Tag Archives: Political rhetoric

Make This Election About the Court

With last week’s arguments safely behind us, President Obama has taken the first steps towards spinning the case, saying: Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law what was a strong majority of a Democratically elected Congress. I’d just remind conservative commentators […]

ObamaCare: the Value of Narrative in Appellate Advocacy

Today begins oral argument in No. 11-398, U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Services v. Florida, the “ObamaCare” case.  By most counts, this is a case Republicans should expect to lose, probably by a lot. The Supreme Court has never limited congressional power to regulate strictly economic conduct, not even at the high point of Chief Justice Rehnquist’s […]

What Can Presidents Do About Gas Prices?

Not a damn thing (and Republicans agree!). Even if Obama authorized companies, today, to drill anywhere they wanted to, market forces wouldn’t reflect the price drop (if any ever came) for months. Here’s a problem with democracy: voters expect leaders to change parts of the world over which they have no actual control, or somehow achieve directly contradictory […]


The Occupy movement discusses holding a “general strike” on May 1st, 2012 — that is, all Occupy-friendly workers, everywhere, stay home. General strikes have a sordid history, partially plumbed by Salon’s writer, and they’ve played a role in most major modern revolutions, so their ideological provenance is a bit murky. But tying a general strike […]

Talking About Taxes

The Hill trumpets a poll which, they say, proves voters want lower taxes. But look deeper at the methodology. Voters are asked to assign a percentage to each income bracket and, unsurprisingly, come up with a fairly low number, lower in fact than current tax rates, of which most voters were actually unaware. The same […]

Do Campaign Ads Work?

Here’s a question Mitt Romney might do well to ask himself. Politicians and scholars alike debate the efficacy of high-dollar ad buys, and the importance of tone (positive or negative?). In fact, it’s a subject we’ve discussed here before, because to date the academy’s reached no resolution on the question of whether negative campaigning is […]

Creative Destruction: the Bain Argument

For a first post back, I’d like to revisit a subject that I missed during my self-imposed exile: Newt Gingrich’s decision to try to flank Mitt Romney from the left as well as the right, but taking a few compelling shots at the latter’s business record. If this is something from which we’ve all moved […]

Stephen Colbert is the Best Revenge

Problem: Republican message-maker Frank Luntz realized that no-one likes Republican ideas (turns out)! Solution: get new ideas? No! Cover your bad ideas with enough misleading language, that no-one actually knows what you stand for! Well I don’t know about you, but when I saw this, I was livid. We expect a certain amount of “spin” […]

The Playbook to Beat Mitt Romney

Ted Kennedy had it, but held his fire, preferring to take the high road. See for yourself, and judge whether we (or Newt Gingrich, for that matter) should do the same. Here’s a YouTube link, if you don’t want to give Politico the clicks.

OWS Needs to Ditch its Student Loan Platform

With an early victory under its belt, and while it continues to capture media attention, it’s time for Occupy Wall Street to narrow its demands, and put a plausible face on the enterprise. The first step is to ditch the unrealistic request for student loan forgiveness. For reasons I can’t fathom, demands for loan forgiveness […]