Jonathan Bernstein


Catch of the Day: Yes, Polarization Is Important

Matt Yglesias has posted an excellent response to my tantrum last week about polarization. Yglesias does a good job of using Hans Noel to argue that the current polarized situation is quite a bit different from party polarization a century or so ago, because today’s parties are both polarized and ideological. That’s true, and it’s… Read more »

Every Senate Seat Counts

A new estimate from Nate Silver gives Republicans a 60 percent chance of winning a Senate majority in November. That’s a bit higher than the Upshot model (53 percent), and somewhat lower than the fairly confident projection from the Washington Posts’s Election Lab (82 percent). The Post’s version relies mainly on fundamentals; the other two… Read more »

Republicans, Stand Up to Impeachment Crazies

Everyone is talking impeachment this week. Some notes. Forty years ago, the House Judiciary Committee was finishing up its impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. Since then, each second-term president has faced some sort of — at least semi-serious — impeachment talk: Ronald Reagan over Iran-Contra; George W. Bush over torture and executive overreach; Barack… Read more »

Catch of the Day: Paperwork Republic

A Catch for some excellent reporting goes to the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin, who delivered a wonderful example of what two decades of Republican governance, the Gingrich Way, has produced. A short description: Step One: Newt Gingrich-era Congress turns a soundbite — unelected bureaucrats are writing all these horrible regulations without Congressional participation! — into… Read more »

Republican Tantrum Damages Government

The good news? Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has dropped his mostly-meaningless holds on State Department nominations. The bad news? Senate Republicans continue to impose an across-the-board virtual hold on every executive branch nomination. Having invoked the “nuclear option,” which makes judicial and executive branch nominations subject to a simple majority vote, Senate Democrats now… Read more »