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. Jax says:

    Tap tap tap….is this thing on?! Where is everybody?!

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: It’s a sleepy Sunday. I found nothing in the news worth passing on, just regurgitations of yesterday’s and Friday’s news.

  3. CSK says:

    I’m wondering who the “perverts” might be. And what kind of ads are they running?

  4. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I can’t imagine. The only time I watch FNC is at the gym and I most of the ads look in-house to me–for “Fox Nation.” next episode of “Tucker,” etc.

  5. CSK says:

    Everybody’s over in the Anglicization thread talking about the pronunciation of place names.

  6. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I’m curious to know what Trump’s idea of a pervert might be.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    someone with scruples

  8. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    A reasonable assumption.

  9. gVOR08 says:

    It’s been noted here that Balloon Juice is back and Adam Silverman has renewed his daily Ukraine updates. Yesterday, in response to commenter questions, he addressed whether the West will buckle as Putin hopes.

    I think Putin is counting on the GOP at least retaking the House. Which will both end any funding for Ukraine after January 2023 and completely tie up the Biden administration with frivolous “oversight” investigations that are actually political witch hunts.

    He’s also counting on a refugee crisis in Europe that can be used to by his extremist catspaws in the various EU member states to weaken the EU and NATO.

    Silverman goes on in some detail to discuss:
    – Gerrymandering almost guarantees a GOP House majority
    – Odds are not good in the Senate
    – GOPs are ratfracking elections and successfully peeling off a few percent of minorities
    – Media coverage
    – Saudi Arabia
    – Garland
    – The GOPs as a revolutionary, albeit reactionary, movement
    – International crises flowing from Ukraine, Modi’s inaction
    – Germany, France, and Italy are squishy
    – Most of the global south is not cooperating with sanctions, giving Russia a backdoor to western tech and anything else.

    What I think could happen is not that the EU or NATO will split, but they’ll simply become irrelevant to the process. You’d see the Baltic states, Poland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the US – provided what I’m worried about doesn’t happen in November – continue to support Ukraine while Germany, France, Italy, Hungary either wind up somewhere between ineffectually useless (Germay, France, Italy) or outright hostile (Hungary). The other EU and NATO members will chip in when and where they feel they can and it is in their interests.

    Silverman doesn’t really have anything new here, but despite being a bit long it’s as succinct a summary of our problem as I’ve seen in one place. I’d like to say he’s wrong. I’d really, really like to say he’s wrong. But he isn’t. I must recommend reading it in full. Why should I be the only one depressed? The subject discussion starts after the black block with the UK Ministry of Defense update.

    On a brighter note, Nadal looks to be headed for a straight set victory at Roland Garros, but Ruud’s making him work for it.

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: “Pervert” has no content. It’s simply the worst thing you can call someone/something in the pseudo-Christian, pseudo-moralistic society the right imagines.

  11. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    It seems to be one of Trump’s all-purpose words to denote anyone who disagrees with him. In 2021, he accused “perverts” of claiming that he and Glenn Youngkin didn’t like each other.

    He seems to latch onto a word and misuse it repeatedly, then drop it and seize on another locution du jour. Remember when he was abusing “proud” and “proudly,” as in “the American people are proudly saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

    I’ve said “Merry Christmas” a number of times, but never “proudly.”

    Don’t get me started on “perfect” phone calls.

  12. CSK says:

    Or “strongly,” as in “We’re looking at that very strongly.”


  13. Mister Bluster says:

    On June 4th, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy won the Democratic Party presidential primaries in California and South Dakota. It was 2am cdt, June 5th in the midwest where I was watching him on TV address his supporters at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after the victories. Even though I would not be 21 years old until January 1969 and not qualified to vote in the November 1968 Presidential election I had registered for the Draft at 18 when I was still in High School and I had a keen interest in who would be the next President USA.
    Moments after RFK finished speaking and walked off camera word came over the air that he had been shot! I couldn’t believe it! The memory of his brother’s assassination not 5 years earlier flashed through my mind!
    Apparently I woke up my dad. “Go to bed. It’s late.” he said.
    “But Robert Kennedy just got shot!” I said.
    54 years ago today.
    Almost 24 hours later two friends and I boarded the Illinois Central passenger train in Homewood, Illinois to visit Carbondale to enroll in college at Southern Illinois University and look for housing. A train ride that I will never forget. Six hours and 300 miles. The conductor on the train was listening to his transistor radio for news. We were a few hours from our destination and it was still dark out on the morning of June 6th when he told us that he heard a report that Kennedy had died.
    Lest we forget.
    Robert F. Kennedy

  14. dazedandconfused says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    “Pervert” is a reminder to any who might be contemplating Ryan’s form of treason that a ruthless, thoroughly unethical slime-job is assured.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I find it better for my mental health (and, as some have claimed, sociopathic tendencies) to avoid paying attention to FG, so I appreciate the heavy lifting that you and others do to keep me in touch with the larger world with little easily processed snippets of FGspeak/think that I can laugh at.

  16. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:


    Unless he drops dead, I’d soon not hear anything about him.

  17. Gustopher says:

    Ok, in Kenobi Ep 2, our heroes escape on an automated cargo ship while the Inquisitor watches them, occupied with other matters a few feet away.

    In Episode 3, the Inquisitors are sending out probes to find them.

    I’m not sure why the Empire couldn’t follow a ship. Even if there was no flight plan, there’s air traffic control, and even without that, how many automated cargo ships were leaving the planet then?

    Follow the ship, blow it up before it leaves orbit. Maybe intercept and gas everyone on board if they want to take Kenobi alive.

    Even if there isn’t a large Imperial presence, there is the Inquisitor ship, and while Reva isn’t near it, other Inquisitors are.

    (I can make up reasons involving her wanting to bring Kenobi down personally, but it seems like such a misstep given that she then has to report that Kenobi got away in order to get the search started. If characters are going to do dumb things out of pride or arrogance, it should be shown that they are undermining themselves rather than happening offscreen)

  18. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    In a lighter note, I’d like to present my daughter. Presently mid-3o’s. Was a solid 1.2 GPA throughout school, until her senior year, when she listened to Cracker, and realized the whole thing was a game, with the school setting the table rules. Senior year was a solid 3.7 GPA. We now advance nearly 20 years after graduation, and she’d decided to go to college. The other night after midnight, she sent me an email with an attachment from her college (she’s in the final term of her AA, which she’s spent the last 18 months on). The letter congratulated her for making the Dean’s List (3.5-3.99 GPA). In an “aw-shucks” tone, she admitted that she’d been on the list every term except the first (and that was because she didn’t take a full load first semester). Whether she goes on to a BA or further, I’m proud of her for stepping up and giving it a go, ignoring the people who said she wasn’t capable.

  19. Gustopher says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Wow, she not only learned that it was a game, but that she wanted to play the game? I’m really impressed with her.

    Even more impressed with Cracker. What the hell did he tell her, and can he tell me the same thing?

    (My underachieving is better than a lot of people’s achieving… but still)

  20. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Avec plaisir.

  21. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Good for her. She–like I–was probably bored senseless in high school. The cliche about high school being like prison is too apt for me to forego using it.

  22. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    IIRC, Cracker (and I, but she listened to him, because, Dad) discussed many times with her the fact that he and I had been underachievers in school (through a combination of disinterest, boredom, and pip-headedness). She finally bought into the explanation that yes, she knew the material, but if she only passed her exams with A’s, but failed to turn in the required homework, she’d be labeled as uneducable. He reminded her that school was ultimately a poker game, but the house/dealer set the rules, not the marks at the table. I think she turned it around just to show them that she could.

    As Cracker noted here a while ago, the fact that I somehow have an adult daughter who likes my company, reads widely, and tries to treat people with kindness and compassion is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given, and proof that maybe (just maybe) I’m not the complete evil asshole I’ve been accused of being at other times in my life.

  23. JohnSF says:

    There’s a tendency among some journalists/commentators to jump on any rhetorical divergence in the West/NATO and magnify that into “alliance splits! OHMIGAWD!” when it’s just the normal consequence of not everyone in a pluralistic system having the same interests and analysis.

    The Germans often exhibit various combinations of angst, timidity, idealism, self-righteousness, and mercantilist cynicism. What’s new?
    (Apart from Chancellor Scholz’s office being utterly useless at coherent messaging)

    French policy continues to fixate upon wooing Germany to the extent of alienating almost everyone else, while ignoring the evidenced likelihood that Germany will continue to side-step being the paymaster of Paris.
    Every year since 1949.

    Also, Macron may have a line in “negotiated settlement” speechifying; but at the same time France is increasing deliveries of artillery systems.

    As regards the GOP, a lot are unwilling to cross the Putinophile neo-nationalists in public.
    But the more sentient (which remains IMHO the majority of the congressionals and staffers) still realise that a Russian victory chops the US off at the knees geopolitically.

    Similarly, the European political classes are also generally aware that Russian victory is negative.

    Only recently encountered Silverman, and he seems a very astute analyst, but maybe a bit inclined to emphasize surface “news” over deeper structural patterns.

    It’s a bit like the current back and forth over will/won’t Russia take Severodonetsk etc.
    It matters a lot to people there; but even if Russia wins that fight, does it mean Ukraine is broken? No.

    And neither is Russia if it loses a piece of territory it gained: its the cumulative military damage that is critical.
    Though if Ukraine does drive down the Dniepr near Kherson, that would be major.

    We are still in the early stages of this conflict IMO.
    Food and oil are yet to play the full roles they will.
    And the potential for the West to dial the nasty up to 11, with respect to e.g. Modi and MBS, has only begun to edge onto the stage.

    The West, will, IMO, hang together, because of shared underlying interest, despite the rhetorical and diplo-dancing divergences.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: I hope you’re right that Europe will hang in there with Ukraine. And I respect your opinion, you live there.But when this war broke out Joe Biden stepped up as leader of free world. (That phrase seemed to be an anachronism, now it doesn’t.) He’s done a great job, a job enabled by all the aid for ukraine he brought to the table. Aid approved by Nancy Pelosi’s House majority and Mitch McConnell’s cooperation. Pelosi is likely to be replaced in January by Kevin McCarthy, or someone even worse. Even if McConnell continues to surprise by doing the right thing, he can’t deliver without the House. Who’s going to step up and provide the leadership and the aid when Biden is kneecapped by the GOPs?