Jonathan Bernstein

Oh Good, Government Bottlenecks Forever

Julian Castro was confirmed today as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Human Development. Nice job, everyone! Not that I care much about the HUD secretary (other than that Castro’s nomination means a new mayor for me here in San Antonio, but it’s a weak mayor system, so it really won’t matter much)…. Read more »

More Gaffe Coverage, Please

Kevin Drum wrote yesterday in response to a Jamison Foser tweet that bashed optics, gaffe and hypocrisy as the “dumbest words in politics.” I can’t say I have much use for “optics,” but I’ll definitely defend “gaffe” as a very useful word. Yes, gaffes — defined, more or less, as the occasions when a politician’s… Read more »

Let the Framers Rest in Peace

I talk about James Madison all the time, so I appreciate and strongly agree with Ed Kilgore’s point today: We shouldn’t idolize the Framers. Kilgore is responding to a column by E.J. Dionne that calls for liberals to fight to reclaim the Constitution from self-styled “constitutional conservatives.” Kilgore is right. The Constitution is no more… Read more »

Sunny Jobs Report Won’t Save Democrats

Democrats should be happy about the excellent jobs report released today showing that the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in June. They shouldn’t, however, expect it to have any major effect on the 2014 elections. Here’s how it works: The president’s popularity probably has a direct effect on midterms. As it stands now, it… Read more »

Yet Another Worthless Presidential Poll

A Quinnipiac poll that is getting some attention today finds that “Obama is first as worst president since World War II.” Ignore those polls! This new Quinnipiac poll does provide further evidence that President Barack Obama’s mild rally that began late last year has stalled or reversed. He’s a at 40 percent approval in this… Read more »