Bernie Sanders and the Grassfire that Wouldn’t Spark

There is no denying that Bernie Sanders’ platform is radical. His ideas are radical, the speed of change he seeks is radical, and the way he’s willing to achieve change is radical. Voters should pay attention. Continue reading

A Look at Our Electoral System, Part I – When Voters Speak

Somewhere in my graduate education I came across the following observation: the role of a selection process isn’t to find the right choice, but to certify one choice over others as the right one. A boxing match that goes the … Continue reading

Looking for Hope in the Age of Trump

It has come to this: supposedly serious people have tried to find solace in the naked absurdity of what Mr. Trump is saying, reasoning that at the very least he couldn’t possibly sincerely mean it. Thus, in a contest for the most powerful office in the world, the thought that what the winner might do is a total mystery has become the optimistic telling. Continue reading

Scalia’s Death Sparks Mental Gymnastics from Both Parties

The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the middle of a Presidential race has brought the mental gymnastics of politicians and voters into sharp relief. On the most basic details, everyone seems to share a blessedly common … Continue reading

Possible Grexit Highlights Europe’s Real Deficit

There has been much talk over the last few years of Europe’s budgetary deficits and of its democratic deficit, but Europe’s more troubling deficit might be its constitutional deficit. Simply put, Europeans are not clear among themselves on how difficult decisions are to be made, how the pain for such decisions is to be shared, and, more basically, the nature of their mutual obligations. Continue reading

The Electoral System is Broken, Time for Something Radical – Part II

All the obvious pathways to electoral reform are dead ends – if anything meaningful is going to happen, it needs to happen in a new way. That way might be an effort to try something that hasn’t been tried since 1787: call a constitutional convention. Continue reading

The Electoral System is Broken, Time for Something Radical – Part I

Pessimism about campaign finance reform is well-placed. It’s a problem that an overwhelming majority of Americans can see, and that politicians readily pay lip service to. But if you’re waiting for Washington to fix it, you’re going to be waiting a long time. If anything is going to get better, it’s going to take something radical. Continue reading

What happened to the liberals?

In political life, there is no shortage of natural battle lines. Once a society sets up a welfare state, for example, it’s no surprise that some people think it should be bigger and others think it should be smaller. Similarly, … Continue reading

Obama Pretends to Ask Congress to Approve Military Force

Last week, President Obama asked Congress to grant him explicit approval for military operations against the Islamic State. Even casual observers might find the request a bit odd, since the US has been carrying out a bombing campaign against ISIS … Continue reading

Torture Report Gives America a Second Chance

On Tuesday, after years of wrangling with their colleagues and with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Senate Democrats released a report that accuses the CIA of what legal scholars have largely agreed on: in the aftermath of 9/11, the United … Continue reading