Article discussing intra-party conflict and the motivations of office-seekers

There’s a lot in here to draw from for American Gov classes. Here are just two. (1) The accurate description of political parties as non-homogeneous coalitions of conflicting interests and ideologies. And (2) his reflections on the motives that drove him into politics, and how they have changed over time. He said it started as something of a “sport” for him and then became more about personal “ambition,” but now he sees politics as “a way to make fundamental choices for the country.” This fits well with the discussion in Ch. 3 of American Way of Government and Politics about (a) the different kinds of motives that drive different people into politics and (b) the discussion of whether there is such things as a genuine “politics of principle” or whether cynics are correct that there isn’t.

A GOP strategist abandons his party and calls for the election of Democrats‘- Washington Post

Link to US Civitas Facebook Discussion Thread

Thread: Jeff Lazarus explains how electoral considerations pressure Congressional party compliance with the Presidential order

Professor Jeff Lazarus on the first thing every student of Congress must know: nearly all members need to be reelected, and this ultimately requires taking heed of how one’s constituents view the President / the party of the President.

Link to thread

Link to US Civitas Facebook Discussion Thread

Local Explanatory Journalism at its Finest

Anna Clark, at Columbia Journalism Review, reports on “an exhaustive, densely analytical, data-rich four-part series (one, two, three, four) on partisan polarization in metropolitan Milwaukee, produced this month by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.” As Clark, notes, this series presents a serious challenge to the conventional wisdom that says high quality, deeply explanatory and data-driven journalism is only possible at the national level.

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Democratic Party Expected to Have Significant Electoral College Advantage in 2016

Political Scientist Ben Highton explains:

If the 2016 presidential vote is evenly split between the parties, which one is more likely to win the Electoral College and therefore the presidency?  I estimate that the Democrats’ chances of winning the Electoral College vote are between 83 and 89 percent, giving them a significant advantage.  This argument contrasts with those who are cautious of a Democratic advantage, such as Jonathan Bernstein and Harry Enten.  The reason I predict such a significant advantage is because of ongoing, long-term trends altering the electoral outlook in a number of key swing states… (keep reading)

Highton offer a more technical explanation of his methodology here.

Is this an Economic Reform Agenda Conservatives and Liberals can Endorse (and Millennials Should Fight for)?

Recently, Jesse A. Myerson has defended five economic reforms that he thinks fellow members of his Millennial Generation should “start fighting for, pronto, if we want to grow old in a just, fair society, rather than the economic hellhole our parents have handed us.” Myerson’s proposal is ambitious, including “Guaranteed Work for Everybody” and “Social Security for All [aka universal basic income]”. As one might expect, conservatives and libertarians have been highly critical. One fellow Millennial accused Myerson of trying to convince their generation to have “their livelihoods funded and assigned by the state,” thus completely ignoring the lesson they all were taught by “Lois Lowry’s The Giver in middle school.”

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