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Can Democrats Turn Anger Into Action? Don’t Bet On It

Presidential losses often spur political lamentation. For Democrats this has often meant a turn towards moderation. As David Weigel and Karen Tumulty write for the Washington Post: After previous defeats, the modern Democratic Party typically plunged into a discussion between a moderate wing and a liberal wing. George McGovern’s 1972 loss led to an internal party battle against the New Left. After Walter Mondale’s 1984 defeat, a group of moderate strategists formed the Democratic Leadership Council. After the 2004 defeat of John F. Kerry, a new generation of like-minded strategists launched Third Way, with a focus on lost moderate voters….

Democrats Losing Silicon Valley, Not Just the Rust Belt

The blue-collar Rust Belt has been the primary focus of the post-election sturm and drang among restless Democrats. Those states, once considered to be the party’s “blue wall,” i.e. the states that were the “givens” in their electoral strategy, have been walloped by larger economic forces for decades. Those voters, typically thought of as small town, blue-collar, white, evangelicals, have grown pessimistic about their future, worried about crumbling social mores, and pissed off about the government’s willingness to throw them under the bus in the name of progress. They voted in huge numbers for Donald Trump because he was the…

Unions Looking for Political Home After Being Deserted by Democrats

Donald Trump didn’t waste much time proving that his presidency wasn’t going to abide by traditional political boundaries. On his very first day in office he met with business leaders, whom he wooed with promises of reduced regulation and lower taxes, then threatened with a border tax if they moved jobs outside the United States. And then he engaged in a “listening session” with labor leaders and workers in order to get their ideas about how to re-energize American manufacturing. It was a perfect demonstration of how Donald Trump won. He broke away from false Republican dogma, which for some…

Kids These Days Have It Anything But Easy

Every generation tends to not understand the ones that come after it. They don’t like the music, they don’t like the fashion, and they don’t like that things have supposedly gotten easier over time. It’s a combination of the “back in my day we had to walk to school every day, uphill both ways” philosophy and the notion that “kids these days have it too easy.” But the relationship between the Baby Boomer and Millennial generation feels especially sour. Millennials are thought to be a bunch of infantilized, special snowflakes who expect things to be handed to them rather than…

Memo to Democrats: If Everything is an Outrage, Nothing Is

Congressional Democrats are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, as Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told Politico, the party is attempting to understand “how far left their base has careened in just the past few weeks.” But on the other hand, they’re attempting to save the 10 Senate Democrats running for reelection in states won by Donald Trump (five of which he won by double digits). Catering to the leftist elements of your party while also allowing members to prove their moderate bona fides is a difficult line to walk. And right now Democrats have…

With Gorsuch, Trump Delivered on His Biggest Campaign Promise

There were a lot of reasons that Democrats were playing on an uneven playing field from the moment that Hillary Clinton won the Democrat primary. After all, their candidate was a scandal-prone Washington insider with ties to big banks at a time when voters were demanding something new, something revolutionary. But the Supreme Court pick was the ace in Republicans pocket. The GOP figured out a long time ago that the courts, for better or worse, had evolved into a primary driver of policy change. The Congress still mattered, but a combination of activist judges who were willing to re-write…

Democrats’ Interest in Intersectionality Is a Political Dead End

Democrats gathered in small town West Virginia—a state President Trump won by 40 points—to learn how to talk to “real people.” The day’s agenda included a “discussion with Trump voters” moderated by Sen. Joe Minchin and “speaking to this who feel invisible in rural America” led by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. Other sessions included: “Listening to this who feel unheard” and “Rising America – They feel unheard too.” In normal circumstances Americans could take comfort in knowing that Democrats are trying to talk to people whom they now admit feel “invisible” and “unheard,” but these are not normal circumstances….

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick is a Perfect Scalia Successor

“The Constitution,” according to President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, “isn’t some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams … but a carefully drafted text judges are charged with applying according to its original public meaning.” It’s a philosophy befitting the replacement of Justice Antonin Scalia, the ardent, colorful textualist who passed away last year. Justice Scalia was no doubt one of a kind, an institution in his own right who will live on through his enormous contribution to originalist jurisprudence. But, never one for ego, Scalia will be much more satisfied knowing that…

Democrats’ Scorched Earth Strategy is Bound to Backfire

Donald Trump never received the benefit of the honeymoon that new presidents typically enjoy. There was no wave of bipartisan goodwill that swept across the nation, no recognition that he is everyone’s president, no deferential posture by the opposition party to his 100-day agenda. Instead, from jump street, he was treated to calls of “not my president,” editorials demanded not just resistance, but defiance, and dozens of House Democrats normalized these responses by boycotting Trump’s inauguration. Now, Politico reports, the delegitimization efforts are becoming more formalized by Democrat Party leaders looking for a path back to relevancy. Gabriel Debenedetti writes:…

School Choice Week Highlights Opportunity for GOP Reforms

Just days before leaving office President Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan called his $7 billion attempt to turn around failing schools “arguably the biggest bet” made by the administration. Duncan was confident in the bet. He felt that the money, given to schools through School Improvement Grants, would make a tremendous dent in the number of failing schools in America. Duncan said he believed that the grants could turn around 1,000 schools each year for five years. “We could really move the needle, lift the bottom and change the lives of tens of millions of underserved children,” Duncan said. But…