Wednesday’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:

    Kanye West reportedly no longer a billionaire as companies cut ties

    FAFO? Cancel culture run amok? Or maybe just corporations protecting their bottom line.

  2. Kingdaddy says:

    So signing the Progressive Caucus’ letter in June, not October, makes it all better?

  3. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: No worries, he’s about to buy Parler, which will make him all those billions back; that’s why Candace Owens’ husband was so eager to sell it to him.

    (As with Trump, it’s often hard to keep straight who’s conning whom.)

  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    Inexcusable in June, July, August. . . Absolute moral collapse and political malpractice. The squad seems to disappear for months then pops up just to shit the bed and roll around in it. Amateur hour. And Jayapal throwing her staff under the bus adds an extra layer of odium to this cock-up.

  5. Kingdaddy says:

    @Michael Reynolds: And the basic message is, “I’m willing to do the right thing only when the bad guy is clearly losing.”

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The 19-year-old gunman who killed a teacher and a 15-year-old girl at a St Louis high school was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and what appeared to be more than 600 rounds of ammunition, the local police commissioner, Michael Sack, said on Tuesday.
    The attacker was armed with nearly a dozen 30-round high-capacity magazines, Sack said.
    “This could have been much worse,“ he said.

    But the right to bear arms is absolute, never mind all that mealy mouthed language about a well regulated militia or the security of a free state, and don’t even mention a right to breathe.

    “Alexandria was my everything,” her father, Andre Bell, told KSDK-TV. “She was joyful, wonderful and just a great person. She was the girl I loved to see and loved to hear from. No matter how I felt, I could always talk to her and it was all right. That was my baby.”

  7. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    well-regulated militia…

  8. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy: @Michael Reynolds:

    This will present a real quandary for the MAGAs who hate progressives and worship Putin.

  9. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Kingdaddy: I think you are being unkind. They just want peace for our time.

  10. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m pretty sure Orlando Harris, like Salvadore Ramos, was a law abiding gun owner. Until he wasn’t.

  11. Kathy says:

    I came across a note that his majesty Manuel Andres the Last, king of covidiots, wants to allow foreign airlines to offer domestic flights within Mexico. Supposedly to lower the price of fares by increasing competition.

    IMO, if this is so, and I haven’t confirmed this report, the intent might be to fill up his white elephant airport. Or maybe to scare the domestic airlines.

    The practice is not common at all, with some rare exceptions. I think it may be common in Europe now, given the border-free market among the EU countries. Back in the 80s, I think, or maybe early 90s, the government took control of both Aeromexico and Mexicana, then the only two real airlines operating, and pretty much ran them as a monopoly. Prices were high for domestic fares, but reasonable for international ones where there was competition. There were serious proposals by economists to allow US-based airlines to offer domestic flights in Mexico.

    Nothing came off that. Eventually both airlines were privatizad, and in time other airlines arose (and fell).

  12. Scott says:

    Utterly meaningless election anecdotes from San Antonio:

    Early voting started Monday. There have been constant lines at the early voting sites. 32,000 voted on Monday. A little less than 2018.

    Walking around my immediate neighborhood (about 300 homes, primarily Republican). Not many lawn signs at all. About 10 Beto signs, just one Abbott sign. Several Beto adjacent signs (like my wife, Mothers Against Greg Abbott).

    Already conspiratorial comments on Next Door about the voting machines malfunctioning. 100% pretty sure the problem was on the human side of the man-machine interface. But you can’t tell anyone that.

  13. Matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m sure he’ll just double down on blaming the Jews for everything. He’s being canceled for telling the truth about the Jews control of everything dontcha know!!

  14. CSK says:

    This is bizarre. One sister claims her father was a serial killer. The other sister denies it.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult to extract some human remains from the well, if Lucy Studey’s accusations are correct.

  15. Kylopod says:


    I’m sure he’ll just double down on blaming the Jews for everything. He’s being canceled for telling the truth about the Jews control of everything dontcha know!!

    He has already been saying just that.

  16. CSK says:


    George Conway III had a good line about this: “As Ye sow, so shall Ye reap.”

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    From the comment section of Charlie Sykes’ “Morning Shots”

    Moose Mom gets it.

    2 hr ago
    Liked by Jonathan V. Last
    We are now under 2 weeks until the midterms, and while we won’t know the outcome until the votes are counted, it is time to start asking why the Democratic Party cannot beat these people.

    For all who will blame the Conservative Media, that’s too much like the Progressives blaming a low-level staffer for putting out their declaration demanding that President Biden negotiate with Russia regarding Ukraine.

    Let’s look at some facts:

    A group of women in Kansas shocked the country when their work resulted in a ruby-red state defeating an abortion ban. How did they do it? They put out ads targeting Independent and Republican women, speaking to their concerns in their language, and it was a resounding success. Did the DNC hire them? Nope. Did they duplicate their efforts in other red states? Nope.

    Jaime Harrison was given the DNC Chairman position after the 2020 election because he had raised more money for his Senate campaign than anyone ever previously had. Was it because of something he did differently? Nope. He raised that money because Democrats across the country donated due to their immense hatred of his opponent, Lindsey Graham. Even with a 3 or 4 to 1 advantage in money, he lost by a margin of 10.2%. What has he done as Chairman of the DNC? I don’t know, do you? I was hoping he would study the Voting Registration groups in Georgia, who after more than a decade of working year-round to register and communicate and stay in contact with Georgia voters, managed to pull a huge upset in the Senate run-off races in 2020, and start to implement the same strategy in other purple states. Did he? Nope.

    Democrats across the country have been donating to MTG’s opponent, in a district that her opponent has zero percent chance to win in, while the DNC has offered zero money/support to Tim Ryan’s Senate campaign in Ohio.

    Ron DeSantis won by less one percent in 2018 – did the Democrats use the time since to come up with a candidate that could topple him in 2022? Nope – another run for Charlie Crist, a la McAuliffe against Youngkin in Virginia last year.

    For decades now, Latino groups have been criticizing the Democrats for coming in late, just months before an election, to try to convince Latino voters to support them, and then they disappear afterwards, until the next election cycle. Meanwhile, the GOP has been engaging with those communities year-round.

    How many decades have the Republicans been putting in the time and effort at the local and state levels, and now have majorities in a majority of the 50 states? How many decades have the Democrats ignored it? (emphasis added)

    There are many other examples if you take some time to think about it – just what you’ve seen and read over the years.

    We need to ask this question, and we need to figure out the answers. I have been saying all along that history will render its judgement about the GOP abandoning Democracy, but it will also render the judgement that the Democratic Party was not up to the challenge of saving it.

    We need to, and MUST, change that. Beginning November 9, 2022, if not sooner.

    The best analogy for the Dem Party is monkeys fornicating with footballs.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Kingdaddy: @Michael Reynolds: A few weeks ago Kevin McCarthy, likely Speaker of the House and second in line for the presidency next year, said publicly the GOPs might cut aid to Ukraine. This was reported, lightly, and often with a slant of he didn’t really mean it. He hasn’t walked it back and I have seen zero, nada, not a peep, of criticism of McCarthy from other GOPs, whom I’m glibly assured by the supposedly liberal MSM disagree with him.

    Some back bench “progressives” drafted a statement that suggested direct diplomacy with Russia. (Which is almost certainly going on behind the scenes anyway.) There’s a strong possibility it was leaked, that they drafted it some months ago but never decided to release it. And they promptly walked it back. Now, progressive loose lips are a problem, and I’m just spitballing here, but maybe, just maybe, we should also look at broader issue along the lines of FTFNYT and an unseemly eagerness for internecine warfare within our broad coalition.

  19. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: As someone who worked in Republican politics, and actually saw how laser-focused they were on gaining state majorities in pursuit of redistricting goals, how Democrats operate has always been a bit baffling to me. It’s beyond unstructured, closer to operating by the seat of their pants–always. The one exception was Obama’s data-driven work in 2012, that seemed to run like a well-oiled machine.

    It’s frustrating because the basics are pretty straightforward: find a candidate who fits the district, keep your messaging tight and focused on what the DISTRICT wants, find your voters and turn them out to vote, and don’t get distracted.

  20. Kathy says:

    On season 6 ep 2. of The Expanse, I don’t really care much how the war goes or who will kill Marco (my money’s on Filip). all I want to know is 1) what’s the protomolecule (spoiler alert: it’s definitely not a molecule), and 2) what happened to the aliens who made it.

    I’m 90% sure that won’t be in the show.

    Other than that, it’s still a pretty good SF show.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    That was Obama’s secret sauce, but the most damning criticism of Obama and his people was that they didn’t understand or appreciate why winning at the state and local level was important either. Like lots of Dems they believed that if it gets implemented in Washington then the gold will flow across America and Dems will be rewarded.

    In a reply to that commenter, someone brought up the canard that Dems receive more votes in prez, senate and most house elections. That canard and $3 will get you a coffee at Dunkins. But what it should do is get the party and its membership to pose the question, why?

    You’re right about local Dem politics and I believe that answer lies with who gets attracted to working for the local parties. It’s the true believers and they have trouble separating their hopes and dreams from what type of candidate can be elected in the local district. Back in the day of smoke filled rooms, party bosses and close coordination with labor unions, Dems could focus on gaining power, but no longer.

    When this is over, we’ll hear, if only the candidates were more progressive. Yet there are numerous very progressive candidates that are even or trailing moronic Rs.

  22. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene claims that women beyond childbearing age should have no say in the abortion debate.

    Marjorie is 48. At 48, most women have either gone through menopause or are undergoing it. By her own logic, therefore, shouldn’t Marjorie shut up about abortion?

  23. Jen says:


    Marjorie Taylor Greene claim that women beyond childbearing age should have no say in the abortion debate.

    And what about men?

    She’s as dumb as a rock.

  24. CSK says:


    Breathtakingly so.

  25. JohnSF says:

    Not so much:
    I’ve already seen some MAGA tweets on the lines of ; “they admit”, “they confess”, “gas prices!”, “even they know Ukraine can’t win”, risk of war, money laundering, military industrial, globalists…yadda yadda.
    Cognitive dissonance is just a distant humming noise to those types.

  26. Mikey says:


    I’m 90% sure that won’t be in the show.

    There are nine main books in the Expanse series. The show covers the first six. You will see a lot of things wrapped up, others not so much. But it’s still good.

    There are also some novellas that provide backstory. I’ve only read The Churn, which is the life of Amos before he left Earth. I enjoyed it, it’s not necessary to the show itself but you get a good feel for why he is That Guy.

  27. JohnSF says:

    This was a massive unforced error.
    Make no mistake, far more than the Musk nonsense of late, this has got the attention of Moscow, and in a very, very dangerous way.
    The tankie/campist channels in Europe and the third world that reliably repeat the Kremlin line jumped on this and are still using it .
    Not to mention handing Republicans a “they admit it” line about gas prices.

    And, yes, Russia is also hoping from big benefits from a Republican congress; but that’s was both expected, and possibly manageable.

    This was an unexpected bonus; outside of relatively restricted euro-right circles. the Progressives play better for Russian propaganda globally tha do MAGA.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I think that’s a paraphrase of a line from someone else. Maybe a direct crib; I can’t remember.

  29. Kathy says:



    I became aware of the novels looking up show details on Wikipedia (it’s overshadowing IMDB for some things, IMO). I don’t think I want to read them, given how many they are. But at least there should be spoilers available.

    I was reminded a bit of the Eschathon Sequence by Frederick Pohl. As I recall (it’s been a while), SPOILER ALERT, it dealt with two sets of powerful aliens vying for control of all inhabited planets, for some sort of religious purpose (I never re-read them).

    What I recall best was the runaway inflation on Earth, which made most people’s money worthless even with daily raises. I think at some point it’s blamed on excessive deficit spending.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Sorry to break this to Moose’s Mom, but the reason that Democrats can’t beat “these people” is because roughly 47% of the society prefers their vision of the country to that of the Democrats. In many cases, that 47% of the society represents 60% or more of the voters (I live in one of those areas) just like in urban areas the Democrats are similarly disproportionally represented.

    The Democrats may well be the equivalent of monkeys fornicating with footballs, but that doesn’t change the philosophical/policy divide or the unequal distribution of political bias across the “fruited plain” (h/t Rush Limbaugh).

  31. CSK says:

    Stephen Collinson at CNN is saying that “Putin has watched and waited for this moment.”

  32. Kathy says:

    When you see headline like: Florida attorney who fought helmet laws dies in motorcycle crash, you may think fate is laughing it up.

    When you read further into the story and find “Smith and Volpe were on their way to a funeral when Smith reportedly lost control of their bike while slowing down for traffic. The motorcycle crashed into a trailer attached to a truck.” you’re sure irony is in on the joke.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt: Yep, guaranteed.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Irony aside, he may be one of the lucky ones, though.

    It’s entirely possible that if they were wearing a helmet they might have survived but … we can’t say for sure,” Eric Teoh, a motorcycle safety researcher at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told the Times.

    Helmets “certainly would have improved their odds”, Teoh added.

    While I was in grad school, the son of the next-door neighbor of my ex-wife had a motorcycle accident that he “survived”–unable to either function without custodial care or to control violent impulses.

    “Survived” means a lot of different things, and “where there is life, there is hope” sometimes rings hollow. Statistics are heartless creatures.

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My mother worked as a nurse in Neuro ICU. She said it was always full of people who hadn’t been wearing a helmet.

  36. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I refer to people riding motorcycles on the streets as “kamikazes”, and think of motorcycles as “suicide machines.”

    I know they aren’t, but a crash at high speed on an open vehicle lets the rider absorb all the impact forces. That’s really dangerous, helmet or no helmet.

  37. CSK says:

    T. J. Maxx has dumped Ye.

  38. Kathy says:

    Irony is having a field day:

    Trial over death at Colorado strip club delayed after key lawyer dies there too

    A very morbid field day.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Wow, first he gets dumped by Kim Kardashian, then Adidas, now T J Maxx?

  40. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The man whom Kim Kardashian left Kanye for, Pete Davidson, though he was raised Catholic, is of Jewish descent on his father’s side. I’ve wondered if that might be at the core of Ye’s recent anti-Semitic odyssey.

  41. Gustopher says:

    Re: Doctor Who from yesterday… I’m in complete agreement with Dr. Taylor and wr about the episode.

    I will say that while Sacha Dhawan is one of the highlights of the Chibnall era, Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor is the other, despite every single plot point that causes her to exist. She inhabits the role perfectly despite so little screen time.

    Which leads me to this: Maybe Whittaker’s Doctor just isn’t good? A weak portrayal of a poor incarnation of the character.

    The writing for the character is bad, and feels off, so it’s hard to tell. But I don’t see Whittaker as the Doctor so much as she is playing the Doctor — there have been a lot of actors and very different takes on the role, and she and Sylvester McCoy are the two least believable.

    McCoy was great at the beginning of the TV Movie, and here, so I tend to think of his very clunky performance in Classic Who as a matter of poor directing or rushed production or learning to act after the show was cancelled.

    I hope Whittaker gets a chance to reprise the role, separate from Chibnall. I want her to be good.

    (I would love for there to be a series of former Doctor specials, popping up in gaps between seasons or something — I could accept a fat, old 5, 6 or 7*, and maybe Tom Baker could do a turn as the Caretaker, and then we have all the current Doctors from 8** on and new 1 and Fugitive… it would be fun)

    Also, I was very surprised by the near complete lack of callbacks to New Who. No modern non-current companions in the companions club, no recent Doctors in the dude by the cliff. Just odd. (Tennant in that set would have made sense, and allowed some foreshadowing)

    *: They don’t look the part anymore, but the show is fantasy anyway. Throw in a line of technobabble and then ignore it. It’s Doctor Who, it should be continuity-lite.

    **: Night of the Doctor makes it cannon that 8 aged a lot before regenerating, so he still looks close enough even if they didn’t want an old, fat Classic Doctor story.

  42. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: I just assumed that Ye is a loon, and that left to their own devices loons find their way to antisemetic conspiracy theories.

    We need better conspiracy theories. “The Jews did it” is just boring (sorry, Jews, you’re just overexposed as villains these days).

  43. Kylopod says:


    I just assumed that Ye is a loon, and that left to their own devices loons find their way to antisemetic conspiracy theories.

    Agreed, but it’s got to hurt that he was cucked by (who he sees as) a member of the group that controls the media and entertainment industry. Particularly for someone this narcissistic. The anti-Semitism may have been there all along, but if so, it was laying dormant for a while. To my knowledge he wasn’t saying this in 2020, even though he was well down the rabbit hole by then.

  44. CSK says:

    Well, Kim and Pete started dating a year ago and broke up this past August. ( Just looked it up.) Ye is awfully slow on the uptake if he’s raving about Pete’s semitism now.

    I doubt that’s it.

  45. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “No modern non-current companions in the companions club, no recent Doctors in the dude by the cliff.”

    True, although I’m not sure which companions they could have brought back. Maybe Martha Jones or Bill Potts, but MJ has already come back a lot (and I believe was working for Unit). Oh, and didn’t Bill Potts turn into a Cyberman and then fly off with a lesbian space ghost? It can’t be Rose, since she exists on another earth — and Billie Piper isn’t going to do it unless she’s got a part as good as the one in that special a few years back. I think I read that Catherine Tate is coming back to the show, so Chibnall won’t step on RTD’s feet like that. (Also, all Donna’s memories of the Doctor were erased…) It would be nice to see Amy and Rory again, but they’re stuck in the 1920s and Karen Gillan — like Jenna Coleman — is most likely working far too much and gettting paid way to much to do a guest shot like this. Oh, and Clara is either dead or still living out her one second between heartbeats, so really not available for this kind of duty.

    If Bernard Cribbins hadn’t just died, it could have worked to see Wilf again. And then there’s Mickey, although Noel Clarke was only recently released from BBC jail when harassment accusations against him were ruled false or overblown or something, and probably not in time for the writing of this episode. So who does that leave?

  46. CSK says:

    Trump’s lawyers have accepted service of the subpoena issued to him by the Jan. 6 Committee.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And if she was like the nurse I knew who worked the ER, she probably also said that “the lucky ones” didn’t make it to ICU.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Sure, but who can keep track of who ANY Kardasian is banging at any given moment? (Or wants to for that matter.)

  49. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    No one, really, but my point was that it wasn’t his ex-wife’s affair with Davidson that set off Ye’s recent anti-semitic diatribe.

  50. Kathy says:


    Is it a crime to lie to Congress under oath?

    If so, I foresee three scenarios:

    1) Benito challenges the subpoena and runs out the clock until the next Congress renders the matter moot.

    2) He agrees to testify, then takes it back, then says he hasn’t taken it back, then that he showed up and no one was there, then he refuses to testify, then SQUIRREL!

    3) He shows up to testify behind closed doors and gets asked questions by the committee’s lawyers. He answers every question with “Fifth!” (In this scenario he may wear a badly concealed shock collar).

  51. CSK says:

    Well, if you lie to Congress under oath, you can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and a fine. But this rarely happens.

    I think Trump will gamble on running out the clock.

  52. Beth says:


    I highly recommend the Expanse Novella “Strange Dogs”. Very weird and creepy. Also terrifying to read as a parent of young children.

    I think it also did a great job setting up important stuff that happens in the later novels. If they would have included it as part of a novel it would have made everything worse, but on its own it was amazing.

    I should read “The Churn”. By the end of the series Amos became my favorite character by a mile.

  53. Gustopher says:

    @wr: Rory’s dad. The kid from 12s run that threw up in the TARDIS, the lodger dude from 11s run… slim pickings, to be sure, but someone to acknowledge the era.

    (I would have enjoyed Rory’s dad, honestly. Or Missy in the circle of companions, just pretending to fit in, probably up to no good because this would have to be her before she was in the vault…)

    Or at least a recent Doctor by the cliff, Tennant if no one else.

    The absence of any tie to pre-Chibnall New Who was weirder than any random weird choice would have been.

  54. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “The absence of any tie to pre-Chibnall New Who was weirder than any random weird choice would have been.”

    That we agree on. And especially to someone like me whose Who-viewing starts with 2005 and only moves forward…