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. James Joyner says:

    Gotta get some work-work done this morning, so I may not get around to posting. Looks to be a slow news day, anyway.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Sorry you have to work on a Sunday James. Growing up, Sunday was the one day we could count on the old man being around, unless he was on a work trip.

  3. Jen says:

    @James Joyner: Same here. If I don’t get quite a bit of work-work done today, my week will be absolutely hellacious. Le sigh.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Being retired and half poor sounds better and better.

  5. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @James Joyner:

    My sympathies to you both. As W.C. Fields is reported to have said during Prohibition, “work is the curse of the drinking class.”

  6. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ditto. While I miss the litigation rush, and wax nostalgic about the farm, all in all my life’s not half bad.

  7. DAllenABQ says:

    A couple days ago a regular on this site posted a YouTube video of Jeff Beck playing “A Day in the Life” live in a nightclub venue. Looked like a full crowd in the low hundreds. That is a majestic piece of music. I am more a lurker bee than a worker bee here. Still, thanks greatly for posting.

    Made me think of the guitar solo at the end of “Comfortably Numb”.

  8. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    My sympathies.

    Coincidentally, this is the first weekend since November when I haven’t had to do any work.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I still do a good 4 hours of work around here everyday, but it’s at my pace, I can break it up into 1-2 hour stints, and I always have the option of a nap if I need/want one.

    And speaking of which…

  10. gVOR08 says:

    Yesterday, in Dr. T’s post on the effect of primaries on parties, Scott F. asked the obvious question, “Can I fully accept your overall analysis and still wonder why the asymmetry of these outcomes as they pertain to Democrats and Republicans might help us better manage this political moment?” Dr. T replied “It may well be that the American right is more susceptible to this kind of fringe. I think that a combination of the Cold War, which tamped down isolation and some forms of xenophobia (e.g., it was ideologically more accepted to want immigration because it proved our system was desirable) and the weird one-party status of the deep South made it possible for some of those influences to be diluted.

    It is also the culmination of decades of anti-governance rhetoric and infotainment approaches to politics.”

    Serendipitously, this morning Ezra Klein offered a longer analysis basically in line with Dr. T above. The whole thing is well worth reading, with depth and nuance that make it impossible to fairly excerpt. But long story short, Klein offers three reasons Rs are in their current state.

    Republicans are caught between money and media.
    So that’s one explanation for what happened to the Republican Party: It’s caught between a powerful business wing that drives its agenda and an antagonistic media that speaks for its ethnonationalist base, and it can’t reconcile the two.

    Same party, different voters.
    “Democrats are increasingly the party, when they’re in the majority, of the suburbs,” Continetti told me. “And to me, the American suburbs are the ballast of this country — they’re more small-c conservative than movement conservatives. The suburbs don’t want to rock the boat. So the Republican Party, as it’s become more rural and more non-college educated, they don’t have as much investment in the system. By that very reason, they become much more inclined to rock the boat.”

    Republicans need an enemy.
    There is an irresolvable contradiction between being a party organized around opposition to government and Democrats and being a party that has to run the government in cooperation with Democrats.

    The big question is where the GOP Party goes from here. The obvious path would seem to be that the establishment types drift to the Dems, leaving an ethnonationalist, rural Republican rump. But. The goals of the Koch et al establishment: low, regressive taxes and no regulation, are irreconcilable with the goals of the current D coalition. They are caught on the horns of their schizophrenia.

    ETA – Whoops. I see you saw Klein’s column Dr. T. That’s what I get for being slow composing a comment.

  11. Mister Bluster says:

    @Reynolds from Yesterday:..Ask a 19 year-old today if they’d trade circumstances with 19 year-old me. I doubt you’d find many takers.

    Ten years ago when I was living at the Buffalo Wild Wings for Sports on 50 Big Screen TVs and chicken wings one of the bartenders/servers that I met was a guy in his 20s in Law School. When he was behind the bar he would tune the music to the 60s-70s mix. Might have been the Dead playing when I told him how I had once lived in San Francisco and would walk over to Golden Gate Park on Sundays to hear Jerry and the crew for free and choke down some weed. He told me about how he had read all about the hippies and that he had many of the bands of the era in his music collection. At one point he said how he wished he had lived back then, 25 years before he was born.
    “I’m sure you would have had a good time.” I said “But you don’t want that. It would mean that you would be 65 today.”
    He did a slight double take and said “Yeah, you’re right.”

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    In GONE the premise is that all adults disappear and 332 kids are trapped in a 20 mile diameter dome. I wrote the first book in 2007 and had a little fun portraying the moment when kids begin to feel the true horror of their situation as they realize they don’t have Facebook or Twitter. If we do a TV series set in a contemporary time frame, that throwaway moment would have to be greatly expanded.

    I’m willing to bet that the threat of losing just Tik Tok would be enough for Gen-Zers to choose the present over the past. Or second hand smoke on airplanes and in bars. Or the absence of vegetarian options, let alone organic vegan. Life today is a lot better in a lot of ways. I lived the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, the oughts and the teens, and feel no nostalgia for any of it outside of politics.

    Every rising generation thinks their parents had it easier, and every older generation thinks the same about the yutes. Both are right if one cherry-picks the facts carefully enough. To anyone feeling hippie nostalgia, one word: Vietnam. Two more words: the draft.

    The music (now more available by far then when it was made) and the free love and the cheap housing all came with the possibility of legs blown off in a jungle 10,000 miles from home.

  13. steve says:
  14. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    When I was (happily) exiled to the family dairy farm in the 60’s/early 70’s, I lived with my grandmother’s brothers. They were WWI vets who ran a quarter section and upwards of 300 Holsteins, although by mid-70’s (years and their age) they were down to only 150+/- cows. Now that I’m in my late 60’s, I don’t know how they managed that.

    @Mister Bluster:
    Yeah, I also tried that “live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse” thing. Only batted .333 on that, which is probably why, my first thought when I look in the mirror in the morning is, “Oh hell no, that ain’t right!”

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I hit a wall of pain around age 56-57. It had been there for quite a while, growing a little higher every year. And then one day driving home (a 1 1/2 hr commute) from the job site I suddenly realized I could no longer grip the steering wheel at the end of the day. In fact I hadn’t been able to for quite some time but I had compartmentalized the pain to such an extent I hadn’t really noticed. I got laid off from that job because I kept tearing the cartilage in between my short ribs and they were afraid I might do serious damage and they’d be on the workman’s comp hook for it.

    C’est la vie.

    The funny thing was they called me back a week later to unload a dozen flatbeds because they didn’t have anybody certified to operate a Lull and I was.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @steve:..Idaho state Rep. Jack Nelsen (R)

    At the end of his apology he states:
    “I have always operated and will continue to operate under the standard that the government does not belong in the doctor’s office,” he added.
    So we can assume that he is in favor of safe, legal abortion.
    Can’t find any mention of abortion one way or another on his campaign web site.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Reynolds:..legs blown off in a jungle 10,000 miles from home.

    When I came to Carbondale in 1968 to finish college at Southern Illinois University there were many guys who had returned from Vietnam and were here attending school on the GI Bill. One of them was guy named Paul who I had not thought of for probably 50 years till I read that line in your comment. Drafted right out of High School. He sat in a wheel chair, both legs gone below his knees. He hung out at one of the bars I frequented and I would visit his room on occasion to smoke weed. I’m sure he told me what happened but I forgot. I had lost track of him after awhile when a mutual friend told me he had gotten heavily into heroin. That’s the last I heard of him.

  18. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m old enough to remember the AIDS crisis and how homophobia/transphobia were boringly normal. Accepted. Expected. Of course those people were dying, they DESERVED it. Matthew Shepard was murdered slightly after I graduated High School and the only surprising thing was that anyone cared. I worked for my dad at the time and the tv at the shop would go between Matthew Shepard coverage and mocking anti-trans episodes of Maury Povich. The 80s and 90s were fucking awful. The music was good though.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mister Bluster: @Beth:
    I suppose the heartening and/or depressing thing is that as bad as things are, they’ve been worse. Is that optimism or pessimism?

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @One American: And yet, you offer no suggestions as to what we should be looking at in the way of news. Hmmmmm…

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @One American:
    You get your news from a 91 year-old, Australian-American billionaire and sociopath. And he’s managed to convince you that every other news source is lying. And because you’re weak of mind you swallow it all whole so long as you’re being fed the lies you enjoy swallowing. Then, because you don’t realize you’re weak of mind, you think it’s your job to lecture us out here in the real world about ‘news.’ Then we laugh at you. Well, some with generous hearts pity you, but mostly we laugh.

  22. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m gonna go with optimism. The other alternative is too bleak.

  23. Mikey says:

    I flew out to Phoenix yesterday. I visited my friend of 37 years at the hospice, he was in and out of sleep but did talk with everyone.

    He died this morning. He had to have been waiting for us to say goodbye.

  24. CSK says:

    I’m glad you were able to get there in time. My deepest condolences.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mikey:..He died this morning.
    May he rest in peace.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @Beth:..I’m gonna go with optimism. The other alternative is too bleak.

    I’ll second that.

  27. Kathy says:

    It’s too bad. I was looking forward to a Vikings vs Bills Super Bowl.

    Now the question “how do both teams manage to lose the league championship at the same time” will have to wait at least another season.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @One Russian: We know who’s tit your sucking on.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I knew a guy who tripped a booby trapped mortar round. Ugliest mf’er I’d ever seen and one of the sweetest guys I’d ever met

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: I’m sorry for your loss. Speaking only for myself, I long ago gave up on deathbed goodbyes/watches. I just can’t wrap my head around them. When/if I am on my deathbed nobody will know, not even my sons. I don’t want anybody watching me die, or coming to say their last goodbyes.

    I just have a visceral repulsion to it.

  31. Jax says:

    @Mikey: So glad you made it!

  32. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You spelled dick wrong.

    @One Russian: We know who’s tit your sucking on.

    If we’re gonna insult Russian lackeys, we should tell it straight and tell them what kind of diseased dick they’re happily sucking on. I mean, this guy’s doing it for free, there’s nothing in it for him, he’s happily debasing himself. And outing himself as a traitor to the United States, as well.