Nervous as hell? Don’t think you can take election night? Girding yourself for weeks of counting torture?

There is unfortunately nothing that can completely alleviate that stress. But as the night of unfolds, there will be a few things to keep an eye on that could provide some real and significant early clues as to whether events are trending in the right direction, or if you should be stocking up on a two-week supply of bourbon (or a four-year supply of Prozac).

Before diving into them, it is helpful to note a few important assumptions up front about the dynamics…

Just Edging Out Trump Won’t Be Enough

In the post-Labor Day sprint to the election, predictions of each side’s chances will be built on an assumption that’s so reasonable and so commonplace that no one gives it a second thought: that “victory” means achieving 270 Electoral College votes.

It doesn’t. The goal line has moved.

Instead of defining winning as one candidate edging across the 270 line, we have to think about something a lot more profound and disturbing — what it will take to avoid catastrophe? …

Last week’s revelation that Donald Trump — a man who invented a medical condition to escape military service — had called Americans who died for our country “losers” and “suckers” seemed like a flaming political disaster. Now comes a series of recordings that confirm that Trump knew how deadly and contagious Covid was but intentionally downplayed the danger while opposing steps that would have helped bring the virus under control. Twice in one week, Democrats have held their breath and once again thought that, maybe, just maybe, this time Donald Trump had finally crossed a fatal line.

The reality is…

In the past week, Democrats’ fears about the Trump administration’s open assault on the United States Postal Service (USPS) have gone from a simmer to a boil, prompting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rush the House back to Washington to vote on an emergency intervention.

But amidst all of this well-deserved focus on the Trump-engineered postal meltdown, it is vital to recognize that this is just one part of the election heist underway. In fact, there is a potentially even more dangerous and insidious phase of the scheme about to unfold in the coming weeks. …

The two battles to unseat Trump and how Dems can do it

We have learned from conflicts ranging from World War 1 to Iraq that it is entirely possible to win the war and lose the peace.

In politics, nowhere was this more evident than in the 2000 election pitting George W Bush against Al Gore, where the race was essentially tied on Election Day. We know that a full recount would have resulted in a Gore win, but the race was lost in the aftermath. Republicans proved more adept and ruthless in post-election maneuvering, while the Democrats pursued a timid and ultimately losing strategy.

Joe Biden and the Democratic Party now…

We are sprinting toward a large-scale, real-time experiment on America’s health and safety.

The push to re-open schools is on. And it is a mess. The 13,000 school districts across the country have had to navigate shifting state and federal guidance, evolving evidence, and rapidly rising Covid-19 case counts. In recent weeks, forty-three distinct state approaches to schooling this fall have emerged. Almost all of them envision a hybrid model of online and in-person learning for K-12 kids. And most have a significant in-person component.

The desire to re-open is understandable, if not laudable. Notwithstanding the political factors, many parents…

And which one they will ultimately choose

Here is a new, short, 4 minute video that breaks down the three basic arguments that Republicans have been using on impeachment, and explains why Mick Mulvaney’s train-wreck of a press conference two weeks ago may have been a postcard from the future on which strategy Republicans will ultimately use.

Thinking About the Issue at the Fulcrum of American Politics

The opening of the TV series “Law and Order” explains: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.”

Health care works the same way.

It plays out through a two-sides-of-the-same coin dynamic of separate but equally important spheres: the campaigns that work to elect politicians, and the policy professionals who help craft actual laws. They are connected, but operate totally differently. …

How to Make the Best of a Giant Political Mistake

On the morning of September 24, I was feverishly typing a short argument on why impeachment is still a dreadful error for Democrats. By the afternoon, the argument was over. Some are still parsing whether Nancy Pelosi’s announcement of the start of an impeachment inquiry is really a dramatic new course, but the upshot is clear — she has bought a one way ticket here.

I still think impeachment is a major mistake, and I provide the most powerful arguments why here. But that is no longer the issue. …

Matthew Robison

Former Congressional staffer, campaign manager, and political consultant, writing about how can we move beyond today’s political mess

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