Saturday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Yesterday at an address to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Tennessee, Trump claimed his July 4, 2020 speech drew a bigger crowd than did Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. He helpfully explained that the people were more tightly packed together at his speech.

  2. Scott says:

    Pence skips Faith & Freedom conference. Is attacked by Trump anyways.

    The Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual gathering of social conservatives was once Mike Pence’s home turf.

    The former vice president would attend the conference each year to address an audience of like-minded evangelicals who were eager to hear him speak and elevate him politically.

    That was then.

    This year, Pence has taken on a new persona among the crowd—a Trump era castoff who is probably better off not showing his face. And he seems to know it. The former veep was invited to the conference but decided not to attend. It was the first time Pence had missed the conference in five years.

    While Pence has, so far, dodged discussing the committee’s proceedings, Trump used his own appearance at the Faith & Freedom conference to attack his veep.

    “Mike Pence had a chance to be great, he had a chance to be frankly historic,” Trump said. “But Mike did not have the courage to act.”

    If Pence has any hope for a future in politics, he better punch back hard at Trump. Cause that is what you do to bullies. But I’m doubtful. Because Trump is right in one regard. Pence doesn’t have courage.

  3. CSK says:

    Laurence Tribe says Trump should be charged with the attempted murder of Pence.

    I think Pence’s future in politics is over–he’s completely alienated Trump’s fans–but I agree that he ought to hit back hard. I’d like to see him testify before the Jan. 6 committee.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: He ain’t called Mike Dense just for snark. It’s been reported that Pence, TFG’S one time emissary to the holy roller community, thinks God wants him to be prez. God works in mysterious ways, so this can only, in Pence’s simple mind, be a temporary setback in God’s, and Charles Koch’s, greater plan for Mike.

    Remember the old joke about the guy who was sure God would rescue him from a flood so he waved off the helicopter? I can picture Dense on his deathbed, “God, you said you’d make me prez.” “I gave you the 25th Amendment.”

  5. Jax says:

    My “tamale pie” turned out pretty dang good, thanks for the ideas and recipe, Kathy and Jen! I made a bottom crust that was pretty heavy, like a pie crust only with corn meal, and smushed it down flat and even, then poured the filling on it, and made a second batch for the top that was more like regular cornbread batter. It was really good with that heavy bottom crust!

  6. @CSK: His pathological obsession with crowd size is just pathetic.

  7. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Thought for the day I overheard. Maybe the way to get the GQP’s to get on the abortion clinic bandwagon and support women’s rights is to rename the clinics “Angel Factories “

  8. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Crowd size and ratings. Those are his criteria for judging worth.

  9. CSK says:

    Slow day here.

  10. Kathy says:


    Maybe the Solar System just entered a higher speed region of its orbit around the Milky Way?

  11. Barry says:

    @Scott: “If Pence has any hope for a future in politics, he better punch back hard at Trump. Cause that is what you do to bullies. But I’m doubtful. Because Trump is right in one regard. Pence doesn’t have courage.”

    Pence doesn’t have a future in the GOP. Trump is their leader, and he didn’t mind murdering Pence.

  12. Mister Bluster says:

    Ten days to the Illinois General Primary Elections June 28. Before I vote I visit the Jackson County Clerk and Recorder web site to view a sample ballot. Two days ago, before I clicked on that County Government link, I received in the mail addressed to me personally (or current resident) in my USPS Post Office Box a sample ballot for the 2022 Democratic Primary election from the Southern Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association, Oxbow Rd., Pinckneyville.
    How thoughtful of them.
    Wait a minute!
    How did the Democrats know to send me (or current resident) a sample ballot for their election?
    Everyone knows that:

    In Illinois, you do not declare affiliation with a political party when you register to vote. In primary elections, you may choose to vote a specific political party ballot on Election Day. Source

    An agitated internet search turned up this:

    And just an FYI: in Illinois, primary election voting history is publicly available. Partisan groups and political operatives can’t see who you voted for, but they do have access to information on which party ballot you pulled.

    News to me!
    All these years of voting in a primary and having to verbally declare which party ballot I wanted I never thought that my ballot choice was being recorded.
    I may not vote in any more Illinois primaries.

  13. CSK says:

    Beats me. Maybe the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter has aligned with Mars.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I may not vote in any more Illinois primaries.

    That’ll certainly keep the radical elements from gaining control. Fer shur!

  15. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    We don’t do radicals here. Creeps, weirdos, and felons, sure, but not radicals.

    The most radical thing we’ve done was elect a halfway competent billionaire that doesn’t seem interested in stealing everything. I was going to say not nailed down, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t matter here.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: My apologies.

    My son in law called last night and asked me if I wanted to go fishing this AM. I have a long standing policy of, “If any of our children/grandchildren invite me somewhere/to do something, my answer is always, “Yes.” So I came awake at 1;30 this AM my head filled with all the things I knew I would forget for such a short notice trip and an hour later (having made sure none would be forgotten) I was wide awake. Tried to sleep anyway, gave up at 4:30, took care of a few other things, and he got here at 6, whereupon we headed for the Big Piney and a beautiful fishing hole I knew of on it. We spent the morning being shamed by the smallies there, took a leisurely drive back during which we stopped to check out a couple other spots I knew (until today, he’d never done any river fishing before) finally arriving back home about 12:30 where I was mobbed by the dogs. I made a quick lunch and then collapsed into a snoring heap on the couch.

    I woke up about 4, read some more of Balkan Ghosts, and finally arrived here for a bit.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I’ve always assumed my primary ballot choice was public knowledge. Call it a big ol’ “FU” finger to the conservative powers that be out here.

  18. CSK says:

    I hope you had a wonderful time.

  19. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Balkan Ghosts? Are you a fan of Bosnian genocide books? Because if so, I’ve got recommendations! Hmm, that might seem a little too eager.

    Anyway, My War Gone By, I Miss It So by Anthony Lloyd is excellent, if war tourism is your thing. Slavenka Drakulic’s They Wouldn’t Hurt A Fly is also quite nice. Both tend to focus on the personal aspects. Endgame by David Rodhe takes a slightly bigger picture.

    If you want a bit of fiction, Ivo Andric’s Bridge on the Drina predates the genocide, but it’s really clearly coming.

    Other people read Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings for stories about human weakness and man’s inhumanity towards man, but I’d rather just go straight to the source. It also skips the happy ending tacked on. You don’t need Sauron to breed a race of orcs to destroy hope and civilization, you just need to convince Frodo’s neighbors that there’s something a bit wrong with him and his kind.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    Of the 14 Federal and State offices that are listed on the Jackson County Democratic Primary sample ballot that the Southern Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association mailed to me (or current resident) only four have more than one candidate running to be the Democratic Party candidate for those offices in the General Election. For County Board District 5 there are two candidates listed for that seat with instructions to “vote for not more than two”.
    The Specimen Ballot/Democratic Primary Election on the Jackson County Clerk and Recorder web site includes all the above offices up for a vote plus it lists two State Senate seats and two State Representative seats along with one County Board seat for which the Democratic Party has no nominees.
    My consternation at my name being shared with anyone by the Jackson County Clerks office can only be expressed by asking “what happened to the secret ballot?”

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: We did. My SiL is, to say the least, very conservative so we don’t see eye to eye on very many things. Despite that, we enjoy each other’s company and I like sharing my wide spread knowledge of the hills and hollers. My wife once told him that I know places most people have never heard of. I never thought about it much but today, while directing him to this lost place in Pulaski Co. or that, that I haven’t been to in a decade or more, I realized that yes I do have a far and wide ranging knowledge of the hills and hollers. My eldest son grew up with my explorations, so I took for granted his knowledge. To have someone else to share it with at this *late stage* of my life is… for lack of better terms, a blessing.

    **late stage… I’m only 64 but dawg, the abuses I have inflicted on my body are piling up in these last few years.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Heh, not “a fan of Bosnian genocide books” by any means (thanx for the recommendations) but my father’s father came over from Slovenia in 1900 (mother in 1904)(the sister of a coworker at his Joliet steel plant, he went to pick her up at the train station when his buddy couldn’t. Love at first sight) so I am a bit invested in the Balkans. I first bought Balkan Ghosts a decade and a half ago. Tried to read it but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Tried it again a couple weeks ago and can’t put it down. Only a third of the way but it’s a great book about as truly a historically fcked up place as any I have ever imagined.

    Other people read Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings for stories about human weakness and man’s inhumanity towards man, but I’d rather just go straight to the source.

    Agreed, I feel the same.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: “what happened to the secret ballot?”

    The ballot is secret, the act of your voting is not. You made a public declaration of a desire to vote in the DEM primary and that fact was duly recorded. How you voted, or why*, remains with you and you alone.

    * there have always been people who crossed over in the hopes of helping to get the weakest candidate nominated.

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    a public declaration of a desire to vote

    I guess I should be grateful that if I freely choose to not vote in the upcoming Primary Election there are no compulsory voting laws in the United States that would force me to cast a ballot or be punished.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I may not vote in any more Illinois primaries.

    Why? Are you ashamed of voting in the Dem primary?

    If you lived in a small town your neighbors would know because they would see you enter the polling place. Welcome to the entire world being a small town.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    My consternation at my name being shared with anyone by the Jackson County Clerks office can only be expressed by asking “what happened to the secret ballot?”

    It’s never been a secret as to whether you vote. It’s been a secret as to who you vote for.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I see you beat me to it

  28. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: For a while, everywhere Robert Kaplan went pretty much exploded into violence a few years later. I kind of thought that if he would just not leave his house, he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I suppose it might be time to reread his book about traveling through America.

    Anyway, Balkan Ghosts is an amazing book. Equal parts tender and terrifying.

  29. Kathy says:


    Not at my home. Just as I’d mixed the cornbread batter with the salsa and beef, the oven decided to stop working.

    Baking is rather problematic without an oven.

    I wound up placing the mix in a pan and letting it cook, covered, on the stove. It did cook, but I don’t think the results were as good.

    The side of beans and chorizo was unaffected.