Takeaways from the Midterm Elections in the United States
Democratic victories in America’s midterm elections on Tuesday lacked star power. Andrew Gillum and Beto O’Rourke failed to win their races in Florida and Texas, respectively. Stacey Abrams is behind in Georgia.
But none were favored to win. Nationally, Democrats did not have a bad night at all. Read more
Matthew Yglesias argues in Vox that there is method to the right-wing madness in the United States.
The violence, and threats of violence, are the result of a Republican strategy, he argues, to foster a political debate that is centered on divisive questions of personal identity rather than on potentially unifying themes of material advancement.
The downside of this strategy is that it pushes American society to the breaking point. The upside for Republicans is that it facilitates policies that serve the interests of their wealthiest supporters. Read more
Boehner Did More for Fiscal Conservatism Than Ryan
What a disappointment Paul Ryan has turned out to be.
The Republican congressman from Wisconsin, who leaves the speakership of the House of Representatives — and politics — early next year, was hailed as the last best hope of fiscal conservatism in the United States, but in fact his much-reviled predecessor, John Boehner, did more to shrink the deficit. Read more
In some states voters have been “purged” from the rolls in overzealous clean-up efforts. Other states demand ever more documentary proof that people are eligible to vote. Well-off homeowners who drive cars and have passports barely notice such hurdles. But young, poor and ethnic-minority voters are more likely to crash into them. Often, this is not just an unfortunate side-effect of tighter voting rules; it is their intent.
Trying to Turn Republicans into Liberals Is Now Hopeless
David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, argues in The Atlantic that the Republican Party should become the party of liberalism in the United States.
As the Democrats move to left on economic policy, there is room for a party that defends free markets, free trade, limited government and personal liberty.
I agree, and before Donald Trump I was optimistic that the Republican Party could move in this direction. I called it Republican Party 2.0.
On the eve of the 2016 election, when I was still confident Hillary Clinton would win, I even urged Republicans to purge Trump’s insurgents and return the party to its pre-Newt Gingrich center-right bearings.
But then Trump won and now Republicans have surrendered to him and his philosophy. Read more