Why do Democrats have superdelegates? Short, medium and long explanations

George McGovern (D-SD) and 1972 Democratic Party nominee for president

As presidential primaries and caucuses have started up, people are again paying attention to the Democratic Party’s use of superdelegates, individuals not picked through a primary or caucus who will attend the national convention and vote for a nominee. So many have questions about how this aspect of the process came to be. Here you […]

‘The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.’ Welcome to the 2016 election.

No two times or elections are identical. But American pasts loom large as the 2016 presidential election takes shape. On the Democratic side, the contrast between Progressives and Populists is on full display. The Republican side is combining the flavor of Dixiecrats and George Wallace with opposition to the policies of the most accomplished Democratic […]

The media narrative that Clinton garners less enthusiasm is wrong

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Since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders emerged as a candidate who could generate big crowds, the media narrative has been that his supporters are more enthusiastic than Hillary Clinton’s. Reading the recent polls suggests that’s not true. You can see this in three different sorts of polls: ones that ask about people’s commitment to their candidate, […]

How a British philosopher explained Clinton vs. Sanders in 1953

Forget the polls and pundits for awhile. If you’re following the Democratic nomination, you’re better off getting insight from a 20th-century British philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, who wrote that you can classify thinkers into two groups. One knows lots of little things and another knows one big thing. Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ voting records are […]

What’s wrong with Sanders’ single payer plan and health care politics?

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Like 2008, health care is now an important issue in the Democratic nomination fight. Back then Clinton and Obama both wanted Affordable Care Act-like policies, although they differed on whether there should be an individual mandate. This year, Senator Bernie Sanders is promoting a single payer plan and his campaign is criticizing Hillary Clinton for […]

LePage should note what Bill Clinton did with his impeachment time State of the Union Address

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Gov. Paul LePage told a radio station that he might not give a State of the State Address in person — and that’s because the Legislature might be in the middle of impeaching him. LePage said: I don’t know. It’s going to be some time but it’s probably going to go back to the 1800s […]

LePage’s racist remarks make it harder to solve Maine’s most pressing problem

When Gov. Paul LePage made comments last week that caused a national uproar, he was sincerely addressing Maine’s grave problems with heroin addiction and deaths. But sincerity is not enough. When combined with defensiveness, it’s counterproductive. The governor has a tendency to portray himself as the only one who cares and has the right answers. […]

GOP hyperbole on Obama’s gun executive orders doesn’t fit reality

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Reactions by conservatives to Obama’s executive orders on guns seem to have almost nothing to do with what he actually did nor the normal operations of government. In this newpaper, one conservative pundit called for Congress to launch an investigation even before the specific executive orders were announced. Another conservative pundit claimed the executive orders […]

LePage is wrong to say impeachment requires prior court action

Gov. Paul LePage. Mario Moretto | BDN

In speaking on WVOM this morning, Gov. LePage talked about a potential impeachment action. After first saying impeachment should go forward “so the truth can get out,” the governor changed his position and tied an impeachment action to court action he’s facing regarding withholding funds to thwart a private organization’s hiring of Speaker of the House […]