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.

February 27, 2015

Hammocks and Ladders: The Poverty of Republican Thinking on the Poor

‘The American Dream has become a mirage for far too many.” (Jeb Bush)1 These are early days in the upcoming run for the White House in 2016, but already – among would-be Republican candidates at least – we see evidence of a tentative willingness to explore a set of contemporary ills that normally only figure […] read more »
February 6, 2015

The Case for Slowly Getting Out of the Empire Business

If all you witnessed late last month were the speeches of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Freedom Summit in Iowa, you could be forgiven for thinking that the main thing wrong with US foreign policy these days is that, in countries far from these shores, too few people are currently being killed by American weapons.1 […] read more »
January 21, 2015

The President’s “Queen’s Speech”- Too Little, Too Late?

The United Kingdom and the United States are divided by more than a common language. They are divided too by the different character of the political systems prevalent in each. They do however share a propensity for political theater. The UK has a major example of that theater once each year, when the Queen gives […] read more »
January 1, 2015

New Year Reflections on the US Global Role.

The first hours of a new year are always an ideal time for people across the globe to reflect on their contemporary condition. They are an ideal moment to look back, in the hope that serious reflection now can improve conditions going forward. And it is particularly vital that we in America take this moment […] read more »
December 1, 2014

Taking the Imperial out of American Imperialism

“You can do many things with a bayonet, except sit on it.” (Talleyrand) There is never a good or easy time to argue that the United States should begin to completely reset the character of its foreign policy, especially when the argument being made – as here – is that a key element in that […] read more »
November 19, 2014

The Mid-Term Elections: Taking the Longer View

  In the wake of an electoral setback on the scale experienced by the Democrats two weeks ago, the temptation to immediately rush to judgment is enormous. So also, if my e-mails and robo-calls are any guide, is the temptation to engage in yet more fundraising, as though money was the big thing of which […] read more »
October 9, 2014

Hype & Reality: American Economic Numbers

  It is mid-term season in America: time for the Administration to talk up the strengths of the economy. The President did so in Evanston a week ago, wanting “people to know that there are some really good things happening in America.”[1] The worst of the recession is at last behind us. Since in economic […] read more »
September 12, 2014

Playing Defense and Still Losing

  You don’t win football games by only playing defense. And you don’t win mid-elections that way either. Perhaps somebody should remind the Democrats that winning elections, like winning games, requires you to take the game to the opposition, and to take it to them on your terms – not on theirs. I Political parties […] read more »
August 5, 2014

Responding to David Brooks: The Question of Poverty and Character

  David Brooks’ recent essay on “The Character Factory” would have us believe that “nearly every parent on earth operates on the assumption that character matters a lot to the life outcomes of their children” while “nearly every government anti-poverty program operates on the assumption that it doesn’t.” Assertions like that, coming in the wake […] read more »
July 19, 2014

Defending Trade Unions while the Justices are Away.

The nine justices of the Supreme Court are now in recess, leaving the rest of us the summer in which to reflect upon and digest their latest set of rulings – particularly the two handed down on the last day before they took their break. Quite properly, given its reactionary nature, their 5:4 ruling on […] read more »

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