Macron’s Strategy of Flattery 1

Macron’s Strategy of Flattery

April 23, 2018 Politician Direct 0

French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week, meeting with Donald Trump—the man he has been trying to woo since the French election last year—and speaking to Congress. Macron, a former Socialist minister, struck out on his own when he ran for president, creating a centrist platform (En Marche!) and triumphing over Trump’s favorite, Marine…

Memogogues 2


April 20, 2018 Politician Direct 0

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, says he’s leaving politics to escape the corruption of partisanship. “I enjoy being fair. I enjoy the pursuit of fairness as a virtue,” Gowdy told CBS News in February. In Washington, he lamented, there’s no place for a truth-teller like himself. Perhaps, then, Gowdy can…

Mind the Gap 3

Mind the Gap

April 20, 2018 Politician Direct 0

The massive gap between black and white wealth is structural. All serious research on the subject finds the gap is an enduring feature of the American economy produced and reproduced by politics, policy, and law. But to the extent it even registers in mainstream thinking, the popular belief is that black Americans are themselves responsible for…

The Beto Bubble 4

The Beto Bubble

April 19, 2018 Politician Direct 0

It’s mid-April, and a reputable pollster is already declaring that the Senate race between Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas is “too close to call,” at 47 percent to 44 percent. It’s Quinnipiac’s first poll in Texas, and the first major poll of one of the most closely watched races in…

Being Black in Public 5

Being Black in Public

April 19, 2018 Politician Direct 0

Last Thursday, an employee at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two black men who were waiting for the arrival of a business partner without having ordered anything at the counter. When police arrived, the men were arrested for trespassing. A bystander caught the encounter on video, which showed the men resigned to their fate…

The Wolf in Wonk’s Clothing 6

The Wolf in Wonk’s Clothing

April 13, 2018 Politician Direct 0

A century or so in political time has passed since 2014’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but there were two speeches given over the course of that weekend that are perhaps worth remembering today. One was an immigrant-bashing midday address delivered by Donald J. Trump, then a sideshow act performing for the party fringe. The other was…

Is It Time for Democrats to Fight Dirty? 7

Is It Time for Democrats to Fight Dirty?

April 12, 2018 Politician Direct 0

The consensus among political pundits is that the Democratic Party is poised to do well in November’s midterm elections. It seems too that Donald Trump will have his work cut out for him in 2020 as he faces what’s sure to be a crowded field of Democratic rising stars. But the Democratic Party’s path back to…

Paul Ryan’s Fitting End 8

Paul Ryan’s Fitting End

April 11, 2018 Politician Direct 0

I always liked Paul Ryan. Six years ago, when he was tapped as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, I wrote him a love letter. Then, when I scrutinized his record, I had to take the letter back. He sees himself as a statesman, but that’s not what he is. …

The Complicated Race to Replace Paul Ryan 9

The Complicated Race to Replace Paul Ryan

April 11, 2018 Politician Direct 0

Wednesday was a funny day on the House side of the Capitol. Republican members, when asked, would call premature any discussion of who might replace retiring Speaker Paul Ryan. As they said this, though, one could see the wheels in their heads spinning with gaming, plotting, and palace intrigue. With rumors surrounding Ryan’s retirement swirling for…