They're at it again. Thursday night, the first buzz-fed Fox News Republican debate -- which some brave wizard at CNN called "the most anticipated 2016 election event to date" -- will pit the top ten polling entrees against each other, a mere 14 months ahead of the election.
The 2016 Republican presidential contest has barely begun and it has already grown alternately tiresome and old or just downright scary. As a Democrat, I might be pleased, but as an American, I am deeply troubled. I just want it to end.
Let's face it. The Republicans will have quite a time trying to sift through their thicket of candidates. So many angles and issues and characters to consider. Do I like the clean-cut union-busting Wisconsin governor or the clean-cut anti-choice former Senator from Pennsylvania?
Donald Trump says exactly what the GOP believes. It's a simple axiom: personal wealth accumulation is everything. It's just that when The Donald expresses their credo, he ignores the shinola and emphasizes the crass.
I wonder if Donald knows anyone who has come to the United States illegally. Given his crowd and his contempt for anyone he regards as beneath him, which is nearly everyone, I doubt he does.
With 2016 fast approaching, things look bleak for the GOP. Pandering to a non-white voting block could very well end up costing it the South, as it did to the Democrats in the 1960s. At the same time, pandering to base will alienate too many groups to win in a general election--not the least of which are Latinos.
It's interesting to note that during his 2012 campaign, Romney often distanced himself from the campaign press and provided limited access, the same allegations being made against Clinton this year. But the way the press covered the two media strategies stands in stark contrast.
In the nineteenth century, one way to measure whiteness was in distance from blackness -- and so it was with the Mormons. Over the course of the nineteenth century, they moved away from their own black converts toward whiteness.
Years ago they used to say Jeb Bush was "the smart one" in the family. He may be smart (though compared to whom?), but he doesn't seem very politic. One of his answers to our country's economic problems is this: "People need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families."
Of course if the "short-fingered vulgarian" -- to borrow a Spy Magazine term of endearment for Mr. Trump -- runs as a Independent, then, as in 1992 (when Ross Perot stole huge numbers of the GOP vote), the Republicans don't have a prayer, no matter whom they run.
When it comes down to the freakiest of the freaky in the whole Republican field, Donald Trump is very hard to top. Trump not only is running for president, he's apparently on a mission to singlehandedly destroy his own Trump brand, forevermore.
Democratic Presidential candidate Bernard Sanders is drawing overflow crowds. He is garnering support at the grassroots level, and is raising "eye-popping" amounts of cash from small donors. Some of his enthusiastic adherents seem to believe there is no God but Bernie Sanders.
When the disillusioned 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black worshipers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, the tragedy quickly focused on the legacy of the Confederate flag and its tacit endorsement of racism. For presidential candidates courting southern conservatives, this called for high-wire political acts.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the latest Republican to announce he is running for president. He joins an already overcrowded field of candidates seeking their party's nomination. But Christie stands out because an overwhelming majority of his own state's registered voters disapproves of his performance in office.
In the wake of the Charleston shootings, The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes of a culture of evasion. He might not know it, but he's describing the discipline I call Influence Strategy and some of the 24 plays that comprise it. Consider two examples from the progressive columnist:
Jeb Bush could wind up being America's next president. That's a statement that my fingers would actually refuse to type for several other Republicans, just because attempting to substitute "Donald Trump" or "Carly Fiorina" in that sentence would be so downright laughable.