TPM Cafe: Opinion

The Donald Trump news cycle is not ready to burn out yet, not while his lawyer, in a very Trump-like show of belligerence, told a reporter that spousal rape is legal when it most certainly is not. This week, the Daily Beast issued a timely reminder that Ivana Trump accused her ex-husband of raping her in 1989 during her divorce deposition. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen denied this by arguing “she felt raped emotionally” but not criminally, whatever that means. (The one described in Harry Hurt III’s 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump, actually sounds just like a criminal rape, complete with physical violence.)

Read More →

Most of the fallout was predictable from a video released a couple of weeks ago that falsely accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal body parts: that there would be an initial flurry of media excitement followed by an inevitable debunking, that the people behind it would turn out to be a bunch of unsavory religious-right radicals, that media interest would wane while Republicans continue to puff up in feigned outrage and use this as a pretense to attack family planning programs.

But there was one thing up in the air: Which of the Duggar family-sized team of wannabe Republican presidential candidates was going to grab the brass ring as the most opportunistic exploiter of this non-scandal? This week, it looks like the winner of this stiff competition is the dark horse: “libertarian” candidate Rand Paul.

Read More →

Lou Dubose is the editor of The Washington Spectator, where this article first appeared. His most recent book is Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency.

American politics is not easy for believers.

“This is a forum where our candidates can share their faith and testimony and not feel ostracized. Except maybe by the press,” Mary Frances Forrester told me. “Here, we can ask questions and candidates can include their faith when they’re talking about important social issues.”

Read More →

When Pope Francis visits the United States in two months and becomes the first pontiff to address Congress, his speech will be a seminal moment in American history. A pope who pumps fresh energy into the world’s most influential religious institution and humanizes the papacy will likely find his toughest audience in this country. Several polls released last week show both the challenges and opportunities that await a pope who denounces an “economy of exclusion” and in bracing language prods political leaders to wake up to the reality of climate change.

Read More →

As the video of Sandra Bland’s arrest makes its way into homes and offices around the country, people are aghast that the failure to use a turn signal led to a woman’s arrest and, ultimately, her death by what officials have identified as suicide. People want to know if the officer’s actions—asking that Bland put out her cigarette and demanding that she step out of her car—were legal. But that’s the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking whether it was good policing.

Read More →

Last week David Brooks wrote about being slapped, figuratively, by the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates. “I read this all like a slap and a revelation,” wrote Brooks, referring to Coates’ new book Between the World and Me. Brooks hastened to join the choir in praising Coates as America’s racial conscience, an heir apparent to James Baldwin (at least according to Toni Morrison, though not everyone agrees), and named his “mind-altering account of the black-male experience” a must-read. But what bothered Brooks the most about the Baltimore-born father’s “letter” to his 14-year-old son was Coates’ treatment of the American Dream.

Read More →

As silly as Donald Trump’s presidential bid has proven thus far, and as indefensible as some of his recent remarks have been, there is a sanctimonious tone to the criticism leveled at both that would be far less grating if it weren’t so hypocritical.

Read More →

When Scott Walker was elected Wisconsin governor in 2010, he came into office with a playbook he’d followed as the Milwaukee County executive: he declared an emergency.

Taxes: too high. Public benefits: too generous. Businesses: too burdened. Unions: too coddled.

One of his first acts in January 2011 was to call an emergency session of the state legislature. One of the first pieces of legislation he signed as governor, Act 7, privatized the state’s department of commerce by turning it into a public-private hybrid called the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. WEDC’s board of directors was to be chaired by the governor himself to help him make the state more “business friendly” by doling out grants and tax incentives to businesses, helping Walker fulfill a campaign promise to add 250,000 new jobs to the state during his first term.

Read More →

There are certain demographic groups that endlessly fascinate political people in both parties. Latinos are the obvious example: They’re the fastest growing part of the electorate, with characteristics that offer some potential to Republicans (if they could ever clean up their act!) and Democrats alike. Progressives are forever seeking to “wedge” women away from the GOP because of that party’s views on gender equity and reproductive rights issues. And conservatives never give up hope that fears over Israel’s security will lead Jews to forswear their ancient attachment to liberal politics.

Read More →

As a political scientist, I am reluctant to make predictions about elections, especially about the behavior of a single individual. But I'm willing to make an exception this year, because the presidential campaign is turning out to be such an exceptionally crucial (and entertaining) one. Here is what I see as the step-by-step best case scenario for putting a Democrat in the White House next year, with a little help from Donald Trump.

Read More →
Want to contribute to TPM Cafe? Email ideas for your pieces to us at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com
Want to contribute to TPM Cafe? Email ideas for your pieces to us at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com

LiveWire