GOP futility on health care is complicated, but simple: They don’t agree

Obamacare is a pretty unimpressive program. It continues to limp along with low participation rates, narrowing options, and rising costs. Insurers on the exchanges will once again seek huge premium increases, and once again we’ll be left wondering why it’s called the Affordable Care Act. All of this is true, yet near-unanimity about Obamacare among […]

McKenna on KIRO: Ted Cruz’s convention speech

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about leaked audio of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie telling a gathering that a Trump administration would seek to purge Obama political appointees but also change the laws to make it easier to fire federal civil service employees. He also asked Rob about Ted Cruz declining to endorse […]

Highlights from “The Elephant in the Room” discussion

Rob joined 570 KVI host John Carlson, U.S. Senate candidate Chris Vance, and CWU political science professor and state Rep. Matt Manweller on June 30 for a KUOW-hosted panel discussion with moderator Ross Reynolds on the state of the Republican Party and its future. You can listen to the entire broadcast here. Approximate time stamps […]

GOP has to compete on ideas

1994 was a huge year for Republicans. After 40 years of Democratic House majorities, the Newt Gingrich-led House GOP won control of that chamber. Since then, Republicans have maintained their majority for all but four years. More than any other factor, the victory was due to a natural voter backlash against Bill Clinton’s troubled first […]

‘Soviet of Washington’ reputation was earned, but it’s outdated

Ross Reynolds at KUOW examined an interesting question recently: “Does the ‘Soviet of Washington’ deserve its lefty reputation?” That phrase is usually attributed to James Farley, FDR’s postmaster general, who supposedly referred to “the 47 states and the Soviet of Washington.” Farley probably didn’t say it, but the joke stuck. Looking at Washington’s largest city, […]

Media actions risk turning nomination process into garbage

Just before I entered 3rd grade, my mother bought various items for my bedroom, including a bed spread, bookshelves, and a bean bag chair.  She also purchased the item pictured here that surprisingly would shape the direction of my life – a waste paper basket. The metallic bin contained portraits of all the presidents and […]

Missing: Where are the debt hawks?

Something is missing in the Republican presidential contest. It certainly isn’t candidates – the party has plenty of those. In fact, in the wake of exits by Scott Walker and Rick Perry, it’s probably time for a few more candidates to winnow themselves from the field. No, what’s missing is robust discussion of a topic […]

The Republican “establishment” and its discontents

To some, the story of the GOP over the past few years (as seems to be the case periodically) is one of tension between the “establishment” and the grassroots. You needn’t look very hard to find vociferous opposition by some on the right to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (nor […]

More good election news: Some GOPers gained strongly with Latino voters

Tuesday was a good day just about everywhere for conservatives and Republicans on the ballot. Exit polls from around the country suggest there was more good news for the GOP this week. From the New York Times: “Hispanics voted nearly two to one for Democratic candidates on Tuesday just as they did in the 2010 […]

Tuesday’s election: more conservatives all around

Tuesday night was gratifying for conservatives around the country. Politicos were all furiously adding their spin to the polling news in the final weeks, but now that the dust has settled it’s clear that pollsters around the country had underestimated Republican gains nearly everywhere. With an expanded House majority and now a new Senate majority, […]