The Stillborn Presidency

The American presidency has a good deal of military hardware behind it, but much of the president’s power, especially domestically, consists of soft power. “Political capital” became a cliche in the 2000’s, but the idea is borne out: A president has only so much goodwill to expend on unpopular policies. The amount of a president’s…

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The Progression of TrumpWorld’s Russia Denials

Paul Manafort (whose “limited role” in the Trump campaign lasted from March 2016 to August 2016, including three months as campaign chairman and chief strategist) on This Week, July 24, 2016: STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me follow-up on that question from Bill Kristol, who, of course, is not part of the Clinton camp. Are there any ties between…

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A Response to Conservative Reactions to Comey’s Firing

Conservatives—in particular, Fox News and Breitbart, which are carrying the administration’s water these days—were quick to dismiss the rest of the country’s shock at Comey’s firing. Their talking points are generally unified and fall into one of three categories. Democrats were calling for Comey’s head in October, but now they’re upset he was fired!  The…

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A Guide to TrumpSpeak

“Many people are saying . . . ”: Only I, Donald Trump, am saying this thing. “I’ve been seeing a lot of things . . . ”: I read a single article from Breitbart, or watched a single piece on Fox News, about this issue. “This [legislation] is fantastic”: I haven’t read this bill, and…

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New Travel Ban, Same as the Old Travel Ban

Trump’s new travel ban tries to fix some of the mistakes of the old travel ban, which the administration rolled out in January to mass confusion, lawsuits, and uneven enforcement. The new ban, like the old ban, suspends visa processing for immigrants from six countries — minus Iraq — for 90 days. The new ban…

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Kellyanne Conway: No Benefit of the Doubt

Earlier this week, on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway justified President Obama’s 2011 not-actually-a-travel-ban: “I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre….

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On the Need for Evidence-Based Policy

On Friday, January 27, at about 5:00 p.m. eastern time, the Trump administration announced a sudden, unilateral, and blanket moratorium on entry into the United States by any person coming from one of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Yemen. Chaos ensued. Travelers who were in the air when the…

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Some Links for Today

Among the charges leveled at Hillary Clinton (usually by Bernie supporters) is the claim that the Podesta email leaks prove that she was manipulating the media into positive coverage. This article from before November 8 convincingly refutes that claim. When Hillary began her campaign, she had a favorability rating of 50 percent. By the end of…

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Put Away Your Open Letters and Online Petitions

Listen, liberals: we’re not going to survive the next four years if all you’ve got to offer is Open Letters and Online Petitions. No one cares what you think if all you have to offer is shame. Your opponents have no shame. You can’t shame the shameless, and even if they did, your opponents’ supporters just…

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President Obama Can’t Force the Senate to ‘Waive’ Its Advice and Consent

Democrats are rightly furious that Senate Republicans stole a Supreme Court nominee from President Obama. With almost a year left in Obama’s administration, senators like Mitch McConnell made bogus, disingenuous arguments about how the American people deserve to select the next Supreme Court justice. Never mind that the president’s term lasts four years, and Justice Scalia’s…

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