David Coates

Making the Progressive Case

Making the Progressive Case seeks to raise the quality of democratic discourse in the contemporary United States by making access to both sides of contemporary political debates easy and attractive. It brings together in one place underlying liberal positions on issues as disparate as market regulation and the war in Afghanistan, and sets them alongside their conservative and libertarian alternatives. 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 »
December 12, 2016

Reflections on the Obama Presidency: (3) The Price of Moderation

(This is the third of four linked reflections. The first is available herei, and the second likewiseii) When examining the gap between promise and performance in the Obama years, the bit that isn’t the Republican Party’s fault is the bit that is Obama’s. And there is one – certainly from a progressive point of view […] read more »
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 »

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