The Republican Party's unexpectedly disappointing performance in the 2022 midterm elections has inspired some finger-pointing at its flawed slate of Senate nominees in key states (and the former president whose endorsement helped these candidates gain nomination). But as I argue in a new piece for Bloomberg Opinion, candidate quality was not the only reason why the GOP underperformed last week. The results are consistent with a larger party image problem that extended beyond a few unappealing candidates.
Sunday, November 13, 2022
Monday, November 07, 2022
Today in Bloomberg Opinion: We Know More About Our Candidates Than We Ever Did Before—But It Matters Less
One of the main story lines of the 2022 election has been the question of whether the Republicans have squandered a favorable general climate by choosing a weak set of specific nominees. In my final pre-election piece for Bloomberg Opinion, I explain that while the proliferation of information makes it easier than ever to learn about the qualities—including the foibles—of individual candidates, the power of partisanship is so strong these days that these considerations mean much less than they once did.
Monday, October 31, 2022
With all the increasing attention that debates are getting as our politics becomes nationalized and social media-driven, their actual substantive value to citizens remains dubious. In my latest column for Bloomberg Opinion, I lament the way debates are covered in the media and conclude that we're actually much better off if elections aren't decided on the basis of candidates' debate performances.
Friday, October 21, 2022
Thursday, October 20, 2022
In today's column for Bloomberg Opinion, I investigate the Republican Party's proclaimed "divorce" from big business. Corporate America and the populist Trump-era GOP have indeed found themselves on opposite sides of the culture war. But they still have much to agree on when it comes to economic policy, so their relationship looks more like a strained marriage than a permanent split.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
As Biden's New Drug Policy Shows, When It Comes to Legalization It's the Political Leaders Who Are Being Led
For anyone who is old enough to remember the aggressiveness of the government’s anti-drug campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, the prospect of federal marijuana decriminalization is a notable milestone. And the fact that Biden is the president overseeing this policy change seems even more remarkable. Although he was a young left-of-center adult during the 1960s, the teetotaling Biden has never exhibited any whiff of the counterculture, and his record in the Senate—especially while chairing the Judiciary Committee between 1987 and 1995—was marked by repeated support for toughening federal penalties for drug-related crimes.
Friday, September 30, 2022
Kevin McCarthy and the House Republican leadership recently released their "Commitment to America," the latest in a series of successors to Newt Gingrich's 1994 Contract with America. Today in Bloomberg Opinion, I argue that the minority parties engaging in this strategy are making two flawed assumptions: that voters will care (or even know) about these manifestos, and that they will help nationalize the election. Because today's congressional elections are already nationalized, these policy plans are mostly an exercise in redundancy.