Category Archives: Elections

Could Democrats become states’ rights party?

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

People tend to think about how things work in relation to how well they’re working for them. That’s why some Democrats, who’ve won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote in two of the last five elections, want to get rid of the Electoral College, while many Republicans say it’s a pillar of democracy. If the results had been reversed, so would have been the arguments.

Which leads us to the 10th Amendment, sometimes known as federalism or states’ rights.

The 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” As the national government has grown in recent years, it has been the most ignored amendment outside of the 18th, the one that prohibited the sale of alcohol, which was repealed by the 21st.

All politics is now national

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

“All politics is local,” the late U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill used to say, but that’s no longer the case. Now, all politics is national.

That’s according to Dr. Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political science professor who spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service Thursday.

Abramowtiz said straight ticket voting, where voters choose candidates from the same party in all races, reached its highest level in 2012 in the 60 years that it’s been studied, and preliminary research shows 2016 no doubt followed that trend. That’s increasingly true whether voters are strong partisans, weak partisans, or independents who lean toward one party or the other. Most of those last folks are just “closet partisans” who won’t admit to themselves or to others that they are really a Republican or Democrat.

Follow the money

Rep. Jana Della Rosa, R-Rogers, argues for House Bill 1427 in committee.
By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

There’s a scene in “All the President’s Men,” the movie about the Washington Post reporters who dogged the Nixon White House until the president resigned over Watergate. Reporter Bob Woodward, played by Robert Redford, meets in a darkened garage with his background source, “Deep Throat,” played by Hal Holbrook, and says the story is stuck. “Follow the money. … Just follow the money,” Holbrook’s character tells him.

It’s as true today as it was then. It’s my experience covering the State Capitol that most elected officials at the state level are decent folks, and when they compromise, it’s more often out of strategic necessity than a failure of character. Still, if you want to know the whole story in politics, you always have to follow the money.

He was playing chess; she was playing checkers

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

Donald Trump won the Republican Party nomination because he was playing checkers while the other candidates were playing chess, and it was a checkers year. In November, the opposite happened: He checkmated Hillary Clinton while she was playing checkers.

Remember the primaries? Those 16 other mostly conventional Republican candidates were all playing chess – trying to execute their grand strategies and position themselves for Trump’s inevitable fade, or to be the last person standing against him. While they were staring at the chessboard, he just kept bouncing from state to state on the checkerboard until he reached the back row and shouted, “King me!”

In the general election, however, it was Clinton who tried to play checkers, while Trump realized it had become a chess match.