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.

January 25, 2016

Common Weaknesses in the Republicans’ Tax Proposals

Though for understandable reasons the leading Republican presidential candidates continually emphasize the things that divide them, we would do well to concentrate rather on the things that do not. The televised-debate format accentuates differences. It did so on tax policy, for example, when last the candidates met – Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio clashing sharply […] read more »
January 1, 2016

How Best to Separate Donald Trump from his Base

If there is anything currently uniting most political commentators in contemporary America, it is surely their on-going fascination with the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The common agreement on both sides of the political aisle through most of 2015 appeared to be that his campaign was eventually bound to fail – the reason being some […] read more »
December 9, 2015

Questions that go unanswered as we drift to a State of Permanent War

As the main US media outlets report and amplify each and every outlandish assertion by Donald Trump and his fellow contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, major damage is being done to the underlying quality of the dominant political discourse in the United States. That damage has two main characteristics. By giving so much airtime […] read more »
November 5, 2015

Waiting for the TPP

Figures on US economic performance continue to disappoint. Seven years out from the greatest financial crisis since 1929, economic growth is sluggish, levels of unemployment and under-employment remain unacceptably high, and real wages for most Americans are still trapped at 1970s levels. Not that the United States is alone in any of this. Globally, important […] read more »
October 4, 2015

Challenging Republican Premises: On the Cutting of Taxes

One of the great dangers of the seemingly never-ending media coverage of the Republican presidential circus is that it facilitates the steady drip into the popular consciousness of a set of problematic conservative assertions that any serious progressive politics needs to question and refute. This media-induced steady slippage of Republican cliché into received truth was […] read more »
September 4, 2015

Taking Donald Trump Seriously

The initial response to Donald Trump’s pursuit of the American presidency, certainly among many more moderate members of the Republican Party, was to wait for his pursuit to implode. It seemed to many seasoned observers of such campaigns that this one was not serious; or that if it was, it was inherently flawed. There was […] read more »
August 26, 2015

Jeremy who? The Bernie Sanders Phenomenon at Home and Abroad

If you watch virtually any major American news channel right now, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only political development worthy of note was the on-going presidential campaign of Donald Trump. But you would be wrong. Key sections of the American press are currently playing Trump’s main calling-card for him by giving excessive […] read more »
August 7, 2015

The Republican Juggernaut Marching Us to War

The over-riding temptation in the wake of the first debate between Republican presidential hopefuls may be to focus on the Trump opening gaffe, or to join the mainstream media in ranking candidate performance and picking winners. But the temptation to focus on the differences on display in Cleveland should be avoided – by progressive commentators […] read more »
June 20, 2015

Trade Deals and the Importance of Political Gridlock

For a political capital renowned for gridlock, there are times when Washington DC looks poised for too much action rather than for too little. This is one such time. Moves seem well underway in the Republican-controlled Senate to fast-track the vote on fast-tracking – maybe as early as this coming Tuesday – a move that […] read more »
May 10, 2015

The U.K. Election: U.S. Lessons

Watching the UK election from Glasgow and not due back in the U.S. until next week, several thoughts seem worth sending home ahead of us. Please remember that this result was entirely unexpected by everyone – including the Conservative political leadership who ended up with a small but working majority. Every major political party here […] read more »

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