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.

November 1, 2017

Donald J. Trump and the Slow Arrival of Buyers’ Remorse

(co-authored with Lauren Tarde) You might be forgiven for thinking – given all that has happened since Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton for the US presidency in November 2016 – that buyers’ remorse would be rampant in contemporary America. But it is not. It is true that Donald J. Trump started his presidency capturing […] read more »
September 16, 2017

Taking Supper with Trump – The Need for a Very Long Spoon

The Democratic Party leadership in both the House and the Senate spent last week congratulating themselves on the deal they supposedly struck with the President on legislation to protect dreamers,1 and presumably took some pleasure too from the adverse impact of that supposed deal on Trump’s relationship with Congressional Republicans and his base. They should […] read more »
September 1, 2017

Trump and Afghanistan: Old Problems and New Dangers

Keeping track of important policy developments with Donald J. Trump as President is difficult and yet vital. There is so much noise and distraction surrounding everything that the current President does, and such a perplexing mixture of bombast and bigotry in so much of what he says, that the important things going on quietly behind […] read more »
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 »

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