Donald Trump is only part of the Republican Party’s long-term problems

    One of my favorite clichés is that demography is destiny when it comes to politics. But demography is not on the side of the Republican Party these days — and therefore, neither is any positive destiny over the long term. Consider this, for example: Barring some huge scandal that renders her utterly unelectable, Hillary Clinton is highly likely to defeat Donald Trump in the national balloting this November. The simple fact of the matter is that Clinton and the Democrats have demographics on their side. Even a less offensive...

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The U.S. Senate is fundamentally undemocratic

  In their so-called infinite wisdom, America’s Founding Fathers decided that each of the states would have equal representation in the U.S. Senate regardless of population differences. I suppose there’s a certain logic to that system, but it doesn’t come readily to my mind. All I know is that it seems strange that a sparsely-populated state like Wyoming has no fewer senators than California, or New York or any other state where many millions of people reside. The practical consequence of this arrangement is that the...

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How do gun nuts control the GOP? The answer is simple

  The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate rejected several modest gun-control bills yesterday despite widespread public support for the measures. Even most gun-owners favored the proposals. How can this be? How can the National Rifle Association, which opposes virtually any and all forms of gun control, be the tail that wags the dog in these matters? Why doesn’t the will of the American majority prevail? Here’s the answer: Firearms fanatics are far more likely to base their decisions at the ballot box solely on the issue of...

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Fanatical devotion to your hometown pro sports teams is weird

      Much of the population of Cleveland, Ohio, is especially happy today because the city’s professional basketball team won the league championship last night. I’m glad for those folks — but only to a point. I, too, am an enthusiastic fan of certain sports teams, mainly those from Chicago — the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. But I don’t get carried away about it, at least not anymore. Thirty-two years ago this coming October, I let myself become unduly upset when Cubs first-baseman...

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If you don’t see that Trump is finished, you’re more delusional than he is

    After a year of making bad predictions about Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, here’s where I finally get everything right: He’s finished. He’s toast. There is no chance on earth that he’ll ever reside in the White House. He might not even win the Republican nomination. In the past few weeks, and especially in recent hours and days, Trump’s political fortunes have taken a profound, virtually irreversible, turn for the worse. It would take a political miracle unprecedented in American...

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No, guns will not be allowed at the Republican Convention

  Perhaps the most predictable example of hypocrisy we’re likely to hear from the podium at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland will be the oratory about the evils of gun control. As I understand it, the Secret Service, under color of its responsibility to protect certain important people,  won’t allow the carrying of firearms in the convention hall. We’ll see whether any of those protected people will be so hypocritical as to complain about the protection. It’s still not clear whether...

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