Photo by Tim Pierce, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Silence_is_violence_(15394765154).jpg

After it was published in 2018, Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility received fawning reviews from The New Yorker and Publishers Weekly on its way to becoming a New York Times bestseller. Well-intentioned white people bought the book in droves and the titular phrase became ubiquitous, used as a way to explain or attack white people who protested when accused of racism. Now, as more Americans are asking how they can fight racism in response to the appalling deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, White Fragility has seen a resurgence, this time topping the bestseller list.

But while people’s…


Because Democrats are so focused on beating Donald Trump in November, debates over electability have been more heated than usual. Everyone-candidates, pundits, and Facebook friends-seems to have their own theory. But unfortunately, most of them are based on little more than some combination of gut feeling and self-interest, with the theorist usually concluding that the candidate they like the best is also the most electable. In a sea of poor prognosticators, it is tempting to tune them all out, or to conclude that no theory of electability is better than another. But that would be a mistake.

Electability is important…


Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr

In 2020, Democratic voters have the most difficult choice they have had in years. Not only are the stakes of the election exceptionally high with Donald Trump in the White House, but there is a large field of candidates to choose from. Whether you identify as a progressive or moderate, or prioritize experience or electability, each candidate has clear strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day, our challenge is to settle on the candidate who offers the strongest combination of positives with the least negatives. I believe that person is Amy Klobuchar.

Amy Klobuchar has the best combination…


Making sense of a complicated situation.

As I wrote in Washington Monthly, if ever there was a scandal that was tailor-made for conflicting views or nuanced opinions, Katie Hill’s was it. While that piece focused on the hypocrisy in how extreme partisans responded to the scandal, now I want to focus on the conflicting truths at the core of the controversy.

The more I’ve seen people’s reactions to Hill’s final floor speech, the more it became clear that many people who have followed the scandal are gripped by mixed feelings-sympathy, disappointment, anger, or frustration. That’s okay, because human affairs are…


Photo Credit: Office of the Attorney General of California, Wikimedia Commons ( https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AG_Kamala_Harris_meets_with_California_Foreclosure_Victims_09.jpg)

If you believe the media consensus, Julián Castro and Kamala Harris were the “breakout stars” of their respective Democratic debate nights. In the sense that they both gained favorable media attention, that’s true. But there is a reason candidates who do well in debates are said to have given a great “performance”-because we judge debaters more like actors, responding to how they make us feel instead of how they make us think.

Candidates who “win” debates aren’t necessarily offering better policy proposals, demonstrating more knowledge, or articulating a more compelling vision. They’re “winning” exchanges, delivering applause lines, or appealing to…


And saying so is a recipe for disaster in 2020.

Photo of Joe Biden by Center For American Progress / Photo of Bernie Sanders by Gage Skidmore

In 2018 Democrats sent 67 new representatives to the most diverse Congress in American history. The Party’s freshman class wasn’t just not predominantly white and male; it was dominated by women (38) and persons of color (23)-many of whom represent mostly white districts. By contrast, out of 44 newly elected Republicans, only 5 were women or persons of color.

The difference between the parties has never been more clear. By any measure, the vast majority of Democrats embrace and support not only diversity of race and gender, but of religion…


2016 Electoral Vote Cartogram / Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2016_Electoral_Vote-Cartogram.png

Defenders claim the Electoral College protects us against a tyrannical mob, but it never has. Instead, it imposes a different kind of tyranny on the majority of Americans.

One of the most common arguments defenders of the Electoral College make (other than that it protects small states) is that the institution protects us against the tyranny of the majority or against mob rule. The idea is that if our President were elected by a popular vote, it could lead to a form of tyranny in which a mob (in this case the mob is over 60 million Americans) elects a…


Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2016_Presidential_Election_by_Vote_Distribution_Among_States.svg

The idea that the Electoral College was designed to protect small states and protects them today is a myth worth busting.

As a plan to elect our next President by popular vote — the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact — progresses toward its goal, proponents of the Electoral College are speaking up in its defense. A substantial chunk of those defenders are people who like the Electoral College primarily because it helped Republican candidates in 2000 and 2016, but there are those who offer a more principled defense of the institution. …


House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi : Photo by Gage Skidmore

What’s in HR1, what are it’s chances for success, and can it withstand the Supreme Court’s scrutiny?

Last week House Democrats passed HR1, the For the People Act, on a strict party line vote. Here’s what you need to know about the bill’s content, chances of success, and constitutionality.

What does HR1 do?

HR1 contains a variety of provisions in the areas of voting rights, campaign finance, and some provisions that seem squarely aimed at President Trump. …


Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Credit:Lee District Democratic Committee [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Punishing people for decades old non-criminal behavior sets a dangerous precedent. In a society with rapidly changing norms, any of us could be next.

When a 35-year-old photo surfaced showing Virginia Governor Ralph Northam dressing up in either blackface or a Klansman’s outfit, or at least putting the image of two people in those costumes on his yearbook page, it seemed like only a matter of time before he resigned. If Megyn Kelly was fired just for suggesting that blackface wasn’t always inappropriate when she was growing up, Northam stood little chance. …

David Burke

aka “The Logical Liberal.” Activist and attorney trying to improve our political system — www.thelogicalliberal.com. Founder of www.citizenstakeaction.org.

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