Last week Donald Trump's rallies took yet another dark turn, but if he plays his cards right, a few months down the line he might have succeeded in muddying reality enough to have most Republicans blaming Democrats for what he started.
With Iowa's caucuses on the horizon, the GOP primary has only gotten more unpredictable. What it reveals is a number of fault lines in what was once a party neatly unified by tax cuts, "family values" and Old Glory.
Republicans don't have to run on lower tax rates for the middle class. They just have promise to stick it to the "others" whether it's denying benefits or a path to citizenship, deportation, abusive policing, long prison sentences.
What if angry working class whites aren't attracted to Trump because of economic anxiety? What if their “anxiety” is really just about simple racism — the fact that people they believe are inferior to them are becoming equal in society?
Trump understands the base of the GOP a lot better than Mitt Romney and the Sunday talking heads. These GOP base voters like Putin. Like so much else, Trump is just channeling an existing right wing phenomenon.
My advice is this: imagine how you would act if you were confronted by a gang banger with a gun and conduct yourself in exactly the same way when you are in the presence of the police. Your "rights" do you just a much good in that moment.
Is this country is based on religion? Millions of our fellow Americans believe it is. They aren't going to change because somebody on TV says "demographics" require them to. They will fight for their worldview. So don't write them off.
The time is ripe for a woman president and it’s ripe for an unabashed progressive populist agenda. If Hillary Clinton seizes this moment and runs with it, she could make history in more ways than one.
Republicans have a right to savor their victory. But not a lot has changed except that the hard right of the GOP is still ascendant. Which makes the 2016 election very interesting indeed.
The political world is abuzz with the news that Zephyr Teachout made a much more serious run at Andrew Cuomo than anyone anticipated. For a campaign with no money in the most expensive market in the nation, it's quite an achievement.
It's much easier to believe that the first African American president failed to deliver on a promise he never made than admit that our society has a huge, moral hole at its very center.
Ahhh, the ongoing dream of a "radical centrist" revolution. For some reason it always ends up doing absolutely nothing except make money for the people who sell it as a way to keep the rabble in line.
The latest rulings from the Roberts Court make one thing abundantly clear. It's a good time to be an abstract legal concept called a corporation. A woman, not so much. Neither is it a good time to be a public employee.
Republicans revere the military for all its traditional masculine virtues. So, veterans deserve health care. Poor people (who are not veterans or elderly white people) do not. This is the simple equation that guides their philosophy.
Wealthy elites truly believe they not only work harder than the rest of us but that they are actually better people, with higher moral values. How else can one explain the fact that they have so much money?
Once you let those illegitimate votes count, Real Americans are denied their franchise. In fact, counting the votes of African Americans and Latinos is the real vote suppression.
We are generally quite content to live in a country with vast disparities in rights, health, wealth and security out of some outdated fealty to "states' rights." And that lies at the root of so many of our problems.
It doesn't matter if they'll save money and get better coverage; they just know they're going to die. These people simply put their fingers in their ears and sing "lalalalala."
It's election time, when the Republicans decide it's time to troll for votes among their lovely base by kicking the poor. Thus, Rep. Paul Ryan's back with a budget that re-brands the GOP's "War On the Poor" as "Poverty Reform."
If 43% of Democrats are now willing to call themselves liberal, it is obviously no longer a shameful label. I don't know why, but 43% of one of the major parties is a big constituency. It's a plurality, and it's growing.
Right wing ideologues are no long just preaching their beliefs and trying to persuade people to go along. They know they cannot allow facts and knowledge to be shared with the public or the results of their handiwork will be obvious to all.
I knew about Christie's little "deal" some time ago, but apparently it's just now coming to the attention of the Washington press. It's a case of the Washington establishment falling in love with a man who's willing to slap liberals around.
Elites believe that all that matters is that the possibility exists for someone to get rich. After all, that's their highest value, so it must be that for everyone. But acquiring great wealth isn't the holy grail for most people.
Conservatives are pushing back at the charge they are sabotaging Obamacare. They insist it's just imploding all on its own (despite the fact that it actually isn't.) But in one case, they're just admitting it right up front.
Why do people like the bullying tough guy types such as Chris Christie? Are they looking for someone to "take charge" in a world in which they feel a loss of control. Maybe. But can he get a majority to vote for him?
"Misfortune?" Really? I think of misfortune as getting cancer or losing your job. Getting caught for illegally using your power to punish innocent people is something else entirely.
E.J. Dionne makes an interesting argument today designed specifically for the Village. I don't know how it's going to go over. But it's good to see him making the argument, because it sounds like what I've been writing for about ten years.
It's going to take years to build up a real, universal system and much of that is going to come from work in the 50 states. It means we will be living with an unequal system for many years, but that's an old story in America, isn't it?
The fight to extend unemployment insurance may not be quite done yet. Even the misanthropic Republicans are subject to the pressure from normal people not to be cruel and ungenerous, especially at Christmas time.
Forcing people off of unemployment insurance does not result in these people becoming employed, as all the Republicans insist will happen. Instead, they simply fall off the grid and have no discernible income at all.
... introduces a very useful piece of legislation. Now, employers may very well find ways to use this information anyway. But at least it's a consciousness raising exercise that could affect some corporations. This is good stuff.
It's a tiny deal, which is always better than a big deal when you're dealing with these Republicans. But large spending cuts remain the bipartisan objective of the budget as far as the eye can see.
A nasty little Google boy gets mad and says what he really thinks: "This is a city for the right people who can afford it. You can't afford it? ... It's time for you to leave."
President Obama gave a nice speech today about income inequality --- and didn't mention cutting "entitlements," or express a spirit of compromise and bipartisanship either. The Village smelling salt concession must be all sold out.
For a lot of people, government is seen as a simple tool to take their money and give it to people who don't "deserve" it. That's how these ideas are sold to the people --- by appealing to their baser natures.
Kids, don't say Harry Reid never did anything for you. He and the Senate Democrats just ended the use of the filibuster for executive branch appointments and lower court judges. Right-wing dominance of our judicial system will be diluted.
I guess it's to be expected. When you have as much money as the upper 1% have, this stuff is just pocket change. They might as well follow their bliss. And corporations can fund their pro-corporate agenda and get a nice tax write-off.
Considering the recent performance of the U.S. economy, and the ongoing, relentless pursuit of austerity it's, an especially bad time to be making any "trade deals." So let's just table that little project for the time being, shall we?
Just a reminder here that the Grand Bargain was not conceived as a "deal" between the Republicans and Democrats to cut the "entitlements" in exchange for some "revenue." That's the "Balanced Approach" set forth by the President in the 2012 campaign.
It is a bit worrying that the White House has to explain virtually every day now that just because it sounds like White House officials and the president are putting entitlements on the chopping block doesn't mean they really are doing it.