Sunday’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. Kathy says:

    For a lazy Sunday, The Blue Danube Waltz seems appropriate.

    And because it’s me, here’s the 2001 Blue Danube sequence

  2. Kathy says:

    This is the kind of thing that can give your airline a bad reputation.

    First the flight was delayed 4 hours. Then it diverted to another country. And to top it off it returned to the departure point.

    The piece doesn’t say, but it’s likely the closure of Fort Lauderdale due to flooding required so many other diversions, that there was no place left at nearby airports. Then, too, airlines are reluctant to divert to airports they don’t serve, as that makes obtaining fuel and other services harder and more expensive.

    Still, if the airline sold you a flight from A to B, and all it managed t do was return you to A over half a day later, they should refund the whole fare, ancillary fees, and even paid for inflight amenities. And I mean cash on the spot and no questions asked.

  3. steve says:

    Best version of Blue Danube. Being the bad influence uncle in the family I have taught the nieces to do this but in cat, not chicken as they much prefer to pretend they are cats.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    It frustrates me that even after we watched Chris Rufo invent CRT in K-12 pundits still pretend this stuff rises organically from the common clay of the new west. WAPO , hopefully depaywalled, has a good article on the birth and rapid rise of transgender as an issue. Social conservatives found themselves at sea after the Supremes legalized same sex marriage.

    “We knew we needed to find an issue that the candidates were comfortable talking about,” said Terry Schilling, the president of American Principles Project, a social conservative advocacy group. “And we threw everything at the wall.”

    What has stuck, somewhat unexpectedly, is the issue of transgender identity, particularly among young people. Today, the effort to restrict transgender rights has supplanted same-sex marriage as an animating issue for social conservatives at a pace that has stunned political leaders across the spectrum.

    Conservatives would have us believe they follow some long standing set of verities. The article shows the mechanics of inventing them.

  5. Jay L Gischer says:

    @gVOR08: +100 for quoting Blazing Saddles.

    And of course this was a ginned up issue. Strange that they don’t cite early bathroom laws, though. I think that comes earlier than the stuff cited.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: You may remember a couple months ago Air New Zealand turned a flight around half way to NY. The passengers spent 16 hours going from Auckland to Auckland.

    Many years ago I had a flight from Germany to JFK diverted to Newark. A thunderstorm caused the international arrivals gates to back up. We sat at a gate trapped on the airplane for several hours until a gate opened at JFK. Then we flew to JFK. Flying a 747 from Newark to JFK is a bit weird, but we had a nice scenic flight over NY. The takeoff in Germany, with transatlantic fuel, rumbled down the runway forever. Newark was like taking off in a piper cub. One would have thought Air NZ could similarly divert, but apparently they needed the airplane back in NZ on schedule.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @Jay L Gischer: The article does mention the bathroom laws, as a first attempt that failed due to corporate backlash. They found “parental rights” and boys in girls’ sports focus grouped much better.

  8. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I think bathroom laws had 1) and easy fix and 2) generated some backlash from the public that disqualified that as the talking point. Transgender identity has more of a “well, I see their [rwnj] point” feature in it for the right wing nut jobs. @gVOR08: Parental rights always polls strongly. And who wants pervy-ish pubescent boys playing girls sports? Nobody, that’s who!

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    To my surprise, we basically won on bathrooms, and by ‘win,’ I mean locally and perhaps temporarily – this is not black letter law. We were never going to win on trans-female athletes, because ‘our’ position was manifestly unfair. In effect we marched our troops into a position where they were guaranteed to be overrun. And the overrunning of our position opened up the entire line to attack.

    But of course various people more-virtuous-then-I will denounce me for having correctly predicted defeat. Some will want to rehash the right or wrong of it, but we are not in a college seminar, we are in a political fight, and in politics self-inflicted defeats to an already tiny minority with no voting power, is fukkin stoopid.

    God forbid that I, a cis gender wealthy White Boomer male dare to ‘splain, but after some early advances we are now falling back in disarray. Getting our asses kicked. Think first Bull Run. Or Kasserine Pass. Which to me suggests maybe we’re doing something (gasp!) wrong. Our strategy and tactics are not producing the brilliant successes that our sheer righteousness should have produced. Crazy idea, but maybe draw back to more defensible lines, weather the attacks as best we can, and prepare to counterattack using our nice new weapons: abortion and book bans. Abortion is our HIMARS, Book banning is our Leopards. Win on abortion and we’ll win on trans issues, but there is no winning by fore-grounding trans issues.

  10. CSK says:

    Donny Junior is getting his ass kicked for asking the MAGAs to end their boycott of Bud Light.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Wow, 5:37 pm and only 10 comments. I guess my losing power for 21 hours and the absence of this blogs most annoying voice made for a very boring day here.

  12. CSK says:


    You can make up for it now that you’ve gotten your power back.

  13. dazedandconfused says:


    It’s safe to say they got nailed with substantial fees from an unscheduled landing at a foreign airport, and the Bahamans cut them no mercy on those fees…fwiw.

    Very likely their only option given fuel on board at the time…other than declaring an emergency to cut in front of aircraft holding to use those other airports. It would’ve gone very badly for the pilots and dispatchers if the FAA investigation determined they declared an emergency simply to keep from having to pay those fees.

  14. Senyordave says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Sports was easy, but they would have found something eventually. It was never about anything other than winning elections. To steal from South Park, if genocide against gingers would win the GOP elections, Fox would be talking it up tomorrow.

  15. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: The Waltz of the Blue Danube is sampled several times on Malcolm McLaren’s album Waltz Darling, including in the preposterously catchy song “Algernons Simply Awfully Good At Algebra”

  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’m old enough to remember way back to 2022 when old men on here were stating that ‘progressives’ had created CRT and now we had better just let the GOP run on it or else all this woke nonsense is gonna lose us the Senate.

    But this time going the issue of the day will definitely lose us everything if we don’t immediately give up in the face of GOP attacks.