Our Moment in Cuba?

Last month I had the privilege of joining a study tour to Cuba with former members of Congress — sponsored by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC). We met with government and Communist Party officials, members of the National Assembly and Foreign Ministry, artists, scholars, academics, economists, entrepreneurs, even cigar workers. Cubans feel genuine optimism that the recent normalization of relations with the United States may usher in a new era of cooperation. Continue reading

Everyone’s Right: Both Clinton and Sanders Won Iowa

SandersUltimately, then, both candidates are correct when they claim victory in Iowa, because both are subscribing to two completely different perspectives on the election. Sanders sees his surge as the beginning of a successful insurrection against the establishment and the beginning of a movement that will defy conventional wisdom. Clinton sees it as a minor setback, powered by extremely liberal voters who have always been somewhat concerned about her close ties to Wall Street and hawkish foreign policy, but ultimately a successful staving off of a potentially embarrassing defeat. Continue reading

Elective Politics’ Darkest Hour

Checker's speechThe election of 2016 is without question the darkest, dirtiest, most despicable, and depraved one of my lifetime. I have run out of “d” words, though maybe destructive and delusional should be added. The elective system we have known for time immemorial is down, broken, and maybe lost. Continue reading

The Idiocy of the Iowa Caucuses

Hillary_Clinton_April_2015What a dangerous distraction the Iowa spectacle has been from the dysfunction and unfairness of democracy as we now know it. No, worse, what a cynical celebration of it. Pitifully few Americans vote, and shockingly few of them are young or poor or people of color, yet we give wildly disproportionate influence to the white rural voters of one small state whose priorities, like subsidies for corn-based ethanol, are nationally marginal, and whose disposable time for caucus-going is unimaginable to parents working multiple shifts at multiple jobs. Continue reading

The Outsiders

Ted CruzFor about a month, reporters and pundits have been heralding surges of support for outsider candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Ted Cruz, and everyone’s favorite bombastic billionaire, Donald Trump. Based on the flood of news stories predicting insurgent victories, readers might believe that Trump and Cruz are the only Republicans left and that Sanders is about to deliver the knockout punch to Clinton’s glass jaw in Iowa and then New Hampshire.

But the truth is considerably murkier. With only a week to go before the Iowa caucuses, the political landscape remains as tumultuous and unsettled as ever, and these surge storylines may ultimately hurt the outsider candidates in the long road to the nomination for a number of reasons.
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