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. CSK says:

    According to Maggie Haberman, when Trump was released from the hospital after his bout with Covid, he wanted to wear a Superman shirt under his dress shirt, so he could rip off the dress shirt and rise from his wheelchair before the adoring multitudes.

  2. Kathy says:


    Maybe he could have pulled off a Bizarro Superman T-shirt.

  3. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I think this would be more what would spring to my mind:

  4. Sleeping Dog says:


    You ruined my morning, now I’ll have the image of that fat tub of lard in a skin tight leotard in my head all day. At least with summer over I won’t be confronted with a guy 50# overweight on the beach in a Speedo. AHHHHG…

  5. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Kylopod: @Sleeping Dog:
    I wonder who talked him out of doing so?

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    In case it wasn’t clear to you that Ilya Shapiro is a POS:

    Excellent. Note to everyone who’s been misconstruing the policy: it’s prospective, meaning current students are not subject to the boycott, only future ones who exercise the bad judgment to go to @YaleLawSch.— Ilya Shapiro (@ishapiro) October 8, 2022

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Truss and Kwarteng will face fury of Tory MPs in week of crisis meetings

    The road ahead is pitted with potholes, I suspect a few washouts too.

  8. Flat Earth Luddite says:
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Force to be reckoned with’: Ketanji Brown Jackson shines in first week

    Jackson quickly started taking a scalpel to his argument. She was confused, she said, as to why considering race created a problem under the 14th amendment.

    “I don’t think we can assume that just because race is taken into account that that necessarily creates an equal protection problem,” she said. History, she said, showed that the founders and framers adopted the 14th amendment “in a race-conscious way.

    “That they were, in fact, trying to ensure that people who had been discriminated against, the freed men in – during the reconstructive – reconstruction period were actually brought equal to everyone else in the society.”
    “Jackson’s doing an enormous positive service by spotlighting that originalism doesn’t necessarily lead to stereotypically conservative outcomes,” he said. “I don’t think it’s gonna switch votes on the court anytime soon. I think it’s useful to undermine the smugness and self-confidence and self-assurance of those who argue for a color-blind constitution.”

    “Even if it doesn’t win their vote, it’s really good to make them aware of that contradiction. And to install a little humility or doubt about their position. Which they have not expressed in recent writings,” he added.

    It was the kind of questioning that showed a clear difference between the styles of Jackson and Stephen Breyer, the justice she replaced on the bench, wrote Mark Stern, who covers the supreme court for Slate. “Breyer had a habit of bringing arguments to a standstill with endless, convoluted questions that failed to move the needle. So far with Jackson, there’s no self-indulgent wheel-spinning, just rapid-fire questions that cut to the heart of the case.”

    You go girl, show us all how it’s done.

  10. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    That does look enthralling.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    However, Gutfeld’s little outburst is worth noting because it underscores just how sex-obsessed rightwingers are. The party of supposedly small government is constantly inserting itself into other people’s pants. They want to ban sex education in schools; they want to restrict contraception; they want to force women to give birth; they want to ban women from wearing revealing clothes; they want to complain that college students aren’t wearing revealing enough clothes. Republicans don’t have any meaningful or coherent policies, they just have a fixation on controlling women.

    While rightwingers are busy sexualizing college students young enough to be their own kids they’re also, of course, simultaneously shouting about how liberals are “groomers” who are trying to “recruit” children. The moral panic over “grooming”, it must be said, is starting to look a lot like projection. Let’s not forget, after all, that Matt Gaetz, a sitting Republican congressman is still under investigation for underage sex trafficking. Meanwhile Matt Walsh, a prominent rightwing commentator, has suggested that we should be pushing for more teenage girls to marry and get pregnant because it is “technically when they’re at their most fertile”. The party of family values, ladies and gentlemen!

    Gutfeld’s spiel on “asexual” college students, doesn’t just exemplify the right’s sex-obsession – it’s also an example of the Republican’s fixation with attacking higher education. While anti-intellectualism has been a key part of the Republican party for a long time (Ronald Reagan wanted to eliminate the Department of Education), it has ramped up recently. At the beginning of the 2010s, 58% of Republicans believed higher education had a positive impact on the course of the country, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2015 that number started dipping dramatically and by 2019 only 33% agreed colleges and universities were shaping the US for the better. Republican politicians like Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, have been vying for more control over state universities and trying to regulate what can be taught about race and identity.

    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand why universities terrify Republicans: they teach critical thinking skills. And the very last thing Republicans seem to want is for people to think for themselves.

    – Arwa Mahdawi

  12. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ayup, indeed. Thank dawg I’m 40 years past something like this being on my assigned reading list!

  13. CSK says:
  14. MarkedMan says:

    On another thread, blockchain (the technology most associated with BitCoin and other Crypto currencies came up and I mentioned that I check in on it every couple of years, just to see if anyone has found an actual use for it in the real world. Why do I bother? Because the underlying technology is cool and it might someday turn out to be useful. I do this for a number of technologies and one seems to be on the cusp of finally breaking through.

    Way back in 2007 a company, Witricity, was formed to promote technology that could send power wirelessly to devices. I attended at least one trade show where there was a living room mock-up with a television playing with no power plug or other wiring. But the constraints and concerns made me highly skeptical that it was practical in the real world. I checked in on them a week or so ago and think they may have finally found a killer app. They are using it to wirelessly charge electric cars via a pad embedded in a garage floor. The traditional wireless power technology we use for, say, charging our phones becomes exponentially less efficient the farther away the charging plate is. That’s why even a phone case that’s too thick cuts off the power flow. But they are claiming 98% efficiency with distances of a foot.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    they want to complain that college students aren’t wearing revealing enough clothes

    I’m certain that there’s a story that goes with this. My question is whether I want to know what that story is. [exploding head emoji]

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Republican politicians like Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, have been vying for more control over state universities and trying to regulate what can be taught about race and identity.”

    And just as Ben Sasse is leaving the Senate to become President of UF. And he was the sole candidate the trustees were seeking. Makes me wonder why. My inner cynic is not sanguine.

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: @CSK: Wasn’t ever on mine, but I was one of those drag on society liberal arts types.

  18. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I was an English major.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..

    they want to complain that college students aren’t wearing revealing enough clothes

    I’m certain that there’s a story that goes with this. My question is whether I want to know what that story is. [exploding head emoji]

    Streakers Sleepytown U 1973

    (I’m still looking for the photo of the skinny dippers in the pond in front of the University Library in the middle of the day.)

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Music History. [Cue jokes by Tom and Ray Magliozzi] I took an MA in English (heavily biased away from literature studies) while I was back getting my teaching certificate.

  21. Kathy says:

    So, how close are we to begin saying, “Well, Capitalism sounds good in theory, but in practice…”

    That’s already so of “trickle down” voodoo “economics.”

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  23. CSK says:

    How could you get away with an M.A. in English that wasn’t about literary studies????

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..English major.
    In 1969 one of my college roommates got a Masters Degree in English something or other.
    We all ragged him about it. He and a few other freaks bought some land with a very old farm house on the edge of nowhere in Union County, Ilinois and started a hippie commune and proceeded to live off the land. I visited the place a few times but wasn’t all that enamored with living with goats and chickens. And I like flush toilets instead of an outhouse.
    Lost track of him.
    Just last year I found out he retired from NASA.

  25. Mikey says:

    For anyone who didn’t already know, the third season of Derry Girls is now up on Netflix.

    Mel Gibson’s William Wallace is referred to as a “Scottish drag queen” in the first five minutes so already awesome.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..Illinois

    I even had the EDIT key and read the post multiple times and still didn’t catch the error.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Three factors:
    1) many of the students in the grad program were associated with the teacher preparation program, so we had several courses more in the pedagogy line (for example, I took 3 different grammar courses in my program and 2 or 3 writing instruction courses)
    2) the school I attended had the largest ESL/EFL training program in the state at the time
    3) We had an additional English Language Learning emphasis that attracted large numbers of foreign students–mostly from China and Japan–who were coming to learn to teach English as a speaking skill mostly, with lower emphasis on reading and writing.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: You probably needn’t have mentioned it. Neither did I until I went back looking for it. It’s one of those “yu cn red thes even tho mowst of the wrds are mispelt” things where the brain assigns the right word.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: There are quite a lot of people/companies trying to use blockchain to “increase security” on Internet of Things, Internet of Drones, Internet of Robots, etc.

    Lordy lordy me….