Tuesday’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. Mu Yixiao says:

    {tap, tap}


  2. @Mu Yixiao: Indeed.

  3. Scott says:

    OK, I posted my first comment under the new process (I registered with no problem yesterday and can log in today) in This is What War Crimes Look Like and it went into moderation. Is that intentional? Is there something else I need to do? Thanks

  4. MarkedMan says:

    In the “but you can never get your name back” department, Talking Points Memo is reporting that Trump kept the investigation into the Clinton’s charity open long after everyone involved realized there was nothing there:

    Newly released documents and interviews with former department officials show that the investigation stretched long past when F.B.I. agents and prosecutors knew it was a dead end. The conclusion of the case, which centered on the Clinton Foundation’s dealings with foreign donors when Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, has not previously been reported.

    In 2015 and 2016 when posters and commenters on this site were claiming that “everyone knew” Hillary was corrupt, I would point out that she and Bill were two of the most investigated people in politics and had been charged with exactly nothing in all those years of investigations. When I asked for evidence of corruption, it was “everyone knows the Clinton charity is corrupt, it’s obvious.”

  5. CSK says:

    This piece is good. There really is no difference between the way Trump treats women and the way he treats this country.


  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    In an experiment, I commented on Dr. T’s depressing headline post without logging in and the comment disappeared w/o indication that it went to moderation.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    A couple of things that I’ve noticed with the new login procedure, it takes a heck of a lot longer for the screen to refresh after hitting post than previously and I still need to refresh the browser after my comment appears to get the edit function and the HTML shortcut buttons.

    My comment at the disappointing headline post finally arrived.

  8. Scott says:

    @Scott: For those collecting information on the new system. Soon after I posted this, I noticed my other post came out of moderation. So I went into editing mode on this comment and deleted it. Said it was deleted but then here it is. Hmmm.

  9. Mu Yixiao says:


    And now Louisiana has hopped on the “Don’t Say Gay” bandwagon.

    Two points that Miller highlights:

    No teacher, school employee, or other presenter at a school shall engage in the following: (c) Discussing his own sexual orientation or gender identity

    No teacher, school employee, or other presenter at a school shall engage in the following: (a) Covering the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in any classroom discussion or instruction

    If this passes, would any kind soul in LA like to step up and sue when straight teachers talk about their husbands and wives?


  10. James Joyner says:

    @Scott: @Sleeping Dog: @Scott: I’ve gone through the settings and see no reason that registered users would go into moderation. I suspect that the system is treating these accounts as new for the first comment, which it shouldn’t since you’re using your longstanding usernames and email addresses.

  11. FWIW: I had to free several comments from moderation. This should only happen once.

  12. CSK says:

    @James Joyner: @Steven L. Taylor:

    Is it necessary to register, or may I just continue on as is? I usually have very little trouble with the system as it is now.

  13. Kathy says:

    How will the manufactured debt ceiling impasse end?

    Here are the options I can see, listed from worst to best:

    Deal with the crazies
    14th Amendment or other gimmick that renders the GQP superfluous and irrelevant
    Separate deal with a few rational republicans (if any)

  14. Scott says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think that’s the case. The last comment was just fine and didn’t go into moderation.

    First rule of programming: Software does exactly what you tell it to do.

  15. Stormy Dragon says:


    Last week, I opened a short position on short term US treasuries, and the fact that makes sense as an investment strategy is nuts.

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Now I’m curious. I’m not “registered” and am posting this to see if I go into moderation. I’ll post again immediately if I did not.

    ETA: Not only did I not go into moderation, I also got an edit button. I’m off to buy a Powerball ticket. [eyeroll emoji]

  17. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I trust that you will share some of the winnings with your OTB folk.

  18. inhumans99 says:

    Happy Tuesday folks! For most of us we will get to enjoy the long weekend that is quickly approaching.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: During the years that I was both married and teaching, I never had an occasion to talk about my wife during a classroom discussion*. Still, I see where you’re going, so travel this road if you must.

    *Even after I stopped being married, the discussions were short

    Student: “Are you married?” Me: “No.”

    and limited to adult classes. Children in Korea don’t ask such questions.

  20. Kurtz says:

    Not sure if @dazedandconfused or @becca are around today, but I’ve two things to say:

    -Wow, Kieran Culkin. Just wow.

    -“At least he won’t grind his teeth tonight.”

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: So far, I’ve been doing just fine as unregistered. And if anybody were going to be deep sixed for non-registration, it would probably be me. 😉

  22. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Many of those who’ll make a fortune out of this disaster will be featured in a book by Michael Lewis.

  23. Kathy says:

    On the lighter side, I watched all eps of Pinky and The Brain on HBO max over the past two weeks (64 eps or so).

    IMO it holds up relatively well, though about 3/4 of the jokes are hopelessly dated. If you recall the 90s, you’ll still laugh at most of them. If not, you won’t have a clue. Example:

    Pinky (referring to an actual clown): Brain! It’s that clown from DC!
    Brain: Newt Gingrich?*

    After this I found a new Animaniacs series, which sandwich new Pinky and The Brain eps in between new Animaniacs eps. I still find little of interest in Animaniacs, but I’ve been watching the new Pinky and The Brain eps.

    Most are not as good. Partly, I think the whole “actually we’re genetically altered lab mice trying to take over the world” schtick has been played out. Still, there are a few new jokes.

    Brain (addressing Vladimir Putin): What’s receding faster? Your hairline, or your sphere of influence?

    * this reminds me of a Simpsons joke when Bart and Milhouse are reading a Mad magazine special issue.

    Milhouse: They’re really socking it to this Agnew guy. He must work there or something.

  24. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    If this passes, would any kind soul in LA like to step up and sue when straight teachers talk about their husbands and wives?

    Right-wing culture warriors consider queerness inherently sexual, even when it’s presented no more explicitly than hetero norms that children are routinely exposed to with no one blinking an eye.

    This isn’t anything new, and it isn’t a tendency that only shows up in politics. I remember some years back a Sesame Street producer was asked to address an urban legend that Ernie and Bert were going to be revealed as gay lovers. The producer said basically that they’re just puppets and they “don’t exist below the waist.” While the urban legend about Ernie and Bert is almost certainly BS, I found the producer’s defense rather interesting, given that Sesame Street has always been perfectly willing to show romantic relationships at least among its human characters, and the adjacent show The Muppets is centered on a romance between two muppet characters.

    But that just goes to show the double standards with this sort of thing. Decades of Disney princesses falling in love with princes–and even kissing on screen–is perfectly okay. But the moment they do a cartoon about two princes doing the same thing, you can bet the Ben Shapiros and Matt Walshes will be hollering their heads off about kids being groomed. They don’t notice the contradiction and never will, and when they make laws, they’ll make sure to enforce them however nonsensically and inconsistently as they damn well want to.

  25. Beth says:


    This is a very good, if longish, article on this issue.

    This points to a crucial distinction between physical and cultural genocide. Whereas the former involves the physical destruction of some group — for example, via targeted massacres — the latter aims to eliminate a social group by dismantling the cultural practices and systems that enable that group to exist. Some scholars have thus described cultural genocide as a more “subtle” genocide, which, “in spite of not being bloody, engenders the same result as genocide” in the physical sense. For example, laws might be passed for the purposes of forced assimilation, whereby certain people are compelled to alter their “lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, tradition, and beliefs” until the social group to which they belong is no longer

    Lemkin himself invented the ideas of physical and cultural genocide at the same time, and in fact he placed a special emphasis on cultural genocide. One reason is that physical genocide — the mass slaughter of human beings — is “always preceded” by cultural genocide. The Nazis provide an example: “In the first six years of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship,” from 1933 to 1939, “Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees and regulations on all aspects of their lives. The regulations gradually but systematically took away their rights and property, transforming them from citizens into outcasts.” Many of these were adopted at the national level, though “state, regional and municipal officials, acting on their own initiatives, also promulgated a barrage of exclusionary decrees in their own communities.”

  26. Kurtz says:


    the adjacent show The Muppets is centered on a romance between two muppet characters.

    Of different species, no? A key reducto ad absurdum long uttered by the Right hits on that point directly.

  27. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My daughter’s first grade teacher is getting married (at some point soon, I try not to pay attention). My daughter and all the little girls swooned for this. I’m 100% certain this would be excused under the various “Don’t Say Gay” laws because it’s normal, some would say natural, barf.

    The whole point of these laws is to eliminate us from public life. I miss New Orleans, I wish I could go there. It’s not safe for me, but not entirely because of the government; my mom lives there.

  28. Beth says:


    The fundraising auction of McCarthy’s used cherry lip balm ended when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) placed a winning $100,000 bid, as confirmed by her spokesperson.

    I’m going to hell for this, but this is the first thing that came to mind when the alert popped up on my phone:


  29. Mu Yixiao says:


    Right-wing culture warriors consider queerness inherently sexual, even when it’s presented no more explicitly than hetero norms that children are routinely exposed to with no one blinking an eye.

    This isn’t anything new

    I’m quite aware. But I’d really love to have them have to defend their hypocrisy in court.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: @Just nutha ignint cracker: Me 3. I’m waiting at least until all the bugs get worked out. May not ever register.

  31. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Beth: The same practice was used with the Indian Boarding Schools in the US and Canada. Places where the staff could “beat the Indian out of them.”

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..@CSK: @Just nutha ignint cracker: Me 3. I’m waiting at least until all the bugs get worked out. May not ever register.

    From Dr. Joyner’s User Registration item yesterday:

    If enough of you do this, I may remove some of the plugins entirely, which would likely speed up the loading of the site and improve the performance of the remaining plugins.

    I have not signed up for the new system. Not opposed to registration I just think it best to wait and see how this all plays out.
    If removing “some of the plugins entirely” means those who don’t ever sign on will lose some functions like EDIT for instance I would hope some notice would be given.

    ETA: Finally got EDIT after two new posts.

  33. CSK says:

    Trump is whining that Dominion got one billion dollars (wrong) from Fox and he got nothing.

    I can’t figure out why he thinks he should get anything.

  34. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..I can’t figure out why he thinks he should get anything.

    Because he was sent by g-d.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Absolutely, and on both counts. Maybe someday before you die on revisiting NOLA (I certainly hope so, tho I’ve never been). Content yourself knowing that there are plenty of other places to go.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m not sure I see the point of having them defend their hypocrisy in courts that will not only acquit but also endorse said hypocrisy. YMMV.

  37. becca says:

    @Kurtz: can’t wait to find out where Roman ends up. Or Shiv and Kendall and all the rest. Here’s hoping the last episode ties it up and gives the audience proper closure. Best roles and actors I have ever seen in one show.

  38. CSK says:

    Trump’s appearing by video today in Manhattan Criminal Court so that Judge Merchan can make sure he understands what the protective order against him entails, which is that he is prohibited from posting evidence on social media.

  39. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Hasn’t anyone sued to challenge the Florida law already?


    I wonder what happens if he’s jailed a few days for contempt.

  40. CSK says:


    They’d have to haul him out of MAGA-Lardo first.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:


    I haven’t heard anything about suits in Florida (but I haven’t exactly been watching for them). But there was an investigation in Georgia by the US Dept. of Education regarding the removal of books about race, gender, and sexuality from schools. The DOE claimed it’s creating a “hostile environment”.

    The Education Department said that the district agreed to take certain steps as part of the settlement, including conducting a survey of students about their school environment and submitting to ongoing monitoring by the Office for Civil Rights.

  42. dazedandconfused says:


    The acting is good, of course, but I have to hand it to the writers. Can’t recall any story in which I have no like for any main character holding my interest before. I felt elated somebody finally popped Roman in the face but at the same time I cringed at his agony. Those writers…effin’ sorcerers.

  43. CSK says:

    Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan will begin March 24, 2024, by order of Judge Juan Merchan.

    Just as the Republican primaries are heating up.

  44. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Maybe setting a test case is harder than it seems.

    BTW, I counted two comparisons of Republiqans to snakes on the comments today. I’d no idea there was such a low opinion of snakes here.

  45. Kurtz says:


    I suspect that the ending will be what it should be in terms of form. My impression is that Jesse Armstrong knew early on how long he wanted the story to last and has probably had at least a broad idea about how he wanted to end it for almost as long.

    On another note, I’m curious how many people who grew up watching cinema and shows shot digitally noticed that it looks completely different from most contemporary pieces.

    Yet another note. I haven’t thought about this in depth enough to give specific examples. But I think this is the only thing I’ve watched that has Sorkin-style dialogue without feeling like an imitation. I think I would go further to say that it can be described as Sorkin, distilled and filtered.

  46. becca says:

    @Kurtz: Also a big Sorkin fan. I especially liked Sports Night, even though sports overall make my eyes glaze over. I definitely had whiffs of that same smart patter in Succession.
    I’m not sure Armstrong ruled out spin-offs. No idea how that would work successfully. Maybe prequel?

  47. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’m in the process of rewatching Sports Night right now. I’m not a fan of sports at all, but I do love the show. Felicity Huffman is just a storm in that.

  48. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    If this passes, would any kind soul in LA like to step up and sue when straight teachers talk about their husbands and wives?

    It’s almost a shame that teachers (as a rule) aren’t into malicious compliance. If you can’t mention your sexual orientation or gender, then you’re Mx. Flurgeheimer, who goes by they/them and has a partner.

    And you should refer to all of the students as they/them just to be safe, as you aren’t checking and you can’t take their word for it.

  49. Kurtz says:


    You’re correct, the writing is first rate.

    I have more to say about the show and the characters. I realized that most of what I wrote for this comment belongs elsewhere. But it deserves way more space than an open thread comment. And a rewatch before that can happen. Definitely a rewatch.

  50. Kurtz says:


    Stewy, Kendall, and Nate when they were in school? (Am I correct that it’s implied they all went to school together or otherwise were in the same social circle?)

    Young, provincial Tom in Minnesota?

    The fabrication of Matsson?

    I have a bias here, because I struggle when characters are recast. My default position is to leave it alone unless you have a real reason to do it. Especially if you have to find someone with Brian Cox’s presence.

  51. just nutha says:

    @Beth: Before I leave this madness behind for the day, does anybody have any idea of where MTG got $1ooK to spend on a used Chap Stick? Is this, like, a transfer of campaign funds from one scam artist/grifter to another? Does she actually have more money than sense (as opposed to it being a figure of speech)? I’m morbidly curious.

  52. CSK says:

    Doug Burgum, governor of No. Dakota, is running to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2024. I never heard of him, either.

  53. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    Does she actually have more money than sense


    This would be true if she owned nothing more than half a tarnished penny.

  54. Gustopher says:

    From the article (well, the caption from the picture):

    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene only began bidding after Kevin McCarthy chose to sweeten the deal: He agreed to attend a dinner with the winner and whichever donors and supporters they planned to bring along. | Francis Chung/POLITICO

    This really needs some follow up. I hope McCarthy enjoys having dinner with literal Nazis and lunatics.

    Do you serve a red wine or a white with antisemitism?

  55. Kathy says:

    I’ve been thinking of 80s-90s movie franchises as the latest Indiana Jones movie comes near.

    IMO, some of these were done well enough that there’s no need to continue them. Terminator, for instance, should have stopped on the second movie. The third one wasn’t bad, and the short-lived TV spinoff was ok (I wonder if it would have succeeded had it been done in the streaming era), but we never got a satisfactory explanation as to why Sarah, John, and their T-800 ally did not end Skynet. Not to mention that the sacrifice of the T-800, and the hurt it caused John, were for quite literally nothing.

    Indiana Jones, too, ended quite well. Sure, the second movie was terrible, but the third was one of the best action adventure movies ever. In the end, too, Indy found, and lost, the ultimate magical treasure. I did not see the fourth installment until it aired on cable years afterward. Other than seeing Karen Allen again, I got bored with it and followed it in bits and pieces. So I’ve little to say about it. This time, I’ll wait for the last Indy movie to show up on streaming.

    One franchise that seemed to have been content to end (minus a Saturday morning cartoon adna theme park ride I never got to try), was Back to the Future. Even though the ending of part III was rather open ended (steampunk time machine and all), it was a satisfactory conclusion.

    And, no, Rick and Morty is derived from a Back to the Future satire, but it’s nothing like it. The only remaining connection is Rick’s aversion to time travel.

    Franchises like Star Trek, which pre-date the 80s, can continue indefinitely as long as new technobabble can be thought up, and made to sound interesting. Seen as future history, it works rather well for me. Also departures from the usual formula, like Lower Decks and Prodigy, have been quite effective.

    Star Wars might have done as well, except the SW universe is not as diverse nor as intricate as Trek’s. The best past the original trilogy, has been all on TV. First the animated series, and now The Mandalorian and Andor. The latter in particular finally doing real science fiction for a change.

  56. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I tend to think that any attempt to return to a franchise after several decades since the last installment is bound to be substandard. There may be a few exceptions, but I think it’s generally the case. Part of the reason is that the momentum is gone. If it’s with the same writers/directors/actors, there may be a change in their sensibilities from when they were younger. (That’s definitely been the case with George Lucas.) The new installments almost always get bogged down in nostalgia and fanservice. And I also think that one thing they can never get past is that the original series was always to some extent a product of its era. It’s different with series that get continually reinvented, like Star Trek or James Bond–and even those are exceptional cases.

    I admit I’ve been pleasantly surprised that so far they’ve left Back to the Future alone. On the surface it seems like something they’d think was ripe for an update, with its inter-generational commentary. (“Tell me, Future Boy, who’s president in 2020?”) Then there’s the films’ cringey racial stereotypes that have aged very poorly. Today they’d probably make Marty a black girl. But no–so far it’s sacred property they won’t dare touch. So far.

  57. Mister Bluster says:

    I have read Dr. Joyner’s Comment Editing Redux item above and got the EDIT key with the first click on the Post Comment key two different times.
    This is an attempt to reproduce those results on this thread.
    Disclaimer: I have not registered with the new system.

    ETA: Edit key appears on the first click of Post Comment.

  58. Kathy says:


    I loved all Back to the Future movies, and I nearly didn’t see any of them.

    I recall hearing a short description of the plot on TV, possibly on Entertainment Tonight, that made me think “that’s the stupidest premise for a movie I’ve ever heard.” I don’t recall exactly what they said, but it was all wrong. I also don’t recall how I wound up seeing it, as I’d no desire to do so. Probably a family outing I couldn’t get out of (I vaguely recall one of my aunts and a cousin were there).

    I’d also just read The End of Eternity the year before, and I thought I saw a few parallels.

  59. Gustopher says:


    And I also think that one thing they can never get past is that the original series was always to some extent a product of its era. It’s different with series that get continually reinvented, like Star Trek or James Bond–and even those are exceptional cases.

    I don’t think modern audiences would be forgiving of a film series with such a loose sense of continuity and so much reinvention as James Bond if they tried to do that today. Recast the main actors as they age out and change tone every few years? It’s a big lift.

    There’s too much interest in world building and connecting everything together, rather than on enjoying individual stories.

    I’d almost claim that the Transformers movies do that, as they present a different origin to the Transformers in each movie, and replace the human cast pretty regularly, and the robot cast, except the tone is always the same and I’m not sure anyone has enjoyed any of the stories including the writers. (Ok, Bumblebee was actually a fun little movie)

    But James Bond has an almost Doctor Who level approach to continuity. And even Doctor Who is getting bogged down in lore in the modern version.

  60. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I saw the first film in the theater when it came out in 1985. I was eight. I then saw it repeatedly on video in the following years, and I remember how excited I was when I went to see the first sequel–and how frustrated I felt when it ended on a cliffhanger and I had to wait another year to find out what happened. The third turned out to be my least favorite of the three, but I do agree the ending was very satisfying, and overall it’s one of the better film trilogies ever made.

    I think the series was very influential and helped popularize time travel movies. It’s one of the first Hollywood movies to explore the idea of alternate timelines. If you look at time travel movies from before BTTF, they’re usually either about traveling into the far future (The Time Machine, Planet of the Apes) or they use some form of the stable time loop (Somewhere in Time, The Terminator). In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but it may be the first movie to explore the Grandfather Paradox, even though of course the idea goes back a long way in sci-fi literature.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Why do people here keep imagining that breaking bread with actual Nazis and lunatics is troubling to Republicans? Am I the only American left who puts no trust at all in the basic goodness of conservatives?

    ETA: And I automatically got “Click to Edit” again in this thread. What ever change you made must be working, Dr. Joyner. GOOD JOB!!!

  62. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: McCarthy and his branch of Republicans think they are just using the Nazis and hold them in contempt. Put him in a spot where he has to see them up close, smell them, and cannot get away in three minutes while the Nazi keeps talking… Not a fun time.

    ETA: And what are the odds it remains entirely private? Hob-nobbing with Nazis is seldom a good look politically, and would you trust MTG to not make recordings?

  63. Jax says:

    Playing with the new unregistered and unpluggin’ed (that is definitely not a word 😛 ) OTB as an unregistered user, since de Stijl ain’t here…..


    ETA: Holy shit, look at me go! Imma add another link!