The First Presidential Debate and Confronting Mortality

The message was obvious to me as soon as Trump said half a sentence. There’s too much personal introspection there for a public post, but let’s just say that all of the thinking I’ve done regarding my own mortality in the last few years helped me absorb the initial blow in stride. And yes, mortality,…

Convention Big Tents and the Democrats’ Madison Cawthorn Problem

There’s a lot of hand-wringing this month (and always) about “big-tent” politics in the Democratic Party and whether that means expanding leftward or rightward. But the RNC lineup this week showcases one way in which they are lightyears ahead of the Democratic Party in terms of how they handle this question. This administration is on…

First and Final Thoughts on Kamala Harris

Okay. We all knew the Kamala Harris VP pick was coming. But I think that her record is not actually the reason I’m disheartened by this pick at this point. This takes her out of the running for Attorney General, after all, where she has clearer power to do damage. I think I’m more disheartened…

What Do We Do with Bad Candidates? Elected Judges and Electoral Pipelines

Let’s talk about state supreme courts for a bit. Elected judges are bad for basically every reason, but news in Ohio about the 2020 races has led me to recognize yet another problem with them. Ohio’s state supreme court, like many other state supreme courts, has a bar admission requirement for the office. Specifically, someone…

Laying a Progressive Foundation: Targeting State Legislative Races in 2020

Presidential fundraising is none of our concern. That’s a slight overstatement, but once we reach the general election, it’s largely true: the amount of money that we’re generally able to donate or direct is peanuts compared to the outlandish sums being raised by candidates these days. Hillary Clinton, even before accounting for outside spending, raised…

Bring On the Cleveland Spiders: A Historical Defense of Changing the Name

This reflection is adapted from a Twitter thread on this issue, which has more inline pictures to accompany it, and in response to the news that the Cleveland Indians are going to consider changing their name.  Getting behind the Cleveland Spiders (or Guardians, or even Rockers) does not erase history, but rather is consistent with…

Black Lives Matter Means Decarceration

It’s easy to reach for quick solutions. The scale of the protests and the horror of the police response makes the need feel immediate. And it is immediate. But only systemic overhauls will actually unwind the injustice in the system. In this frame, let’s talk about decarceration. One of the reasons the police wield so…

A Skeptic’s Reaction to Twitter Fact-Checking Trump Tweets

For those of you hailing the fact-checking of Trump’s tweets, don’t forget that fact checks are only as good as the fact checkers. Here’s an AP fact check from the July 2019 Democratic debates that misunderstands the premise so thoroughly that I don’t even know where to begin. For folks who don’t practice civil rights…