Democrats Love Bashing Trump. But That Alone Won't Help Them Win Again

As the wheels of Trumplandia continue to spin, it’s been easy to overlook one glaring reality: Democrats in Congress are doing almost nothing other than finding new and creative ways to resist the Republicans. As a political tactic, that may be smart, but it leaves the public and voters with no clear or viable alternative as attention slowly begins to turn to mid-term elections in 2018. 

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President Trump Has Done Almost Nothing

Just weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, you would think that everything had changed. The uproar over the president’s tweets grows louder by the day, as does concern over the erratic, haphazard and aggressive stance of the White House toward critics and those with different policy views. It is the illusion of a presidency, not the real thing.

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Will Trump Cut the Red Tape?

Of the many polarizations of the United States today, the battle over regulation is particularly fierce and many years in the making. Over the past decades, since at least the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the right and the Republican Party have come to view regulation as the premier sign of government overreach, stifling freedoms and hobbling economic growth. The left and the Democrats for the most part see regulation as the vital bulwark protecting the mass of Americans from corporate and government abuse.

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The GOP is Breaking. It’s not Trump’s Fault.

We now have something like consensus: The rise of Donald Trump portends the end of the Republican Party as we know it. As longtime GOP operative and commentator Steve Schmidt said last week, “The Republican Party has an outstanding chance of fracturing.” Trump’s opponents, inside and outside the party, are united in the belief that he has almost single-handedly undone an institution founded on the eve of the Civil War that has lasted for more than 150 years and has immeasurably shaped the United States.

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An Economy of Chicken Littles

The “nattering nabobs of negativism” (a phrase we have to thank Spiro Agnew for, via William Safire) are out in full force again in the financial and pundit world. While there was only occasional mention of the economy during the Republican debate last week, both the GOP contenders and market mavens seem to agree that the world is going to hell. They have different reasons: The Republicans think the world has become dangerously unstable and that Obama is a cause. Investors, who have pushed global financial markets sharply lower (the S&P 500 is now down almost 10 percent since January 1) to the worst start to a year ever, see the root cause as heedless central banks, a U.S. economy grinding to a halt, and a collapsing debt-laden China.

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How Big Business is Lining Up With Hillary

Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to win over just the middle class. She wants to win over business elites as well. And in this tightening labor market, with business worried about losing workers to the growing demand for higher wages, there’s ample evidence that what she has started to advocate is increasingly aligned with what many businesses are beginning to do.  

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Is Hillary Running for Bill’s Third Term?

When Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy on Sunday, the Republicans will no doubt redouble their efforts to make the case that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Barack Obama’s third term—and the GOP believes no one wants that, for Pete’s sake. Clinton’s campaign, by contrast, will almost certainly make a very different case: If they vote for her, Americans will be getting something far closer to Bill Clinton’s third term.

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A Dynamic World Demands Dynamic Scoring

One of the first things the new Republican Congress voted on this week was to mandate a change in how the Congressional Budget Office analyzes (“scores”) spending bills. A technocratic change in how Congress assesses the impact of its proposed bills is not typically the stuff of great drama. This time is different.

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Don’t Fight Powerful Stock-Market Trends

Unless you have been living under a proverbial rock for the past few weeks (though unlikely if you are reading this), you know that the midterm elections in the United States saw a Republican sweep, with enough senatorial seats gained to take control of the Senate, more seats added to their majority in the House, and a few extra governorships picked up along the way.

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Stop With the Fiction of a Binary Economy

The economy is a mess. It’s one thing many Americans and political candidates of all stripes seem to agree on. While it may be somewhat less of a mess than five years ago, the thinking goes, the current administration and Congress have done little to address the crushing challenges faced by large swaths of the American public.

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Why Paul Ryan's Budget Matters

Paul Ryan unveiled the House Republican budget this week with an ominous yet familiar warning: "America's national debt is over $16 trillion." Having stated the problem, he then offered a solution, one which differed only marginally from what he's offered the past two years. Namely: restrain government healthcare spending on Medicare and Medicaid, reform the individual tax code, close loopholes, lower corporate taxes, and promote natural gas and energy independence. The goal? A balanced budget by 2023 that will ensure "the well-being of all Americans...and reignite the American dream."

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Boehner Still Wants Obamacare Repeal as Part of "Fiscal Cliff" Negotiations

Even after the election, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is still trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even after all three branches of government have approved this. Meanwhile, other Republicans line up for 2016. Keith Boykin and Zachary Karabell of CNBC and Martin Kady of Politico discuss with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC's News Nation.

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Ports Post-Mortem

The Dubai deal is dead, and few are sorry to see it end this way. In fact, there hasn’t been this much bipartisanship since the Era of Good Feelings nearly two hundred years ago. The Republicans in the Senate and the House, led by the likes of Rep. Peter King (R- New York), have asserted their independence from an increasingly unpopular president, and the Democrats have managed simultaneously to reconnect with their populist base and seem more stringent on national security. Polls show that upwards of 70% of the American public either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed the takeover, and with the capitulation of the company, there has been no dearth of back-patting, from Capitol Hill to the blogsphere.

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What if the Supremes Overturned Roe?

In this quiet time as the left and the right polish their swords, huddle with their strategists, and burnish their armor, in these weeks before Judge Samuel Alito goes before the Senate Judiciary Committe in January (a veritable lifetime away in the ADD world of Beltway affairs), the lines are being drawn, and Roe v. Wade is once again the battleground. The presumption is that Alito is primed to rule against Roe. Whether he would or wouldn’t, the Democrats are prepared to oppose him.

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