Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Republican Party Is Clearly, Absolutely, Broken

On the domestic front, the first six months of President Obama’s second term have been dominated by two issues: i mmigration reform and the budget. On the former, a consensus has emerged between Democrats and more pragmatic members of the Republican Party, with Congress poised to vote on a bill that combines a path to citizenship with more border security and tougher enforcement mechanisms. The two parties are sharply divided on how to approach the budget, but—again—there’s room for Democrats to work with more pragmatic members of the opposition. But that’s only in the Senate. In the House of Representatives, where majorities have near-absolute control over the conduct of business, there are no negotiations and there is no agenda. Instead, there is a fractured, squabbling Republican Party. In today’s Washington Post , Paul Kane details the extent of the dysfunction. “[T]he most momentous policy decisions, including an immigration overhaul and...

Republicans Land a Solid Blow on the Obama Persona

Intel Photos / Flickr
Intel Photos / Flickr President Obama’s key asset as a politician has always been his personal brand. Most Americans have always held him in high esteem, even as they disapproved of his overall job performance. During the presidential election, for instance, Obama’s approval ratings always lagged behind his favorability. For Republicans, this has been a difficult problem to overcome. The GOP hasn’t had much trouble convincing the public that Obama isn’t up to snuff on his handling of the economy, or his overall ability to get stuff done (although a large chunk of that has to do with the Republican stance of categorical obstruction). Even still, the public hasn’t rejected Obama, for the simple reason that voters like the president, and want him to succeed. Which is why Benghazi and the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service has been such a godsend for the Republican Party. Does the White House have anything to do with the IRS decision to heighten scrutiny...

Ringside Seat: Virginia Is Not for Governors

There's a plethora of reasons why Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s chances are lousy in Virginia's off-year gubernatorial election. It's not just the fact that demographics and history stand against him . Few people in any state are enthusiastic about voting for dedicated party operators, and McAuliffe is exactly that—a quintessential partisan Democrat with a history in fundraising, the sleaziest part of partisan politics.Which does a lot to account for the latest survey from Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling, in which only 29 percent of Virginia voters have a favorable opinion of McAuliffe and his candidacy, compared to 33 percent who have a negative one. But here’s the rub: Even more Virginians dislike the Republican nominee, Ken Cuccinelli. Forty-four percent have an unfavorable opinion of the attorney general, and among independents—the crucial demographic in Virginia—that number rises to 51 percent. Only 25 percent of independents have a...

Michele Bachmann's Powerful Legacy

Jamelle Bouie/The American Prospect
Jamelle Bouie/The American Prospect Michele Bachmann’s retirement from the House of Representatives is an obvious loss for political journalists and their editors, who could guarantee web traffic by just reprinting anything she said, with minimal comment. That was especially true during the Republican presidential primaries. In her short time as a candidate, Bachmann blamed natural disasters on America’s unwillingness to cut non-defense discretionary spending, accused Texas Governor Rick Perry of spreading autism with mandatory vaccinations, warned that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had plans to bomb the United States with a nuclear weapon, and pushed for a full ban on pornography. The unhinged insanity of all of this is worth noting. But what we should also point out is that none of this disqualified her from consideration as a presidential candidate . Not only did Bachmann win the Iowa straw poll—a symbolic victory, but a victory nonetheless—but at...

The Ted Cruz Immigration Shuffle

Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Gage Skidmore / Flickr National Journal ’s Beth Reinhard has a great look at Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s transformation from pro-immigration policy advisor for George W. Bush, to right-wing, fire-breathing opponent of reform. When he was working for Bush, he crafted the campaign’s immigration policy, which included a sped-up application process, a greater number of work visas, and a provision that allowed relatives of permanent residents to visit the United States. Now, Cruz seems categorically opposed to anything that smacks of comprehensive reform. Reinhard notes that this transformation is a little baffling to people who have followed his career over the years: The route Cruz chose, from working on the reform-minded Bush campaign to voting against the bill Wednesday as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, confounds some of those who crossed paths with him. His role on the Bush campaign is a lesser-known part of the biography of a politician increasingly viewed...