David Coates

Answering Back

Answering Back: The Living Book is a resource to keep you up-to-date as you fight for a better America. The book consists of 10 chapters, each covering a major issue in today’s political debates. Additional articles on these topics are regularly added to the book’s website, so it continues to live on. Here you will find the latest story lines, data sets, and literature references necessary to keep you fully up to speed with this incredibly rapidly changing and important set of political struggles.

I encourage you to respond to any and all of the articles. – David Coates

August 3, 2017

Donald J. Trump as a “Morbid Symptom”

The great Italian revolutionary, Antonio Gramsci,1 when struggling to understand the rise to power of Benito Mussolini, once wrote this of Italy’s interwar crisis: that it “consists precisely in the fact that the old order is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”2 For Gramsci, […] read more »
July 10, 2017

Taking Comfort from the Success of Others

With the wisdom of hindsight, it is now clear that the sheer quality of the Obama intellect, and the solid integrity of his character, lulled many of those who twice voted for him into a false sense of security. It was as though we forgot, with too great an ease and for too long a […] read more »
June 11, 2017

American Lessons from a British Election – Progressives, take heart!

The focus of most American commentary on the results of the general election held in the UK last Thursday is likely to be on the potential instability of Theresa May’s now much weakened Conservative Government, and on any impact that instability will have on the UK’s divorce negotiations with the European Union. Much ink is […] read more »
April 16, 2017

Wishing the Democratic Party a Healthy Easter Recess

Watching developments in American politics is rarely enjoyable these days. Indeed many of us periodically stop watching because the wear and tear on our nerve ends is so severe. So, it may be churlish to warn against taking too much pleasure from the Republican failure thus far to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. […] read more »
March 15, 2017

Pulling the Trump Problem into Sharper Focus and Full Vision

We are becoming so acclimatized to government by crisis that it becomes slightly disorienting when one or two days goes by without a new Trump travesty on which to report and ponder. But the last couple of days have been rather quiet on that front. The President seems to cause fewer waves, the more golf […] read more »
February 16, 2017

The Politics of Business, and the Business of Politics, in the World of Donald J. Trump

  The Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” has a renewed resonance this side of January 20th. As we now all presumably realize, there is never a dull day in American politics with Donald J. Trump in the White House, and there is never likely to be one. Oh, that there was. And […] read more »
January 24, 2017

Unpacking the Inaugural Address of Donald J Trump

The Trump Inaugural Address last Friday was so full of Kellyanne Conway-type “alternative facts”1 that the bulk of the intellectual energy subsequently devoted to it by its progressive critics has been directed towards fact-checking – questioning the new president’s claims on drugs, crime, manufacturing, and the leakage of American wealth abroad.2 And what energy that […] read more »
January 13, 2017

Ten Things to tell Donald Trump

Watching Donald Trump prepare to take office is not a pleasant experience for American liberals. We can already anticipate a plethora of policy-initiatives emerging from the White House with which we will need to do political battle, such that the daily exchanges between Trump supporters and ourselves will increasingly focus on questions of policy design, […] read more »
December 30, 2016

Troubling Omens as We Approach the Presidency of Donald J. Trump

These are early days of course. Nothing has happened yet to directly justify a rush to judgment. But enough happened during the campaign, and enough is happening now in the interregnum between the election and the inauguration, to give genuine cause for concern. These three large concerns at the very least. THE PROSPECT OF BAD […] read more »
December 14, 2016

Reflections on the Obama Presidency: (4) Leaving Bipartisanship Behind

  (This is the last of four linked postings. The others are here,i hereii and hereiii) After all, it always takes two to tango, and the Republicans are now refusing to dance. Their ranks are too riddled with birtherism, conspiracy theories and latent racism to permit them to participate in any dance that moves to […] read more »

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