in Montana after the state legalized medical...

By Ryan Cooper

November 10, 2012 8:05 AM Morning Video

In case you haven't seen it, I found this clip of the president losing his famous cool a little quite interesting: Obama is often compared to Spock in his near-total...

By Ryan Cooper

November 09, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Ah, what a week! You've heard about enough from me for a while, so I'll get right on to the day's leftovers: * Petraeus resigns from CIA, citing extramarital affair....

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 5:17 PM Beginning of End For Section 5?

So the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert today in a case in which an Alabama county is challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965....

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 4:49 PM How'd That "War on Religion" Wedge Issue Work Out?

A dog that definitely did not bark on November 7th was the once-very-intense Republican effort to "wedge" Catholic voters with claims the Obama administration was waging a "war on religion,"...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 4:13 PM "Fiscal Landscape-Shift" Maneuvering Begins

There's a lot of confusion and cross-talk over the meaning of the initial post-election maneuvering of the president and the House speaker over negotiations to deal with the so-called "fiscal...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 3:20 PM Turnout Disparities and the Democratic Dilemma for 2014

As Rich Yeselson mentioned in his post earlier today, and as I've harped on now and then for several years, the biggest single under-discussed aspect of contemporary national politics is...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 1:45 PM Lunch Buffet

I really hope readers take the time to absorb the post by Rich Yeselson that went up during the last hour. Aside from offering an acute and historically grounded critique...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 12:50 PM Rage Machine Vs. Turnout Machine

Demography isn’t destiny (or else African Americans would still be voting for the party of Lincoln), but parties and candidates must exercise persuasive agency, lest it become so. By that,...

By Rich Yeselson

November 09, 2012 12:25 PM Is Iron Hot For Filibuster Reform?

Proponents of filibuster reform know that it's a perfectly logical idea for which the Senate never quite seems ready. But the recent abuse of the device by Republicans, aimed clearly...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 11:21 AM GOP Governors to the Rescue!

Something we started hearing on Election Night and that's now picking up steam as a "silver lining" for the GOP's loss and/or as a source for the new, fresh thinking...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 10:30 AM The "Immigration Sellout"

It's really kind of hilarious to watch Republicans working themselves up into the determination to throw the party's nativists (and nativist sentiments) under the bus as the quickest way to...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 9:34 AM The Search

WaPo's Peter Wallsten tells us the GOP is really getting out the torches and bloodhounds to figure out why the irresistible march to victory that began two years ago broke...

By Ed Kilgore

November 09, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

For all kinds of reasons, and none at all, here's the Steve Miller Band with "Living in the USA." Somebody gimme a cheeseburger!...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The Election Post-Mortems aren't over at PA; we'll have more tomorrow, including a post from the always-insightful Rich Yeselson. We may even get around to questioning the future direction of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 5:17 PM Social Promotion

Not being a real close observer of the internal politics of Mitch McConnell's cozy club of Senate Republicans, this lede from Politico's Manu Raju caught me by surprise: John Cornyn’s...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 4:18 PM Final Shoe Drops

Though for some reason television networks haven't bestirred themselves to make it official, Mitt Romney's Florida campaign operation has conceded that the president won Florida, with a majority of the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 3:31 PM Bush Was On the Ballot

Regular readers know that the Washington Monthly has been adamant in arguing that the presidency of George W. Bush should have been a major factor in the 2012 elections, partly...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 2:29 PM That First Debate, In Retrospect

You may recall that in the September/October issue of the Washington Monthly, George Washington University political scientist John Sides cited research showing that presidential debates are rarely decisive events, though...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

Diagnosing the condition of the Republican Party is hard work. I'm a ravening beast, and it's only mid-morning here in California. I'll feed you before hitting my own feed-bag: *...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 1:36 PM Conservative Reaction To Election '12, Part IV: New Leaders

One thing on which pretty much everyone in both parties who was not on the payroll of a candidate pretty much agreed: the 2012 GOP candidate field was a poor...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 11:26 AM Conservative Reaction To Election '12, Part III: No "Centrist" Renewal Project In Sight

It's an obvious corollary to the general consensus in RepublicanLand that more, not less, conservative ideology is the answer to the party's problems, but it's worth noting for the record...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 10:58 AM Conservative Reaction To Election '12, Part II: More, Not Less, Ideology, Please

A second notable characteristic of conservative reaction to Tuesday's election results is the iron conviction that Republican pols from Mitt Romney on down did a poor job of articulating why...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 10:07 AM Conservative Reaction To Election '12, Part I: Despair Not Denial

By and large, I've been surprised by the relative docility with which conservative voices have accepted their defeat on Tuesday. Once the deal went down, there was relatively little talk...

By Ed Kilgore

November 08, 2012 8:30 AM Organized labor delivered for the Dems, but what will it get in return?

On Tuesday's election, labor unions, as usual, played a crucial role in electing Democratic candidates. Union members voted for Barack Obama at a rate of 65% to 33%, according to...

By Kathleen Geier

November 08, 2012 8:11 AM Daylight Video

As a mood-setter for a day of sorting through electoral implications, particularly for our friends in the GOP, here's White Stripes performing "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The guest bloggers made today a whole lot easier. Because they supplied so much content, I put off my posts on the GOP, and am officially declaring tomorrow "Whither the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 5:24 PM The growing power of the Latino vote

Already, there have been countless analyses of why the Democrats did so well in this election, and countless claims that this or that group or factor was "decisive." In any...

By Kathleen Geier

November 07, 2012 4:33 PM The GOP's Secret Plan to Make Me Worry Unnecessarily

Kevin Drum writes that he's "unaccountably exhausted" by the election, even though he didn't much doubt the outcome so didn't feel let down and, living in California, didn't even have...

By Paul Glastris

November 07, 2012 3:43 PM Gay Rights and Our New Libertarian Normal

Last night signaled a monumental victory for gay rights. Same-sex marriage laws were passed by ballot referenda in Washington, Maryland and Maine --with Minnesota voting to block a potential gay...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

November 07, 2012 2:12 PM Time for Puerto Rico to Become the 51st State

In a little-noticed vote last night, after many failed attempts, Puerto Rico voted to officially join the United States as a full state: The two-part referendum asked whether the...

By Ryan Cooper

November 07, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Have a strange hunger for food I can't eat sitting in front of a computer screen. Guess it'll have to wait. Here's what I've got from the rich menu of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 1:17 PM Michelle O. for Senator in 2016?

As I noted below, last night was a great night for women. But though we made significant progress last night, we still have a very long way to go. To...

By Kathleen Geier

November 07, 2012 1:13 PM November 6, 2012: a Terrific Night for Women

Last night was, of course, a great victory for Democrats and liberals. It was also a spectacular night for women. Consider these these numbers: -- We now have a record...

By Kathleen Geier

November 07, 2012 12:44 PM Dems Make Major State Gains

In another bit of unfinished business from Election Night, information on state legislative contests is now becoming readily available. And it seems to have been quite a good night...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 11:44 AM Schadenfreude Thread

I'm working on a couple of sober posts on the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and at some point will get around to the unresolved conflicts...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 11:03 AM What Is This "Mandate" Thing Of Which You Speak?

During the many moments of time-filling on the television networks last night after the presidential outcome was clear, the most popular topic was the lack of a "mandate" flowing from...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 10:33 AM The Mystery of Why Republicans Were So Sure They'd Win

Over the weekend, I had an extensive conversation with a longtime Republican operative, a veteran of three GOP White Houses, who insisted, despite all the poll data to the contrary,...

By Paul Glastris

November 07, 2012 9:40 AM Morning-After

Not a lot changed during my few hours of sleep after our election night coverage ended. AP has called the Nevada Senate race for incumbent Republican Dean Heller (others haven't...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 8:57 AM Daylight Video

Sorry for the late start, but 'twas blogging pretty late last night. In commemoration of the end of this election cylce, here's The Band performing "I Shall Be Released" in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 07, 2012 2:35 AM Nite Owl Notes

Just watched the president's speech, and thought it was a very impressive effort for someone who had to be bone-tired. Critics will call it non-substantive, but it provided about as...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 11:59 PM Aftermath

* Hope you pardon me for a pause after the Big Moment. As I said, it's been a long cycle, and I called my parents to make sure they were...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 11:14 PM Election Results Live-Blog X: West Coast Closes!

* Quick calls of California, Washington, Hawaii for Obama, Idaho for Romney; no call yet in Oregon. * Chuck Todd on NBC suggesting Obama will win OH and CO, and...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 10:55 PM Election Results Live-Blog IX: Waiting For the Inevitable

* As we wait for calls in the remaining battleground states, let's note that (per Daily Kos) marriage equality referenda are currently winning in Maryland (narrowly) and Maine (more comfortably),...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 10:29 PM Election Results Live-Blog VIII: Breakthrough

* Polls about to close in IA and NV, but NBC has now called NH for Obama. That means unless Mitt wins OH, even sweeping ALL the remaining battleground states...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 9:49 PM Election Results Live-Blog VII: Tension City

* Lotta confusing micro-analysis on the tube right now, though CNN (other than Blitzer) is doing a decent job of contextualizing county results in battleground states. Colorado really does look...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 9:31 PM Election Results Live-Blog VI: Last Big Wave of Poll Closings

* Big news: Massachusetts Senate called for Elizabeth Warren, Indiana Senate race called for Joe Donnelly. Republicans have probably lost the Senate. * Wolf really aiming at low-information voters: "Look...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 8:53 PM Election Results Live-Blog V: Waiting For Dominoes To Fall

* Hilarious to watch Wolf Blitzer try to build suspense over polls closing in Arkansas at 8:30. "This is an election where every electoral vote counts." * Truth be told,...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 8:24 PM Election Results Live-Blog IV: Here Comes the Big Wave

* CNN's Candy Crowley reports from Romney HQ in Boston: they're playing jazz, not looking too happy. Candy says everybody understands Mitt's got to win in nearly every close state....

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 7:55 PM Election Results Live-Blog III: Polls Close in Ohio!

* WV called for Romney, but here's the biggie from CNN: Obama up three in Ohio according to exits; North Carolina tied! Very bad sign for Mitt; my little birdie...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 7:29 PM Election Results Live-Blog II

* When polls closed at 7:00, the nets called Vermont for Obama and Kentucky for Romney. No surprise there. Virginia exits showing tie. * Mourdock running eleven percentage points behind...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 6:58 PM Election Results Live-Blog I: Is Obama Already Winning?

* CNN continues to drop big hints, mostly encouraging for Obama (bellwether county in Indiana going for Obama; Romney pollster said to have shown Obama winning Ohio by 5 yesterday)....

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 6:18 PM Will Tonight's Losing Candidate Be Gracious or Grudging?

On NPR's Talk of the Nation this afternoon, host Neil Conan was asking former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson and me about the role of concession speeches in American politics. As...

By Paul Glastris

November 06, 2012 6:13 PM Election Results Live-Blog: Intro

Polls just closed in most of Indiana and in Eastern Kentucky. No results just yet. Exit polls are in with the consortium's media clients, and we'll soon see some revealing...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 5:42 PM Six important things political science tells us about presidential elections

At long last, we've arrived at the finish line of this bruising, maddening, exhausting presidential race. As we anxiously await the election returns in the hours before the polls close,...

By Kathleen Geier

November 06, 2012 4:52 PM Linda McMahon and Obama 4Ever

Today, some odd "sample ballots" can be found fluttering around Connecticut polling places, featuring two photos with checkmarks next to them: one of Barack Obama, and one of Senate candidate...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

November 06, 2012 3:36 PM Chaos in Philly?

As a supplement to Simon's earlier roundup of voting-place irregularities, check out this alarming report from the Philadelphia City Paper: The names of registered Philadelphia voters are not showing up...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 3:19 PM Rather's "Gut" Perfect End To MSM Campaign Punditry

It's probably appropriate, if sad, that a relic of the days when three network news anchors stood athwart American political journalism like colossi nicely sums up this year's MSM punditry....

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 3:12 PM Fake Ohio News Show Perfect End To Anti-Obama Drive

Ah, but it's the perfect ending to the conservative drive to eject Barack Obama from office: a fake news show in Ohio that's an ill-disguised attack ad. This is per...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 3:08 PM Whoever Wins, We Must Destroy the Electoral College

Let me assent to these posts by Tim Noah, David Dayen, and Paul Waldman. Even if President Obama gets another term by winning the electoral college and losing the popular...

By Ryan Cooper

November 06, 2012 2:45 PM Election Night Memories

The thing about being an old goat of a political junkie is that you can remember a lot of Election Nights. This is my eleventh presidential election as a registered...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 2:12 PM Early Good News for Liz Warren

Here's a reminder of just how tough it'll be for Scott Brown to win tonight in Massachusetts. In the January 2010 special election that catapulted him to the Senate, a...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

November 06, 2012 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

We've been trying to keep you semi-satiated with even more posting than usual, but it's a hungry day, so here are some mid-day treats: * Don't know if it's the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 1:22 PM Your Voter Suppression Round-Up

Here's a brief rundown of the various shenanigans and legal roadblocks that may have dampened turnout thus far in battleground states. Florida Early Voting In response to the interminable lines...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

November 06, 2012 12:56 PM Votes and Consequences

Given the fairly steady diet of talk this morning about this election cycle being petty and avoiding "big issues," here's a huzzah for Greg Sargent's passionate post about the ways...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 12:24 PM Your Election Day Tailgate At Ten Miles Square

I really didn't realize it until this morning, but the sheer volume of great new content published at Ten Miles Square yesterday and today is amazing. There's the "stakes of...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 11:35 AM Final Early Voting Numbers

Late yesterday Aaron Blake of WaPo's The Fix put out the final version of his Early Vote Tracker by state. You can review the whole thing over there, but what...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 10:58 AM Early Election Night Timetable

There are all sorts of systematic "viewing guides" for following the returns out there this morning (here, here, here and here), but frankly, if you're paying attention to any major...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 9:48 AM Election Day/Night at PA

I mentioned all this yesterday, but as a reminder: Political Animal will be providing pretty extensive election day, election night, and post-election coverage. Tonight, beginning at 6:00 PM EST, I'll...

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 9:11 AM Game Reset

As Election Day begins, the political situation is a bit clearer than it's been in recent weeks. Something reasonably resembling the status quo is likely to be maintained in Congress....

By Ed Kilgore

November 06, 2012 8:00 AM Daylight Video

Let's start Election Day with the great Leonard Cohen performing "Democracy" in 1993....

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So it's time to rest up for a heavy 24 hours-plus, animals. Here's what I've got in leftovers from today: * Bill Keller travels to Paul Ryan's alma mater in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 5:39 PM Polling's Big Cautious Berthas Weigh In

So the final tracking polls from Gallup and ABC/WaPo weighed in today, with large samples and similar internals. Gallup, after showing Mitt up four to six points among LVs in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 4:54 PM The Seer

Like many of you no doubt, I've been trying to avoid the vast late-autumn harvest of Pure Spin pouring out of TV and computer screens today. Polls, yes. Actual analysis,...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 4:12 PM Meanwhile, Back in the States

You wouldn't much know it from the national political media (including yours truly), but 44 states (all but Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia) will be holding state...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 2:53 PM The Looming Post-Election GOP Tempest in a Teapot

It's not often that I read a political article outside the Greater Wingnutosphere and issue forth a full Chris Rockian "That ain't right!" But Jonathan Martin's Politico piece today on...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 1:33 PM Lunch Buffet

A very quiet pre-election day here in Central California, particularly if you don't watch the tube and get bombarded by the final ballot initiative ads. Yeah, there are some hot...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 1:01 PM Multi-Racial Coalitions

Kathleen Geier here at PA over the weekend; Brother Benen this morning; and many others have noted with great annoyance the meme that Obama's relative weakness among white voters somehow...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 12:15 PM GOP's Racial Gamble Backfiring

As has been evident since at least 2008 (but was best explained earlier this year by Jonathan Chait), this year's Republican campaign has been based on a big strategic gamble...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 11:21 AM The Right's Dream Fades

Forgive the repetition, but since it continues to be an underreported story, you can argue the most momentous development of the latter stages of this campaign has been the very...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 9:58 AM Romney's Keystone Gambit

One of the major stories in the end-game of the 2012 presidential elections has been the late decision by the Romney campaign to "play" (via both paid advertising and significant...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 8:51 AM GOTNV

It should be a surprise to no one, but it still feels wrong that going into Election Day, one of our two major parties seems to be putting so much...

By Ed Kilgore

November 05, 2012 8:02 AM Daylight Video

As a tribute to those battling to exercise their right to vote, here's Mavis Staple performing "We Shall Not Be Moved."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 04, 2012 11:25 PM This year's most intriguing ballot referendum: Montana's corporate personhood initiative

Montana is among the deepest of red states. Mitt Romney currently enjoys a comfortable lead there, and Nate Silver estimates that he has a 98% probability of winning the state....

By Kathleen Geier

November 04, 2012 4:25 PM Todd Akin's secret history of abortion protest arrests: the G.O.P.'s new normal

The National Journal is reporting that Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin was arrested at least eight times in the 1980s in anti-abortion protests. The crimes he was arrested for include tresspassing...

By Kathleen Geier

November 04, 2012 1:03 PM Election 2012: the G.O.P. whining begins

In less than 48 hours, Election Day will be here. And while quite a few leading lights of the G.O.P. continue desperatelyspinning the fantastic delusion of a Romney landslide, the...

By Kathleen Geier

November 04, 2012 12:23 PM The worst idea I've heard before breakfast . . .

. . . And certainly among the very worst of its kind since Congress, in its infinite wisdom, decided to rename DC's National Airport after Ronald Reagan. A campaign...

By Kathleen Geier

November 04, 2012 8:55 AM Are the Washington Post's editorial and business divisions on a collision course?

This Washington Post story about the financial condition of the Washington Post Co. is illuminating. Unsurprisingly, but worryingly, its newspaper and online divisions are big money losers. Somewhat surprising is...

By Kathleen Geier

November 04, 2012 8:16 AM Sandy, climate change, and Michael Bloomberg's failure

What's wrong with this picture? Here's New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, earlier this week in his much-praised (by liberals, at least) endorsement of Barack Obama for president: “Our climate...

By Kathleen Geier

November 03, 2012 10:25 PM Just when you thought it was safe to breathe a sigh of relief . . .

I'm feeling reasonably sanguine about Obama's chances of winning, but in the last couple of hours I've heard a few things that are making me slightly nervous. I'm not panicking,...

By Kathleen Geier

November 03, 2012 3:26 PM The women of America have a message for Mitt Romney and the G.O.P.

More after the jump....

By Kathleen Geier

November 03, 2012 11:32 AM Election 2012: what are the biggest/most intriguing unanswered questions?

Has this election season been running longer than Berlin Alexanderplatz, or what? It certainly seems to have been going on forever. The Republican primaries, featuring the clown car of Rick...

By Kathleen Geier

November 03, 2012 9:13 AM Why Hurricane Sandy may help Obama at the polls

As we head into the final weekend before Election Day, the big question on many people's minds is whether Hurricane Sandy will have an impact on the election, and if...

By Kathleen Geier

November 03, 2012 9:01 AM Mitt Romney lands a big endorsement . . .

. . . albeit in the not-exactly-crucial demographic of cartoon villains and their amusingly creepy sidekicks. To paraphrase Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose of Cairo, they're fictional, but you...

By Kathleen Geier

November 02, 2012 5:53 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Hard to believe The Big Day is so near. I usually try to ignore politics altogether on weekends, and will definitely make an effort to recharge batteries tomorrow and Sunday....

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 5:11 PM The Ultimate GOTV Appeal

Yesterday we all enjoyed Bishop Daniel Jenky's encyclical essentially ordering the people of the Diocese of Peoria to vote for Romney/Ryan on pain of eternal damnation. But at Religion Dispatches...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 4:22 PM The Game-Changing Endorsement!

Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer included an eye-opening op-ed: an endorsement of Mitt Romney by a former Democratic congressman (and city council president) from the Cleveland area, one James Stanton. The...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 4:01 PM Oh, the Humanity!

I don't want to make this California Day at PA, but do want to share a local experience to reinforce my earlier discussion in the post on the Mourdock disaster...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 3:02 PM Down To the Wire in California

Finally, California's authoritative Field Poll is out with some final findings, and on the ballot initiative that will determine whether the state goes into another, and perhaps terminal, Fiery Budget...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 1:22 PM Lunch Buffet

Spending lots of time thinking about Election Night plan and beyond. Thanks to those who made suggestions in the thread yesterday. It's an oddly slow political news day so far,...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 12:29 PM Bush On the Ballot--Now More Than Ever

It's probably safe to say no publication has more consistently promoted the idea that "George W. Bush is on the ballot" in 2012 than the Washington Monthly. And that goes...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 11:45 AM Early Voting: "Who" Matters As Much as "How Many"

It's safe to say that the entire political universe has tried at one point or another to divine the outcome of the 2012 presidential contest based on hints from early...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 10:31 AM Bad News For Mourdock

Sometimes in a political race where nobody has a clear sense of where things stand, a poll will come out that just makes everybody say: "Whoa, okay, I get it."...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 9:43 AM Re-Shredding the "Incumbent Rule"

Scratch the surface of almost every projection of a late-developing Romney victory and you will probably find what used to be called "the incumbent rule," the idea that late-deciding voters...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 8:50 AM October Jobs Report: Final Bit of Good News For Obama

So the October Jobs Report from BLS beat expectations quite a bit, with 171,000 net new jobs (consensus expectation had been 121k), and revisions to the last two monthly reports...

By Ed Kilgore

November 02, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Just four days to go until the longest presidential cycle ever ends. Here's Tammy Wynette and George Jones with today's anthem: "We're Gonna Hold On," performed in 1973....

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It was an entertaining day in politics, what with everybody on every side loosening the purse strings on final ad buys and making all those "final arguments," not to mention...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 5:33 PM I Take It Back!

Last week I wrote a post (half-facetious, but only half) saying some unkind things about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's presumption in demanding that the two presidential candidates accept his...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 5:12 PM The Problematic "Magic Vote"

Just read two very interesting pieces--Jonathan Chait's "case for Obama" column, and John Dickerson's Slate piece on last-minute undecided voters--and reached a somewhat depressing conclusion: the election may hinge on...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 3:11 PM Election Night At Political Animal

We're still in the process of making plans for Election Night and beyond here at PA. I definitely plan to live-blog the results as long as they are in any...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 2:37 PM Rape On Their Minds

With yet another Republican candidate for high office--Washington congressional candidate John Koster--offering us his pithy thoughts on how it was fine by him to force rape victims to bear the...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 1:44 PM Lunch Buffet

Had a fine breakfast of discounted Halloween cupcakes I picked up late last night, in a momentary failure of self-respect. So I'll be eating lite for lunch, but you shouldn't...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 12:35 PM Silver Threads and Golden Needles

I haven't had much to say about the bizarre controversy surrounding Nate Silver's methodology at FiveThirtyEight (a site to which I contributed before the New York Times bought it and...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 11:59 AM Our SOB

Better late than never, I suppose, per Politico's John Bresnahan and Manu Raju: Rep. Todd Akin and the Missouri Republican Party are launching a nearly $700,000 TV ad blitz in...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 11:42 AM Two Catholic Voices Weigh In

It's that time of the cycle where various people and institutions, for reasons ranging from simple partisanship to conscience to opportunism to irresponsible whim, officially weigh in on candidate preferences....

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 10:31 AM Heard It All Before

This report from Michael Barbaro of the New York Times speaks for itself: Lately, Mr. Romney cannot stop talking about how much he wants to work with Democrats. “I will...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 9:38 AM All Lawyered Up and Ready To Go

This morning's political buzz is interesting: the drumbeat of conservative commentary triumphantly concluding that the election is over with Barack Obama sure to be driven out of the White House...

By Ed Kilgore

November 01, 2012 8:11 AM Daylight Video

A little tribute to our would-be corporate masters: "Everything Counts" (plus "Never Let Me Down Again") from Depeche Mode, performing at the Rose Bowl in 1988....

By Ed Kilgore

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