John Judis

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John Judis is editor-at-large at Talking Points Memo. He is the author of The Politics of Our Time: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism.
Why Hillary Clinton hasn’t been able to leave Donald Trump in the Dust

If I had to bet on this election, I’d still put my money on Hillary Clinton. But there is a big question about why she is not doing better. When presidential candidates face opponents who can’t even command the support of their party’s leadership and leading interest groups, it’s usually landslide time. Think of Lyndon Johnson against Barry Goldwater in 1964, and Richard Nixon against George McGovern in 1972. And Trump has less support in his party’s leadership than either Goldwater or McGovern had. Yet if the polls are to be believed, the race between Clinton and Trump is close.

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Two Myths about American Elections: Bigoted voters and Red vs. Blue States

Political scientists, public opinion analysts and pundits often make two erroneous assumptions about American politics: the first is that there is an ironclad division between red states and blue states; the second is that on the Republican side, the division is based on voters’ racism, nativism or some other “ism” – that is, on irrational prejudice that blinds these voters to their own real interests.

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Very Premature Reflections on the Aftermath of the 2016 Election

In January 2015, in the wake of the Republican sweep in the 2014 elections, I wrote an article for National Journal on “The Emerging Republican Advantage.” I predicted that because of their growing support not only among the white working class, but among voters with college but not advanced degrees (who tend to be mid-level white collar) and among senior citizens, Republicans could tilt the playing field in their favor over the next few elections. But I offered several conditions, and one was if they ran a presidential candidate in 2016 who like George W. Bush in 2000 ran close to the center rather than the right. (Remember “compassionate conservatism.”) I never dreamed the Republicans would nominate someone like Donald Trump.

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The US Treasury should be cheering the EU Case against Apple. It’s not.
FILE - In this April 30, 2015, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook responds to a question during a news conference at IBM Watson headquarters, in New York. Apple has confirmed that it’s expecting an uncharacteristic decline in sales in the spring of 2016, amid signs of global economic weakness and overall slowing demand for new smartphones. So anticipation is building around Apple’s next iPhones, as investors and tech enthusiasts speculate over what might get the iconic Silicon Valley company back on the path to growth. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

We pause our election coverage for a report from the real world of jobs, corporations, and taxes. The European Union’s authorities in Brussels are demanding that Apple, America’s largest corporation, pay billions of Euros in back taxes. The Obama administration is fighting the EU on Apple’s behalf. It shouldn’t be. Instead, it should be taking a lesson from the EU on how to deal with multinational corporations that shift their profits around to avoid paying taxes in the country where they are actually headquartered.

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Donald Trump’s Fall from Grace: It wasn’t exactly from being Dumb

I had expected that when Donald Trump sewed up the Republican nomination, he would jettison some of his more non-Republican economic positions on trade, runaway shops, and government spending. I also expected that he would forego his incendiary anti-PC rhetoric on Mexicans, Muslims, and women. I was wrong on both counts. His economic stands might have made the election competitive, especially in the industrial Midwest, but his casual bigotry – typified by his remarks on the “Mexican” judge and by his recent attempt to defame the Khan family – have cut him off the from the 10-15 percent of the Republican and independent electorate who don’t share his economic positions, but would have been willing to vote for him out of distaste for Hillary Clinton and/or loyalty to the Republican party.

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Hillary Clinton did very well indeed — with one small reservation

I am not a big admirer of Hillary Clinton as a pure politician, but I thought she did very, very well last night. Her speech was brilliantly crafted — a credit to her speechwriters — but after some fits and starts, she delivered it superbly. No wooden laughs or phony heartiness. Yes, it was the usual list of “to-do’s”, but it fit how she had been presented to the convention: as someone who would know what to do, and would get it done. I have four observations, only one of which is critical:

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The Ironclad Case for Trump Releasing Tax Returns Yesterday

As Josh details in his blog, there is a maximal and a minimal case for demanding that Republican nominee Donald Trump disclose his financial interests. The maximal case is arguable, but debatable. The minimal case is not.

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Trump’s very peculiar and unprecedented appeal to Bernie Sanders’ supporters

Conduct a thought experiment. If Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush were the nominee, how would they be dealing with the relationship between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? My answer: they would be trying to tar Clinton by her association with Sanders and his radical followers. Think about the way Republicans dealt with Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008. Now pivot to how Donald Trump is dealing with Clinton-Kaine and Sanders.

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Replaying Richard Nixon: Donald Trump’s Law and Order Appeal

Donald Trump’s dark, angry law-and-order appeal was a throwback to Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign. Here’s Nixon’s 1968 acceptance speech:

As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame. We hear sirens in the night. We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. We see Americans hating each other; fighting each other; killing each other at home. And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish. Did we come all this way for this?

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GOP Convention: between a Crock and a Hard Face

I don’t have the patience anymore to watch most convention speeches or to listen to the chatter on television. What struck me the most about this convention — other than the sheer disorganization of the event and the parade of speakers, especially on Monday night, who looked like comic book villains from the ’50s — was the debased quality of the opposition within the convention to Trump’s nomination. It was led by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who headed Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, and led the “stop Trump” effort on the convention floor, and Cruz himself, who boldly refused to endorse Trump in his convention speech last night.

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