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Tag Archives: Politics

Immigration and American Politics

I want to thank XXXXXX XXXXXX. I confess I had thought that if the President started putting migrant children in cage, the immediate reaction would not be that this might well be a clever political move. I do have a sense that for a lot of people who know better on the Republican side, they think there's mileage to be gained by characterizing bedrock American values as if they were foreign and "cosmopolitan" values. And it is very nice to hear XXXXXX pushing back. In fact, I really do...

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Hoisted from the Archives: What Was the Point of Robert Woodward’s “The Agenda”?

(a) is simply wrong. (b) is sorta true, sorta false--Clinton was conflicted. (c) is true. (d) is false--it was a damned good economic plan. (e) is true. But (f) is false: wrestling intently and intelligently with hard choices does not make you the puppet of your advisors. (g) is wrong: the process produced a very good outcome. And (h) is wrong too. I want to set this out because in comments we have Bob Woodward claiming that his book was about... something else than the Washington Post...

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Parliament and Twitter Hate

I stay the hell away from twitter fights about which MP draws the most attacks on Twitter and where lines are on what's allowable or not for very public figures who themselves often give pretty hard. Threats of violence seem absolutely wrong; otherwise, I'm not going to be drawn into the argument. But it seems it would be trivially easy, for somebody who knows what they're doing in Twitter's API, to scrape out all the tweets referring to each MP, and build a timeline of affect. Like, overall...

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Adam Tooze: Democracy and Its Discontents: Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: Adam Tooze is correct when he writes that "across the American political spectrum, if there is agreement on anything, it is on the need for a firmer line against China". The bombs-and-bullets people, the geopolitics people, and the blame-somebody-else people are all agreed. The U.S. needs to do something to strengthen its relative position, and that means it needs to start doing something to China. But that would be going about it the wrong way. Thinking that the right...

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Adam Tooze: Democracy and Its Discontents: Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: Adam Tooze: Democracy and Its Discontent: Levitsky and Ziblatt: "Levitsky and Ziblatt['s How Democracies Die has]... a sobering message: 'American democracy is not as exceptional as we sometimes believe. There’s nothing in our Constitution or our culture to immunize us against democratic breakdown'.... The restoration of democratic norms requires building a new consensus. Levitsky and Ziblatt cite the example of Chile.... Augusto Pinochet... was overcome by a new...

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How Big a Problem Is the Malapportionment of the Senate?

It's a big problem. But it could be turned into small problem, even an advantage, if we had normal politics. Here's what I said about it at the CFR Future of Democracy Symposium: Council on Foreign Relations: The Future of Democracy Symposium: Session Two: Economics, Identity, and the Democratic Recession: You might well sayz—take a look at the thirty-five states that will elect seventy senators and yet have a decreasing share of the population. These are overwhelming communities...

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What Are Our Plans?

The Council on Foreign Relations asked me to come be on a panel on a small conference they were running on the "democratic recession". They were even willing to spring for a JetBlue mint-class lie-flat bed-seat on a nonstop. So I went Video here. Transcript here. But is there—or, rather, in what sense is there—a "democratic recession"? I think you need to separate out three different meanings of democracy: Alexis de Tocqueville’s democracy: social democracy—where everybody can stand...

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CFR Future of Democracy Symposium: Session Two: Economics, Identity, and the Democratic Recession: Transcript and Link to Video

BUSSEY: Well, welcome back, everybody. We’re going to—we’re going to get started. Welcome back from your coffee. So our next panel is entitled “Economics, Identity, and the Democratic Recession.” That’s what we’re here to discuss: Brad DeLong from Berkeley; John Judis has written on populism and nationalism; Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post, my hometown newspaper—what we refer to at the Wall Street Journal as Brand X—is also somebody who has written on this topic extensively....

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Do We Have Any Republican Remedies for the Diseases of Republican Government?

Note to Self: It was 80 blocks south of here that Alexander Hamilton wrote to the middle class of New York that: The history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy... feeling sensations of horror and disgust... intervals of felicity... overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage... That is how the rest of the world views Britain and the United States in this age, the age of Brexit and Trump. And I haven’t even raised the strange spectacle of our modern-day...

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