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So Long 2016 and Buh-Bye Clintonism

So long 2016. It’s been awful knowing you. You gave us Syria, Zika, Nice, and Brussels. And you took Bowie, Prince, Ali and Cohen. That is quite possibly the worst deal since President Obama gave Iran billions in cash and the green light to enrich uranium in return for…the ability to ask nicely for permission to inspect nuclear facilities? Oh, that deal happened this year too? Damn. But the year wasn’t all bad. After all, it spelled the end of Clintonism. Todd Purdue writes for Politico: By all accounts, Bill and Hillary Clinton never had any [qualms about building a…

Trump Bringing the “Art of the Deal” to a Bloated Military

The Republican party has recently been known for being defense hawks, concerned about the growing domestic threat of terrorism and religious extremism, (though this has been tempered by a libertarian streak) and fiscal hawks, fearful for the long-term impacts that an imbalanced budget can have on a nation’s finances. Yet these two elements of the party platform have largely existed in silos and often their goals have seemed to be in conflict. President-elect Donald Trump appears ready to change that. This tug-of-war was most notable in the so-called “debt ceiling crisis” of 2011 and subsequent “fiscal cliff” of 2013. After…

Trump Bringing the “Art of the Deal” to a Bloated Military

The Republican party has recently been known for being defense hawks, concerned about the growing domestic threat of terrorism and religious extremism, (though this has been tempered by a libertarian streak) and fiscal hawks, fearful for the long-term impacts that an imbalanced budget can have on a nation’s finances. Yet these two elements of the party platform have largely existed in silos and often their goals have seemed to be in conflict. President-elect Donald Trump appears ready to change that. This tug-of-war was most notable in the so-called “debt ceiling crisis” of 2011 and subsequent “fiscal cliff” of 2013. After…

Obama’s Tenure Marked by Over-Promising and Under-Delivering

President Barack Obama’s campaigns were sold using a simple tagline: Hope and change. Put frankly, it was overpromised and under-delivered during his tenure in the White House. But in many important respects it was also a fairly low bar to clear. Hope, in and of itself, does not make anyone materially better off, it’s just a feeling that our nation is headed in the right direction. It doesn’t change the path of our daily lives, just the direction of our thoughts. First lady Michelle Obama implicitly acknowledged this in a recent conversation she had with Oprah Winfrey aired on CBS…

Trump’s “Team of Rivals” Is Better Than Obama’s “Yes Men”

Barack Obama’s cult of personality was evident from his campaign’s earliest days. Even Democratic dogmatist Paul Krugman could see it: I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. He wasn’t the first, nor was he the last. If anything, the hero-worship became more pronounced when President Obama entered the White House. Rather than fight it, Obama embraced it. “I think that I’m…

Democrats: The Year of Tactical Thinking

Today marks the gloriously mundane holiday affectionally known by Seinfeld fans as Festivus. It’s a day established as an alternative to the perceived pressures of commercialism that overwhelm some during the Christmas season. The celebration includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, and most importantly, rituals, such as the “Airing of Grievances.” Clinton supporters haven’t waited for the made-up holiday to complain about their Election Day performance, instead using each and every day since November 8 to explain just how badly they were wronged. At this point, they’ve blamed everyone and everything you could possibly think of, with…

Democrats Doing Themselves No Favors In Run-Up to 2018

We’re less than two months past Republicans’ smashing victory in the the 2016 elections. And we’re still weeks away from when Members of the 115th Congress will be sworn in. So of course it feels like the perfect time to begin thinking about the 2018 elections. We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t it way too early to even think about what could happen two years from now, especially given just how politically unpredictable the Trump Administration could be? To which the answer is yes. It’s way too early. But hey, if we can begin celebrating Christmas on November 1, just…

Trump Ready to Follow Through On Obama’s Promise to Roll Back Regulations

Republicans made it a clean sweep this election season. Against all odds, Republicans maintained their Congressional majorities, won the White House, and presumably ensured that a conservative justice will be appointed to the Supreme Court. And yet, the biggest win, at least in terms of the impact it will have on the lives of average Americans has gone overlooked: the so-called “Fourth Branch” of government. Jonathan Turley writes for the Washington Post about just how big and powerful the administrative state has become: The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the…

Trump Embracing Doubters. Liberals? Not So Much

The post-election period has further illuminated the illiberal feelings harbored by many purported liberals. Rather than make an effort to find common ground with the president, or even to engage in principled opposition, many liberal thinkers are instead content to fight a figment of their imagination. “Let me tell you here where I stand on your ‘I hope we can get along’ plea: Never,” New York Times’ author Charles Blow wrote after Trump met with the editorial board. “You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything – no matter whom it aligns you with…

Fake News is a Convenient Excuse, But It’s Not the Real Reason Clinton Lost

Smart businesspeople don’t just throw their money into the wind and hope that it turns a profit. They expect a return on their investment. And if it doesn’t happen they want answers. Such is the case with the Clinton campaign, which was seemingly able to turn a shoe-in candidate and more than $1 billion in campaign contributions into nothing more than disappointment and disbelief. Now, Democrats donors are demanding a full-blown accounting of what went wrong. Gabriel Debenedetti writes for Politico: The call for a deep and detailed accounting of how Clinton lost a race that she and her donors…