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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Julian Sanchez

    Remember kids: Tyranny is when Democrats force private businesses to adopt the policies some politician dictates.
    Liberty is when Republicans force private businesses to adopt the policies some politician dictates.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Investigators believe a man told his four-year-old child to fire a gun at officers following a dispute over his order at a McDonald’s drive-thru in suburban Salt Lake City on Monday, police said.
    The unidentified man brandished a gun at the pick-up window at the restaurant in Midvale, Utah, demanding his order be corrected, said a spokeswoman for the Unified police department, Sgt Melody Cutler. After workers asked that he pull to a waiting area while they corrected his order, they called police, she said.

    The man did not cooperate and had to be pulled from the car, Cutler said. But as officers were taking the man into custody, one looked back and saw a gun pointing from a rear window, she said. The officer who swiped the gun to the side as it was fired also yelled “kid” to other officers after seeing how young the shooter was, Cutler said. A witness observed the man tell the four-year-old, who was in the backseat with a three-year-old sibling, to shoot the gun, Cutler said. She declined to elaborate.

    Gun culture is a sickness in America, right? Not according to the sheriff:

    The Salt Lake county sheriff, Rosie Rivera, said it was a sad day for law enforcement and the community. “To have an adult think it is OK to encourage a four-year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police illustrates how out of hand the campaign against police has gotten,” she said.

    Yeah, that’s right. Telling cops they can’t shoot random unarmed black people is the reason for this.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Laurie Garrett

    Meet Q — who actually writes the QAnon posts, revealed using stylometry analysis. One lives in South Africa & the other — formerly of the Philippines & Japan — is running for #Congress from #Arizona : Ron Watkins & Paul Furber — neither of whom are ex-intel, as claimed.

    The New York Times
    · Feb 19
    Exclusive: Who’s behind QAnon?

    Computer scientists say they have identified two men as its likely authors — including one of the first online commentators to call attention to the messages that shaped the viral movement. https://nyti.ms/36rmLJa
    Show this thread

    Interesting if true, scary if elected. I have no idea how elucidating stylometry analysis is, so make your own judgement.

  4. CSK says:

    Ron Watkins has long been suspected of being Q, or at least one of them.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Like you and everybody else here, I ignore Q but in my case that extends more than a little to news about Q. Hence my ignorance of almost all things Q.

  6. CSK says:

    I’ll occasionally read news items about Q. Ron and his father Jim Watkins were supposed by a lot of people to have been the Qs. I’d not heard of Furber before this.

  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Rick Scott, perpetrator of the largest health care fraud in American history, now has an 11-point plan to save Americuh…you know, from the gays and the coloreds…

  8. Scott says:

    There is another long article about Clarence and Ginni Thomas, this time from the NY Times:

    The Long Crusade of Clarence and Ginni Thomas

    It is behind the firewall for me but David Leonhardt summarized it in his Morning report.

    Early in the Reagan administration, several Christian conservative leaders founded a group called the Council for National Policy. It soon turned into what my colleague David Kirkpatrick has described as “a little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country.” One of its main functions was introducing political activists to wealthy donors who could finance their work.

    After Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, the group’s political arm, known as C.N.P. Action, sprang into action. It encouraged its members to spread stories about “election irregularities and issues” in five swing states that Joe Biden had won narrowly. The goal was to persuade Republican state legislators to adopt Trump’s false claims about election fraud — and then award their states’ electoral votes to him, overturning Biden’s victory.

    One vocal proponent of the effort was a C.N.P. board member who had spent decades in conservative politics. In the lead-up to the Jan. 6 rally at the Capitol, she reportedly mediated between feuding factions so that they would work together to plan it. On the day of the rally, she posted a message on Facebook: “GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU STANDING UP or PRAYING!”

    This board member’s name is Ginni Thomas, and she is married to Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court. Today, The Times Magazine has published an investigation of Ginni Thomas’s work and its connections to her husband, written by Danny Hakim and Jo Becker.

    The Times Magazine article had more details:

    The Times Magazine story has more details, including:

    After the Jan. 6 rally turned into a violent attack on the Capitol, C.N.P. advised its members to defend the rioters. And Thomas herself signed a letter criticizing the House committee investigating the attack. The investigation, the letter said, “brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law” and “legal harassment to private citizens who have done nothing wrong.” (Ginni Thomas also made baseless accusations of election fraud in 2018, The Washington Post has reported.)
    The Thomases have used his position as a justice to advance her causes as an operative. During the Trump presidency, White House aides were surprised when Justice Thomas brought an uninvited guest — his wife — to a scheduled lunch with the president.

    The reputation of the SC is fast declining.

  9. Jen says:

    Interesting/scary piece on long covid: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/02/21/covid-cardiac-issues-longterm/

    The Hill is reporting that the Supreme Court has turned away Trump’s appeal regarding the Jan. 6 committee. Heh.

  10. charon says:


    Thanks for the linky.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:
  12. Mu Yixiao says:

    Today’s weather:

    Freezing rain
    Thunder and lightning
    Rain with thunder

    That’s all just since 07:00 (it’s 10:00 now)

    As my colleague said: I’m just waiting for the locusts.

    Welcome to springtime in Wisconsin!

  13. EddieInCA says:

    Every time I think the GOP can’t get any lower, or worse, it does:


    Republicans in Arizona were blasted for attacking public school teachers in a new column by E.J. Montini of The Arizona Republic.

    He noted that Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita called teachers “educational terrorists” and Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon said they are “a scourge on our society.”

    Salmon, a former Republican congressman, vowed a “confrontational” relationship with the Arizona Education Association if elected governor.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    and people wonder why it is so hard to find teachers.

  15. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    What do they think is going to happen when they can’t get qualified teachers to teach?

    What is the end game? I don’t understand this level of nihilism. What am I missing?

  16. Scott says:

    @EddieInCA: They only need to read the Bible. The rest is dangerous.

  17. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: Just going to hazard a guess that conservatives think that (somehow, don’t ask for details) tenure and teachers’ unions are hoarding/filling up all of the available slots and all they need to do is break those two institutions and loads of liberty-minded, qualified teachers will swarm in to fill those positions.

    That’s nonsense of course, but it’s how they “think”.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:


    Eddie, if I had any idea, I’d share it. These are people who emote rather than think.

  19. Kathy says:


    Then we’ll have the answer to the question “Why Johnny Can’t Think?”

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Truth is relative; pick the one you like.”

  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    New work bench is finally wired up and finished (with shiny new LED lights).


    Freed up space

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “Hopefully, by doing this, we’ll have more of a conversation about what Republicans are going to get done.”

    We ALREADY KNOW what the Republicans are going to get done: NOTHING. (That’s why people elect Republicans in the first place–to stop government from doing things.)

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: The faith that when schools become dysfunctional, only “those people” will be impacted. The complaints about schools among conservatives has always been about denying educational service and social and economic mobility to blacks, immigrants, and the poor for as long as I can remember.

  24. Sleeping Dog says:


    For those attacking schools, that is a feature not a bug.

  25. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    It’s a good thing you took a picture of the workspace, it may never be that tidy again. 🙂

    Looks good!

  26. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    ‘cept, how does attacking schools to limit ‘those people’ explain that the same efforts are going on in states that are basically lily white?

  27. Michael Cain says:


    What is the end game? I don’t understand this level of nihilism. What am I missing?

    The same nihilism that has been happening across the West for the last 30 years. In California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and increasingly in Nevada, rapidly growing population concentrated in urban and inner suburbs has shifted the states left. In all of them, as the Republicans lose control, they’ve chosen to dive down the rabbit hole of crazy rather than changing with the population. AZ looks to me to be at the tipping point — the Republicans have been reduced to only four of nine US Congressional seats, no US Senators, single-seat majorities in the state legislature, and their governor is term-limited out. Progressive ballot initiatives have been winning despite Republican opposition.

    This is about the point in time when I expected the AZ Republicans to dive down the crazy hole.

  28. CSK says:

    @EddieInCA: @Jen: @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Sleeping Dog:
    The idea seems to be that “true conservatives” will abandon the public schools (i.e., government indoctrination centers) for Christian schools and home schooling.

  29. Mister Bluster says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:..an 11-point plan to save Americuh…

    Scott, like others in his party, is criticizing organizations such as the NCAA, which allow transgender women to compete in women’s categories for the Olympics and college-level sports.

    Sounds like Scott wants to create a department of government crotch inspectors just to be sure.

  30. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I don’t recall saying it was a reasonable assumption. As I noted in the comment the outcome is based on faith–the belief that schools will stay good for “my kids” (grandkids), or that mine will be at the one functional school left to create the illusion that the other kids aren’t learning because they are stupid and incompetent. Segregated schools–and in fact, the ones that I went to in the late 50s and 60s in Seattle–were great at sorting the “good” from the “bad” and only providing service to the “educable.” We can go back to that model easy-peasy. Just stop “dumbing down” the curriculum.

    Some people (including black students who I taught at college) say that you can find a modern-day example of the system in the Portland (OR) public schools.

  31. gVOR08 says:


    What is the end game? I don’t understand this level of nihilism. What am I missing?

    It’s been my observation that Republican politicians are really good at exploiting opportunity, but not at long term planning. (As opposed to, say, the Koch Bros, who’ve worked for years to create the current SCOTUS.) I don’t think most GOP pols have a plan beyond the next primary.

    And as to any ethical concerns about destroying the public schools to get themselves reelected, discussing the ethics of the average GOP pol is a category error, akin to discussing the emotional state of my chair.

  32. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Sleeping Dog: It’s also not just about whites. Poor people seeking better opportunity are just as dangerous. Zero-sum economic theories and “libertarian-ish” blather hold that all money/opportunity to “others” must necessarily come from taking it from “me” because there’s only so much and it’s all been distributed.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It’s a good thing you took a picture of the workspace, it may never be that tidy again.

    [southern_gentleman]I am insulted!–Insulted, I say!–by your insinuation, sir! That space gets cleaned at least once a year. Often twice! [/southern_gentleman]

  34. Barry says:

    The GOP hates public education. The religious right wants madrassas, that racist right wants white school and black child labor, the rich want the money.

  35. Mu Yixiao says:


    Salmon, a former Republican congressman, vowed a “confrontational” relationship with the Arizona Education Association if elected governor.

    Three thoughts on this.

    1) A part of me wants them to get their wish–and watch those states fall so far that the Feds can walk in and take over. However, that would mean thousands of children being (educationally) sacrificed, and that’s a bridge too far.

    2) Salmon really doesn’t understand what he’s going up against. Teachers spend about as much time with kids as their parents do–and they have an over-sized power (especially in the teen years when kids are rebelling against parents). Smart teachers would step away from CRT or any other “popular/infamous” platforms and teach the kids about individualism, rebellion, and disrespect for non-representative authority.

    (Not 100%, but… ) Kids like their teachers. They respect them and listen to what they say. Salmon could be creating an entire generation of voters that will toss him and his ilk out on their ass and banish them from power forever.

    3) A state-wide strike–requiring parents who can’t afford it to either pay for child care or stay home from work–will be a huge blow against Salmon. It’s not about a pandemic, it’s not about the safety of your kids, it’s that guy saying that teachers are “terrorists”–the teachers that you go to church with, eat breakfast at the cafe with, go bowling with, play pool with, sit across the bar from.

    Every one of these people demonizing teachers seems completely ignorant of the fact that teachers are members of the community–members that are well known on a personal level.

    Attacking school boards is easy. Those are politicians. But teachers? Those are our friends.

  36. Mu Yixiao says:

    MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Senate Bill 229, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 140.

    Senate Bill 229, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 140:

    Makes it a Class I felony to knowingly refuse, resist, or obstruct the installation of a GPS tracking device or a comparable technology when it is required for certain sex offenders or persons who violate certain orders or injunctions.

    Expect “certain things” to become increasingly more broad and common in the coming years. Which will increase the number of people who lose the “privilege” (it’s not a right if it can be taken away on a whim) to vote.

    Felons can’t vote.

    The Pew Charitable Trusts report also illustrated the increasing gap in punishment between whites and blacks. In 2010, the percentage of all Americans with a felony record was 8.11 percent (including three percent who have served time in prison),

    but for black males the rate was 33 percent

    (including 15 percent who have been to prison). Additionally, while the absolute number of people with felony convictions increased threefold between 1980 and 2010, it increased fivefold for blacks during that time.

    Felons can’t vote.

    33% of black males can’t vote. 33% of black males have zero voice in creating, blocking, or revoking the laws that are putting them in prison–laws which are revoking their right to have a voice.

    The single most important voting rights change I want to see is simple: Every single citizen who has reached the age of majority shall have the IRREVOCABLE right to vote in all elections.

  37. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Smart teachers would step away from CRT or any other “popular/infamous” platforms and teach the kids about individualism, rebellion, and disrespect for non-representative authority.

    1) Elementary and high school teachers are NOT teaching CRT. Not unless those kids are in some kind of pre-law elementary/high school combo.

    2) Re: “popular/infamous” platforms — The problem with this is that it’s anything that upsets anyone. A friend of mine is a middle school teacher, and she’s getting flak from parents about teaching a whole host of historical stuff now. You know that a children’s book about Ruby Bridges is one that got pulled? How do we teach the civil rights struggle in this country if people are getting their knickers in a twist over how Ruby Bridges was treated?

    3) Teaching about rebellions and disrespect for non-representative authority–> I can guarantee this would end up a problem. Teachers don’t have the agency you seem to think they do, at least not in any real sense–not anymore.

  38. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Private/homeschooling is part of the mix. Another part there’s still a component who believe their kids–especially the female ones–don’t need much education.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Smart teachers would step away from CRT

    How can they “step away” from something that isn’t even there? Nobody is teaching CRT in anything except college and even then it is limited to certain classes. Everything, and I do mean every damned thing these right wingers are upset about is a made up outrage, starting with the tiniest kernel of fact and building it first into a molehill before then turning it into a mountain.

    They blame the schools for everything going “wrong” with their children because it’s easier than taking responsibility for their own failed parenting.

    Oh and I looked at those pictures of your shop and can only say “FAKE NEWS!!” Those pictures were obviously photo shopped! One could actually build stuff there.

  40. just nutha says:

    @Jen: Not only do teachers not have the agency some imagine that they do, but also a significant portion of school dynamics is based on rewarding the students who follow instructions most exactly and “play student” the best. Not much of an environment for teaching “individualism, rebellion and…”

  41. Scott F. says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Far and away my favorite point from Rick Scott’s Manifesto for Republicans:

    7. Fair Fraud-Free Elections: We will protect the integrity of American Democracy and stop left-wing efforts to rig elections.

    Today’s Democrat Party is trying to rig elections and pack the courts because they have given up on Democracy. They don’t believe they can win based on their ideas, so they want to game the system and legalize voter fraud to stay in power. In true Orwellian fashion, Democrats refer to their election rigging plans as “voting rights”. We won’t allow the radical left to destroy our democracy by institutionalizing dishonesty and fraud.

    It takes some special skills to invoke Newspeak while simultaneously applying Newspeak.

  42. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, there are teachers out there who are teaching that while the 14th, 15th, and 16th Amendments promised emancipation, citizenship, and the franchise, blacks got sharecropping, the Klan and Jim Crow laws, and poll taxes and literacy tests (where even correct answers would be marked wrong as required). But as I noted in a previous comment, if this is what teaching CRT looks like in high school, I’m good with it.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Four years ago Floridians, to my surprise, and by a considerable margin, passed an initiative making it legal for released felons to vote. Guv DeUseless and the GOP lege sprang into action and passed a bill saying their sentences weren’t completed until they paid all fees and fines. Fees and fines seem to accumulate in a confusing manner at various points in the legal process and the state went to no effort at all to make it possible for them to even find out what they owed, much less pay. The people spoke and the GOP pols did their best to ignore it.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: Hmmmm… That sounds suspiciously like history.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: The people spoke and the GOP pols did their best to ignore it.

    Just like they do here in Misery every time a ballot initiative or constitutional amendment is passed.

    @Mu Yixiao: I have read of state/s where state prisoners are eligible to vote. Don’t recall which ones and don’t trust my google fu.

  46. Michael Cain says:


    I have read of state/s where state prisoners are eligible to vote. Don’t recall which ones and don’t trust my google fu.

    Maine and Vermont. Ballotpedia is pretty good on election things.

  47. Mu Yixiao says:


    How can they “step away” from something that isn’t even there? Nobody is teaching CRT in anything except college and even then it is limited to certain classes.

    Wrong. California requires an “ethnic studies” course for HS graduation, and the curriculum specifically includes CRT.

    Many adherents of CRT deny that it’s taught to primary education students, and the mainstream media have been quick to line up behind such claims. That’s why Fontanilla’s discovery was so significant.

    “The teacher had the kids all learn about the four I’s of oppression,” says Fontanilla. The four I’s were institutional, internalized, ideological, and interpersonal oppression. “And then there was a whole presentation on critical race theory and they actually had the students analyze the school through critical race theory.”

    Read the article. The complaint comes from a black teacher whose students are Hispanic. It includes images from the curriculum that specifically reference CRT.

    Here’s a slide from the lesson plans that asks “Analyze the policy through a Critical Race Theory framework?”

  48. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I have to post this yet again… because I can’t believe that anyone would be this stupid.

    Eisenhower would have punched him in the face. Mamie would have as well.

    Trump praises Putin’s ‘genius’ plan to invade Ukraine: ‘You gotta say that’s pretty savvy’

  49. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: You seem to have left out the several racist incidents that happened at Salinas High School that led to the decision to back–strongly–the teaching of ethnic studies:


    There’s a real problem with race in this country.

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, history IS where CRT is most likely to intersect k-12 curriculum barring a full-blown transformation of how we teach literature (so that the deconstructive elements of alternate readings can shine through). Huck Finn with robots is a step that direction too, though. (Is anybody using that text variation in schools and explaining why? That would be pretty deconstructive and CRT both.)

    ETA: The corrupting young minds part of the job (see above) is the only part I was ever interested in as a teacher.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “What are some benefits at (of??) looking at things through critical race theory? What is the default? Why would some people be against it?”

    Again, if this is the face of the teaching, I’m okay with it. I’m not as okay with the questions as presented for a remote education class involving potentially limited English proficiency students. The question on the second slide is pretty good, but again, a remote education setting provides little opportunity to cultivate the discussion necessary–even though examining the motives of the administration involving school policy goals is right up the “teach the kids about individualism, rebellion, and disrespect for non-representative authority” alley your previous “stay away from CRT” position posited as a worthwhile goal for teaching.

    Again, the observation of the teacher that many of her students don’t read/speak English well is an alarm point for me as I’ve worked with EFL/ESL students who seemed to speak adequately but became flummoxed/at sea when presented with reading opportunities that require extensive advanced vocabulary and high background information. Beyond that the second slide–asking the motives of the administration would be a good starting point for a discussion about whether an ethnic studies course of ANY particular flavor is a good choice for a REQUIRED course. (And how the upper middle Caucasian budding White Supremacist kids in the class are going to react to the district’s goals for such a required course.)

  52. steve says:

    The slides look more like ones that would be used to train teachers. That is what they did in Virginia. They claimed that kids were being taught CRT when it was teachers being introduced to it.

    It does bring up a sot of interesting question. Can teachers even mention CRT? Is mentioning that something like CRT exists the same as teaching it?


  53. DrDaveT says:


    Is mentioning that something like CRT exists the same as teaching it?

    By analogy with sex, I would guess that the answer is held to be “yes” by the offended parties. Ignorance is the key — if we keep them totally ignorant of the facts of life, then they won’t fool around and get pregnant, right? Or think maybe the blacks have a case.

  54. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “‘cept, how does attacking schools to limit ‘those people’ explain that the same efforts are going on in states that are basically lily white?”

    I’d guess that to these fine folk, states are like people. It only takes one drop of black blood to pollute the entire body.