Monday, May 15, 2017

The State of the State

 As you may already know, I am returning for a couple of lectures in June. I want you to get ready for them, should you be able to attend, by thinking or reading up on two main areas of interest.
1. We will be talking about the Supreme Court, and how the election of President Trump may affect the composition of our aging Court. Circumstances may create 1-4 openings in the next 3 years, and if the Senate maintains the D-R balance, and the nuclear option, those nominated will be confirmed. What happens if the Court shifts dramatically (from 5-4, 4-5) to 7-2 to the "right?"  What issues, having  been decided in the past, rise from the dead? Think about that.
2. The second lecture focuses on the issue of compromise, on the gridlock, on the inability to govern (pick you trite, tried and true metaphor. What I want you all to think about is the why it seems that we cannot agree on anything? Is this something new, is this a problem that has been recently made, or is this instead an American tradition? Is compromise possible, desirable?

We will have some fun teasing those issues out in full, as much as 2 hours can be full.
People always say, " I can't tell you how excited I am..." and then they proceed to tell you exactly how excited they are. It's like, "sooner rather than later" which to me means, simply, soon.

I am excited to see you all, and to reconnect soon.


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Why Hillary Lost

News flash.
McClatchy, a respected news and polling organization released a report last week that confirmed two other previous reports, one by the New York Times. In the report, data analysis showed that in several of the key swing states (enough to win the electoral vote) the number of Trump voters who had previously voted for President Obama was enough to swing the election. In other words, it was former Obama voters who moved to Trump that gave him the victory in that state and its electoral votes.

Think about that, Sure there were broad swaths of disaffected voters in all parts of the country, and in the mostly red states they were legion.  But those states would have gone either red, or blue, as they have done historically for years.  The key swing states were the tipping points. Those voters, many of whom identify as moderate, or independent, voted for President Obama and President Trump.

Now, the data analysts don't tell us why they did that, which of course, it the key question.  Perhaps that is too hard to pin down- was there a general disaffection among large swaths of voters, was there a singular dislike of Hillary Clinton, was there a mood that Washington does not work that pushed them to support the "outsider?" These are questions that remain to be answered.

And perhaps it does not help to try to find out.  I saw the bumper stickers of President Obama in 2008 proudly displayed on the Priuses (or is it Pree I) and pickups alike, only later to be half torn off as those voters' hopes turned to disappointment.  People often regret their choices, but rarely offer up the truth when they are protected by privacy.

What we are seeing today is a Congress back where it was, deeply divided, unable to achieve consensus, failing leadership, raking in millions to protect their positions in the next election.  A president who is unorthodox (I am being more kind than I can even imagine), careening from one apparent crisis to another (though, interesting how every event today is magnified in to a crisis by our media). And an electorate (that's us folks) who wash  our hands like Herod because of course, we are pure of heart and susceptible to deceit.

The fault of all of this, the dismay, the despair, the fear we feel, the fault dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.


PS. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on a special lecture duo.  We may just be seeing each other sooner than you think.