We need vibrant democratic politics during this pandemic

Even in the middle of a pandemic, we can’t stop, won’t stop, politics.  Our fundamental democratic mechanism, voting, must continue. We are hurtling toward Nov. 3, 2020, the date of the general election designated in federal law. The Constitution itself sets the date and time for when the president’s and vice-presidents terms end — January […]

How Trump bungled the coronavirus response

With a death toll from coronavirus steadily rising and an enormous spike in unemployment, recent news is grim indeed. While President Donald Trump isn’t responsible for the existence of this dangerous virus, his actions made the situation worse. Not long ago, Trump denied that coronavirus was going to be a problem and his allies claimed […]

Get coronavirus under control first, but don’t forget about accountability 

In grappling with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, we need to follow historical precedent and first confront our problems and then assure accountability. When Americans experience a crisis, we harness the powers of government and turn to and beyond our communities. We help each other and we mourn. After Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941, […]

Why Democrats should use ranked-choice voting if the convention is contested

When the Democratic National Convention meets in July, it’s quite possible this would be the first time in nearly 70 years that no presidential candidate arrives with the support of the majority of delegates who vote in the first round.  What comes next could be quite messy and divisive, and political science research suggests that […]

Why you should reject the campaign against vaccines

On March 3, you can cast a vote for better health and a healthier civic life by voting No on Question 1, a People’s Veto that would overturn a new Maine law on vaccinations.  The health consequences of fewer immunizations are clear.  Before the polio vaccine, parents were afraid of their children ending up in […]

What happens after impeachment

This week the Senate will very likely end its consideration of Donald Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.  Trump will always be the third president in American history to have been impeached.  The Republican-controlled Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, will also face the judgment of history.  Trump will be the only person to have […]

Collins is no independent on impeachment

In one universe, that of televised ads run by her campaign, Susan Collins is a stalwart independent. Yet the impeachment trial of Donald Trump started with senatorial obstruction, when all Republicans, including Collins, voted against Democratic proposals to change the ground rules of the Senate trial, which were written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, […]

Turning away from hate and shining lights of hope and joy

As most Mainers celebrate Christmas in their homes and churches, I’ll be engaged in another annual pastime, Jewish Christmas. The American ritual, dating back at least to the 1930s, consists of eating Chinese food and watching a movie.  If Hanukkah and Christmas coincide, as is the case this year, my family will light the menorah […]

Succeeding on health care in 2020

It’s all too easy to give up on politics, to grow cynical, but succeeding politically can mean saving lives, literally. Gov. Janet Mills knows this. When Mills was sworn into office nearly a year ago, she invoked a dear friend, Patty, who, she said, lacked insurance and “died needlessly from breast cancer, a disease that […]