David Coates

US Blog

Blog: Here you will find the very latest opinion pieces on the issues discussed in Answering Back and Making the Progressive Case. The comments here are very much concerned with the political strategy to effectively counter conservative arguments.

December 9, 2016

Reflections on the Obama Presidency: (2) The politics of gridlock

  (The second of a series of four reflections observing the Obama presidency in real time; for the first, see ‘The gap between promise and performance’i) It was never going to be easy to govern America in a progressive fashion, given the scale of the economic crisis left in place by the Bush Administration and […] read more »
December 7, 2016

Reflections on the Obama Presidency: (1) The gap between promise and performance

  There will no doubt be many reflective essays written on the Obama presidency in the months and years to come; and in time, as more information becomes available, some of our initial judgments on the quality of that presidency will need to be reset. But there is great value in setting down contemporary reactions […] read more »
November 15, 2016

Second Thoughts on the Victory of Donald Trump

(First posted on the blog site of the UK Political Studies Association) You were good enough to let me share with you my first thoughts on the Trump victory, and I am hoping that you might be equally kind a second time. But this time, I want to share thoughts not about those who supported […] read more »
November 10, 2016

First thoughts on the Trump Victory

(First posted on the SPERI blog site, in the UK) There are times when being right is a luxury too far. This is one of those times. It was possible to see Trump coming,i but it was also possible – until about midnight on November 8th – to hope that his coming would be aborted. […] read more »
October 27, 2016

Minimizing the Legacy of Donald J Trump

When Elizabeth Warren was campaigning with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire last Monday, she expressed a wish that so many of us now share, when she promised Donald Trump that “on November 8th, we nasty women are gonna march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.”1 […] read more »
September 30, 2016

Treating Donald Trump as Just Another Republican Presidential Nominee

  Just because Donald Trump is so unconventional a presidential candidate, it does not automatically follow that we should immediately abandon our conventional criteria for judging his adequacy for the position. On the contrary, the reverse is more likely to be true: that the more unconventional he attempts to be, the more determined should we […] read more »
August 25, 2016

Donald Trump: the Politics of Fear and Violence

American presidential politics is always a contact sport. The stakes are invariably so high that being polite to the opposition is normally difficult, and is often honored only in the breach. The 2012 “there is a village in Kenya that is missing its idiot” bumper sticker offended me at the time for its ongoing birtherism […] read more »
August 1, 2016

Extracting the United States from a Condition of Permanent War

The scale and character of US military action overseas didn’t figured much in the Democratic Party’s internal debate on the choice of a presidential candidate, but with that choice resolved it needs to figure now. Indeed, the question of what constitutes a progressive foreign policy needs to move center-stage – and to do so with […] read more »
June 9, 2016

History Once as Tragedy, Twice as Farce? American lessons from a British referendum

The United States is not alone in being in campaign mode. The United Kingdom is as well. Not for the British a general election in November, as here. Rather, a June 23rd referendum on whether to remain, or whether to leave, the European Union – the 28 member economic-political union headquartered in Brussels. But though […] read more »
May 18, 2016

Democratic Primaries in the Shadow of Neoliberalism

There is an understandable tendency, when in the thick of a long set of presidential primaries, to treat all of them simply as exercises in the choice between individual candidates, and to make them as much about character as about policy. There is also an understandable tendency to assume that what is at stake in […] read more »

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