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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Saw this yesterday but didn’t read it. Saw it again this AM and now I am pissed: Federal judge in Georgia blocks ‘most severe’ law on bail fund restrictions

    A federal judge has temporarily blocked part of a new Georgia law from taking effect this week that would have stopped people and charitable organizations from posting bail for someone else more than three times a year.

    The judge’s order at the end of last month came in response to a lawsuit by the ACLU and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center. They represent a non-profit organization and a church group that raise money and pay bail for low-income people who would otherwise remain behind bars before going to trial or otherwise having their cases resolved.
    The complaint asserts that the section of the law limiting the number of times a bail fund can help others violates the constitutional freedoms of speech and association and the religious liberty of the plaintiffs. The section would also require people paying bail for others to meet the same requirements as bail bond companies – including having a certain amount of money in escrow, paying fees and holding a business license, as well as obtaining a sheriff’s approval.

    So rich fcks can buy an election thru unlimited donations to Super PACS, but regular folks and Funds can’t post bail for more than 3 people too poor to afford it in a year.

    Once again we see that “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”

  2. Tony W says:

    Yesterday I did the unthinkable – I wrote to my two Senators and House representative asking them to meet with President Biden and urge him to resign and drop out of the race in favor of Vice President Harris.

    It strikes me today how different Democrats are from Republicans in this measure. We are truly the “America First” party, even though we have allowed the branding to get away from us.

  3. Bill Jempty says:

    @Tony W:

    Yesterday I did the unthinkable – I wrote to my two Senators and House representative asking them to meet with President Biden and urge him to resign and drop out of the race in favor of Vice President Harris.

    If I wrote mine, I’d probably ask two of three to resign since they are crooks. Rick Scott and Lois Frankel.

    Biden Scott Frankel all running for re-election in November. It sounds like a good day to stay home.

  4. Bill Jempty says:

    Which muppet do I think most resembles Donald Trump? They are b0th violent narcissists. Who you ask.

    Miss Piggy.

    I still remember those 80’s bumper stickers that said- Curly for President

  5. Tony W says:

    @Bill Jempty: I’m in California, and this is one of the rare instances when having all-Democrat representation has more persuasive power.

  6. Tony W says:

    @Bill Jempty: Miss Piggy is a narcissist, but she genuinely cares for “Kermie” too. Trump is so cartoonishly evil that he defies comparison – particularly within such a wholesome, wonderful group of characters like the Muppets. Trump literally cares for nobody besides himself.

    I believe this is why he is so hard to cover by the media.

    Any sort of fair reporting would spend hours each day talking about how awful he is. When that has been tried, Trump has used that to claim a media bias against him.

    Good, decent people cannot fathom how awful he really is, so they assume it’s just partisanship showing up in the media. Which hardens their support for him, their victim, and closes their mind to further information about his awfulness.

    It’s actually a brilliant political strategy, and I’m not sure there is anybody else in this country who is utterly terrible enough in every conceivable way who could pull it off as well.

    It requires such a lack of self-awareness and unearned confidence, combined with money that keeps coming in despite really stupid mistakes, that I don’t think it’s repeatable in this day and age.

  7. Jax says:

    The Cat Distribution System has struck again. On July 4th, a strange kitty figured out my cat door and was sitting in my mud room. The resident felines were quite upset.

    Nobody’s claimed her, and I’m pretty sure she’s knocked up. She’s just barely grown herself, I’d say she’s no more than 6 months old. She’s obviously human-friendly, but man, does she hate other cats! I think I have a home lined up for her where she’ll be the ONLY cat. Provided she’s not preggo. We shall see!

    In the meantime, we named her Liberty. 🙂

  8. Jen says:

    For the “it’s not a cult” folks…

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Zero Ground game in any of those swing states

    And who dominates air time:

    Adam Carlson

    This disparity is absolutely wild

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Their lives are so empty and meaningless, Rump is all they have.

  11. JKB says:

    The Guardian has a good article looking at the pundit/media stampede to remove Biden after the debate, well, really after the first question of the debate.

    Why is the pundit class so desperate to push Biden out of the race?

    According to one journalist’s tally, the New York Times has run 192 stories on the subject since the debate, including 50 editorials and 142 news stories. The Washington Post, which has also gone for saturation coverage, published a resignation speech they wrote for him. Not to be outdone, the New Yorker’s editor-in-chief declared that Biden not going away “would be an act not only of self-delusion but of national endangerment” and had a staff writer suggest that Democrats should use the never-before-deployed 25th amendment.

    The electorate votes based on how they understand the situation and evaluate the candidates. That is, of course, in large part shaped by the media, as Hannah-Jones points out, and the media is right now campaigning hard for a Democratic party loss. The other term for that is a Republican victory. Few things have terrified and horrified me the way this does.

  12. JKB says:

    @Jen: For the “it’s not a cult” folks…

    It’s not a cult….it’s a party. And I don’t mean a political party, I mean a good time with good food and good people.

    People do things like in your link because they hear of those of like mindedness in Blue areas who will be violently attacked if they “show their colors”.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Poor Taylor Swift. The pop star is a billionaire and one of the most successful people on the planet. She has an army of devoted fans who happily bankrupt themselves to follow her on record-breaking tours around the world. A German city just temporarily renamed itself Swiftkirchen in her honour. The Federal Reserve has credited her for boosting the economy. And yet, when it comes to the most important metrics of success, Taylor is a tragic failure: she is an ageing, unmarried wench who hath not brought forth a child into this world.

    Such is the opinion of John Mac Ghlionn: a man nobody has ever heard of. In a recent op-ed for Newsweek, Ghlionn argued that Swift is a terrible role model for women because “at 34, Swift remains unmarried and childless … While Swift’s musical talent and business acumen are certainly admirable, even laudable, we must ask if her personal life choices are ones we want our sisters and daughters to emulate.”

    My heart just breaks for her.

  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    Not a cult. Right.

    Is Trump a pathological liar? Yes or No.
    Did Trump lose in 2020 in a free and fair election? Yes or No.
    Was what happened on January 7 an insurrection? Yes or No.
    Do you believe Trump is a Christian? Yes or No.

    Go ahead, prove you’re not a cultie.

  15. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Catbortions are legal in all states. Obviously, this is a matter that should be carefully discussed between the cat, her guardian, her doctor, and her spiritual advisor (if she is religious).

    A six month old kitten really can’t raise kittens, as she is still a kitten herself.

    Cats: having more rights than women since Dobbs!

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    France may be going Vichy, the UK is seeing growing strength on the further Right against a hollow victory by Labour, and Trump.

    If there is a single issue empowering the Right in the UK, France and the US, it’s immigration. Sometimes the focus is narrowed to illegal immigration, but not always. If the Left or Center Left hopes to survive it needs to face the fact that citizens (or subjects) want illegal immigration stopped, and legal immigration selective.

    In the US it’s sheer numbers. Dismissing it as nothing but racism is wrong. People feel a sense of ownership in their country, and feel they have a right to shut the door. This is not an issue that is going away, immigration is going to balloon as African, Middle Eastern and Central American states fail.

    If we want liberal government, we need to get control of immigration. Every other issue is manageable.

  17. Gustopher says:

    @JKB: good link to a good article and not even a hint of drive-by trollery.

    Are you ok?

    I’ve always half suspected that you are one of our lefty regulars sock puppet, and this entirely out of character comment is just a little more evidence for that theory.

  18. just nutha says:

    @Tony W: Yeah. I don’t know what the right answer for the Biden question is–politically, morally, or electorally. Good on ya for deciding, though.

  19. CSK says:


    This reminds me of an article I read years ago by a woman who claimed that intelligent, educated women were far too picky when it came to choosing men, and that high school drop-out felons would make perfectly suitable spouses for them. These women were just being selfish and refusing to perform their societal duty to reproduce.

    I always wondered what would happen if the kids inherited their fathers’ traits.

  20. gVOR10 says:

    Over at Marginal Revolution Tyler Cowen links, #4, to the results of a study answering the question, “Are smarter people more left-wing?” Comments, mostly people avoiding obvious conclusions, are entertaining.

  21. Jay L Gischer says:

    You know, I would really like some grandchildren. In that, I am completely dependent on my daughters. They face some obstacles that aren’t normal, and it is unlikely to happen. I feel no shame in voicing my unhappiness with this state of affairs, AND, I recognize that they are adults and get to make their own choices, even ones I disagree with. (and I’m not sure I disagree with this particular choice, even though it disappoints me).

    Geez, man, get over yourself.

    I look at this sort of thing – we’ve been seeing a bit of this particular thing lately – and realize that on the social points, we are winning. Nobody is going to put that genie back in the bottle, they may try, but there’s going to be SO much pushback, I don’t think it can work long term.

    That doesn’t mean that we are winning this election for sure, or that there won’t be even more suffering.

    It means keep faith, and keep your head in the game.

  22. dazedandconfused says:


    That’s a good question. I think it’s one of three possible things:

    1) This stuff is getting bigly click hit$!

    2) They are so terrified of Trump being re-elected they are “Taking council of their fears”. IOW: Panicking.

    3) They have forgotten how small the percentage of the US public that pays any serious attention is and deem themselves more important then they actually are, and thus feel compelled to lead. They should be waiting for polls to document a public response to the debate instead of assuming what that will be.

  23. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Dismissing it as nothing but racism is wrong.

    Yes, because all or nothing arguments are frequently wrong. It can be dismissed credibly as *mostly* racism. Because when the right gets power they do nothing to curb immigration, just performative crulety at the margins. And their voters don’t care, they just cheer the cruelty.

    Xenophobic fear-mongering is designed to scare up votes so rightwingers can get back in power to to shovel more corporate socialism to their billionaire benefactors. And, btw, those corporate overlords know that in all these countries where white people are not having enough children anymore, cutting immigration will also cut the endless growth shareholders covet.

    More than immigration, rightwing voters are motivated by reflexive opposition to anything they think liberals support. If the left ever halted immigration, the right would accuse the left of undermining the economy.

    And rightwing voters would not only agree, with immigration “under control” they’d move on to the next group to scapegoat and the new lame excuse to vote for fascism.


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