Republicans Vote to Block Executive Action on Immigration, Sort Of

By on 12.4.14 | 5:28PM

The House just passed a bill that would, should it pass the Senate and survive an almost certain veto, prevent President Obama from using executive authority to grant amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.

The bill was originally going to be a rider on a government funding bill, but backing down from that almost certain fight, John Boehner decided to bring the bill to a vote separately, because he's ready go home and get started on his Christmas Mystic Tan, and you all are just getting really annoying

The House of Representatives issued another largely symbolic rebuke to President Barack Obama's agenda Thursday, voting to roll back his immigration executive order that could help up to 4.1 million people avoid deportation. The measure narrowly passed with a vote of 219 to 197.

Seven Republicans from districts with large number of Latinos voted against it while three Democrats from more red districts supported the measure.

First Republican Presidential Debate is Less than a Year Away

By on 11.2.14 | 5:59PM

If you were looking forward to your post-Tuesday reprieve from the endless campaign, this should give you something to be depressed about. The first Republican Presidential primary debate has been set, and it's less than a year away

 The 2014 midterm elections are days away, but preparation are already underway for the first debate of the 2016 presidential primary contest.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation announced Thursday that it will invite GOP presidential candidates to attend a televised debate at California's Reagan Library in September 2015.

Republicans to Blame for Ebola Outbreak, Apparently

By on 10.13.14 | 1:09PM

It was inevitable that Republicans would be blamed for the spread of the Ebola virus, especially given that this is an election year. Fortunately, we did not have to wait very long for a series of stories pinning the infectious disease on the party of Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, and that sinister cabal from The Simpsons that meets in a mountaintop castle to oversee the development of their multinational evil plots. 

The Limits of America’s Political Parties

By on 6.19.14 | 10:23AM

To fill the vacuum created by Eric Cantor’s sudden defeat as House Majority Leader, the Republican House Caucus will meet today behind closed doors to elect a new majority whip and majority leader. While the majority leader position looks to follow a natural line of succession, the race is heated for the whip spot and highlights the interior fault lines of the Republican base, as Tea Party elements camp contrapositive to an “establishment” core. Illustrating that party politics are not always about the other party, the race reveals that sometimes Republicans get to decide what it means to be Republican in an election that the electorate never touches. It is an unusual set of circumstances allowing for an interesting look at the interior dynamics and evolving values of a political party founded 160 years ago. 


A Jolly Good Strategy for the GOP

By 4.10.14

The GOP has lagged behind Democrats in strategy, focus, and effectiveness for much of the past six years. At almost every turn, it’s seemed Republicans could not come together and tell their story. 

That changed last month when Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink by two points in a closely contested special election for Florida's 13th Congressional District. The election was more than a good night; it was a turning of the tide. In Jolly’s victory, Republicans found an effective new strategy for the future that used—as the saying goes—something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

Something Old and Something New

The four-year-old Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, has become political kryptonite. The strong dislike for the law has continued to drive down the president’s approval ratings. Obama made no campaign ads or visits to support Sink. However, while Sink’s mere affiliation with Obamacare hurt her chances, it was not the sole cause of her defeat.

Republicans, Antimatter, and Dinosaurs

By on 3.12.14 | 5:27PM

Earlier today, Ben Brophy questioned the wisdom of congressional Republicans sitting on their hands and letting Obamacare do their electoral work for them. Peter Suderman, in evaluating the speeches at CPAC, had a similar observation:

Yet even as the parade of GOP bright lights affirmed support for a positive vision backed by productive policy ideas, most seemed to struggle to define that vision, or talk clearly about what those ideas should be. The GOP has decided that it should probably stand for something—yet aside from electing more Republicans, it’s still not sure what, exactly, that is.

Conservatives, Poverty, and Race

By on 3.12.14 | 4:37PM

Debate over solutions to poverty has been dominating American politics as of late. Predictably, Democrats have harped on income inequality and have pushed for extensions in unemployment benefits and an increase in the federal minimum wage. Conservatives, in response, have thankfully done more than just voice opposition to these stock, unimaginative policy prescriptions. In fact, since last year, several prominent figures from the Republican ranks, as well as a number of other conservative leaders, have proposed fresh ideas and positive solutions to combat poverty in America.

However, some remain unconvinced. Some, like Steve Patrick Ercolani at The Guardian, see only malicious intent in GOP attempts to fight poverty. This past Monday, Ercolani made the remarkably outrageous—yet unfortunately unsurprising—claim that Republicans are making a big to-do about poverty only because those who are poor are increasingly white.

Is “Liberal” No Longer A Dirty Word?

By on 2.7.14 | 10:55AM

In a piece worth reading, Peter Beinart of The Atlantic takes a look at what he sees as the fall and rise of the term "liberal." Beinart describes how the label, once proudly worn by New Dealers, fell out of favor with the cultural tumult of the 1960s:

Over the next two decades, being a liberal came to mean letting criminals terrorize America’s cities, hippies undermine traditional morality, and communists menace the world. It meant, in other words, too much liberty for the wrong kind of people. Fearful of its negative connotations, Democratic politicians began disassociating themselves from the term...

Moving Beyond the National Debt

By on 1.27.14 | 1:42PM

This year is shaping up to be a good one for the right. Barack Obama is arguably at the nadir of his presidency. Obamacare is collapsing and vindicating Republicans in the process. The GOP’s chances of taking back the Senate, while far from air-tight, are trending positive.

Yet as Politico reports this morning, there’s still good reason to be cynical:

President Barack Obama isn’t expected to spend much time on deficit reduction and entitlement reform during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, instead focusing on issues such as economic inequality and raising the minimum wage that will be the centerpiece of his 2014 agenda.

Republicans don’t want to divert attention from Obamacare and plan to demand changes in the health care law, not spending cuts, in exchange for a debt-limit increase next month. They dismiss grand bargain talks with Obama as fruitless.

Obama Blames Republicans for ACA Failure

By on 11.20.13 | 10:42AM

Yesterday, while speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting (and skipping an event commemorating the Gettysburg address) President Obama suggested that Republicans share some of the blame for the Affordable Care Act’s troubles.

“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. “We obviously are going to have to remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment.”

The president also voiced frustration with the toxic political atmosphere endangering his signature legislative achievement. He said Washington needs to “break through the stubborn cycle of crisis politics and start working together.”