The list of those changes is dizzying. Grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico, and break California in seven, with the goal of adding 16 new Democrats to the Senate. Expand the Supreme Court and the federal courts, packing them with liberal judges. Move to multi-member House districts to roll back the effects of partisan gerrymandering. Pass a new Voting Rights Act, including nationwide automatic voter registration, felon enfranchisement and an end to voter ID laws. Grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants, creating a host of new Democratic-leaning voters: “Republicans have always feared that immigration would change the character of American society. Democrats should reward them with their very worst nightmare.”

Commentary: The message “86-ing” Sarah Sanders sent to conservatives

Cultural conservatives realize that they are a political minority in America.  With the glaring exception of abortion (American support for pro-life positions has increased over the past two decades), they have largely lost the battles for what the believe are fundamental family values necessary for the nation to succeed and prosper.  As a political force, they’ve moved from their “Moral Majority” days of offense to a position of defense. They’re asking the tolerant, inclusive Left to simply leave them alone. Their belief that progressives are determined to force them into accepting liberal views was one reason many evangelicals set aside their “Character counts” mantra in order to back Trump.  The Left, they believe, isn’t interested in political co-existence, but rather total victory.

neo-fascist leader Richard Spencer, who in a 2013 speech declared: “We need an ethno-state so that our people can ‘come home again’… We must give up the false dreams of equality and democracy.” Ethnic cleansing is impossible as long as marginalized people have enough votes to stop it. But this roadblock disappears if you get rid of democracy. Spencer understands that white rule in the current era essentially requires totalitarianism. That’s the logic of fascism.

How Baby Boomers Broke America

About five decades ago, the core values that make America great began to bring America down. The First Amendment became a tool for the wealthy to put a thumb on the scales of democracy. America’s rightly celebrated dedication to due process was used as an instrument to block government from enforcing job-safety rules, holding corporate criminals accountable and otherwise protecting the unprotected. Election reforms meant to enhance democracy wound up undercutting democracy. Ingenious financial and legal engineering turned our economy from an engine of long-term growth and shared prosperity into a casino with only a few big winners.

These distinctly American ideas became the often unintended instruments for splitting the country into two classes: the protected and the unprotected. The protected overmatched, overran and paralyzed the government. The unprotected were left even further behind. And in many cases, the work was done by a generation of smart, hungry strivers who benefited from one of the most American values of all: meritocracy.

Link to article


Understanding Bevin requires knowledge of conservative principles

In the early 1980s President Ronald Reagan, now a deity to American conservatives, said that “government is not the solution … government is the problem.” Mixing Hayek with Reagan, and sprinkling in generous helpings of conservative thinkers like Ayn Rand, creates the idea that there are two components to a nation’s economy: the productive part and the non-productive part.

Private enterprise is productive, and government — all government — is non-productive. Any dollar that goes to the non-productive side is a dollar taken away from the productive side.

According to this view, the people working on the productive side are benefiting the economy and enriching society. The people on the other side are draining from the economy and depleting society.

If you don’t think conservatives believe this, Google the American Enterprise Institute, a leading conservative think tank, and read one of its policy papers. Or listen to a Bevin speech.

So teachers, and their pensions, are a drain on the economy and a danger to society.

Link to article

Demographic Shifts and the Future of the Trump Coalition

These scenarios, developed by the authors, include outcomes that favor both
Republican and Democratic candidates. They are not intended as predictions but
are simulations based on assumptions about different demographic groups’ future
voting patterns. Each of the alternative scenarios assumes the same projections for
the nation’s underlying demographic structure of eligible voters (EVs) with respect
to race, age, and education attainment. As such, the scenarios provide for a more
in-depth understanding than national or state polling trends can supply about
how emerging voting patterns may interact with changes in the demography of the
nation’s electorate to affect future popular vote and Electoral College outcomes.


Link to article

The Teachers’ Strikes Have Exposed the GOP’s Achilles Heel

When Republican primary voters choose a demagogue who evinced indifference to “free market” pieties — and support for massive infrastructure stimulus, universal health care, price controls on pharmaceuticals, and higher taxes on the rich — as their 2016 standard-bearer, many pundits were perplexed. But they shouldn’t have been. It would be far stranger if Republican voters really did feel a deep loyalty to the Ryan budget. After all, no mass constituency in any other advanced democracy on planet Earth has ever rallied behind such a cause.

The GOP has not made support for tax cuts (no matter the economic conditions, geopolitical circumstances, or resulting consequences for social spending) the first principle of its domestic agenda because that is a popular and rational governing ideal — but because it is an excellent value proposition to offer to well-heeled reactionaries in search of a medium-risk, high-return investment opportunity.

To this point, the GOP has paid no great electoral price for the fact that there is no significant constituency for its economic agenda; over the past decade, Republicans have managed to grow more fanatically committed to fiscal policies that their voters find abhorrent — and more politically powerful.

A variety of factors have abetted this odd achievement, not least the fact that most voters pay far less attention to the details of policy than to identity-based appeals. Through “culture war” rhetoric and legislation, the GOP has established itself as the party of rural Americans, cultural traditionalists, gun enthusiasts, and the (proudly) white and native-born. The broad appeal of this reactionary brand of identity politics (combined with copious Koch network cash, the right’s vast propaganda apparatus, and a touch of voter suppression) has allowed the Republican Party to have its fringe fiscal agenda, and its electoral majorities, too.

Link to article