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.
Monday, October 31, 2022
Friday, October 21, 2022
What a Republican Congressional Majority Might Do: An Interview with The Signal
In an extended interview, I spoke with Graham Vyse of The Signal about what to expect from a hypothetical Republican congressional majority next year. It's likely to be an eventful Congress; as I observed in the interview, "The last time there was both a Democratic House and a Republican president in the United States, the president was impeached twice. The last time there was a Republican House and a Democratic president, the Republican speaker got run out of town by his own party."
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Today in Bloomberg Opinion: Republicans and Corporate America Split on Culture, Ally on Economics
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
President Biden announced on Thursday that he would issue pardons to Americans with federal marijuana possession convictions, while encouraging governors to do the same for the much greater number of citizens convicted of similar offenses at the state level. Biden also revealed that his administration would begin the process of reviewing whether marijuana should be classified by the federal government as a dangerous Schedule I drug. While the president cannot fully legalize marijuana possession or sale without congressional approval, Biden’s actions represent a clear gesture of support for ending the enforcement of laws prohibiting its use.
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.
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