U.S. Capitol Building at night

Eight Republicans are running for U.S. House speaker. Here’s your guide to the field.

BY: and - October 24, 2023

WASHINGTON –– The eight Republican candidates to be speaker of the U.S. House were set to make their cases to their colleagues Monday evening, as the House Republican Conference restarted its process to choose a candidate. Nine had filed on Sunday to run for speaker but on Monday night Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Meuser dropped out, […]


How Republicans normalized George Santos

BY: - January 9, 2023

Decades ago, Holocaust scholar Hannah Arendt warned: “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, i.e. the reality of experience and the distinction between true and false, i.e., the standards of thought, no longer exist.” With that quote […]


Bookman: Georgia’s gift to Trump is a lump of coal in stocking

BY: - December 19, 2022

When the history books about Donald Trump are written – and believe me, there will be many – Georgia will have earned a place of pride. It’s only a mild exaggeration to say that Georgia has been to Trump what Waterloo was to Napoleon, what Saratoga was to King George and his redcoats, what Gettysburg […]


Democracy haters aren’t going away. They’re digging in.

BY: - November 17, 2022

The midterm elections this month brought widespread failure to election deniers on the ballot. The most toxic of these dishonest Republicans all went down in stinging losses. Losers included: Governor candidate Kari Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem in Arizona. Secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant in Nevada. Governor candidate Tudor Dixon and […]


Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Civil War II?

BY: - September 17, 2022

Gentle Reader: The following, inspired by Union soldier Sullivan Ballou’s famous “Civil War Letter to His Wife” should be read with wistfully sweet violins playing in the background, a la Ken Burns’ epic documentary. This updated epistle is inspired by a recent poll showing more than half of Trump-supporting Republicans believe a civil war will […]

Biden tangles with Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott: ‘I think the man has a problem’

BY: - May 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday to make a fight against inflation his top domestic priority while rebuking Republican economic proposals he said miss the mark — zeroing in on Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott. The president’s remarks at the White House came after Scott earlier in the day called on Biden to resign […]


Veteran political scientist: Cawthorn, kudzu and the latest concern for the Republican party

BY: - November 16, 2021

If you’ve been trying to make sense of Congressman Madison Cawthorn abandoning the 11th congressional district for a run in the 13th, coupled with House Speaker Tim Moore decision not to challenge the freshman lawmaker, make time to read this explanation from Dr. Michael Bitzer at Catawba College. The veteran political scientist writes for the […]


Enforced delusions: Stolen 2020 election myth imposes loyalty test on Republicans

BY: - October 23, 2021

The narrative about a stolen election is completely fabricated. None of it is true. None of it happened. None of it, not in Arizona, not in Georgia, not anywhere, none of it. All “evidence” offered to support that narrative is likewise a mirage; it vanishes completely upon closer inspection. It’s just a fiction, a fiction […]


Code red for American democracy

BY: - October 19, 2021

[Editor’s note: The following essay was written by former New York Times Washington, DC bureau chief, frequent NC Policy Watch contributor and all-around legendary journalist, Hedrick Smith. It originally appeared on Smith’s own website, Reclaim the American Dream.] Veteran journalist sums up the current mess and how we got here For all the uproar among […]


Gene Nichol sums up the grim threat that currently confronts our democracy

BY: - June 10, 2021

The good people at Facing South published an important and powerful “must read” essay today by Prof. Gene Nichol of the UNC School of Law. In “Betraying Decency and Democracy in North Carolina,” Nichol employs his customary pull-no-punches style to lay out a damning indictment of a group that he’s rightfully come to call “the […]

Echoes of Trumpism continue to dominate at the General Assembly

BY: - May 11, 2021

While his serial dishonesty and corruption, criminal negligence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and complicity in a failed coup d’état clearly combined to make Donald Trump one of the worst presidents in American history, one has to hand the former chief executive one thing:  the man continues to inspire slavish loyalty from his blinded followers.

Election fraud? Trans athletes? Term limits? Rudderless GOP flails wildly in search of issues

BY: - March 30, 2021

Say what you will about Donald Trump, but there was a cynical, P.T. Barnum-like genius to his brief and catastrophic run at the apex of American politics. The man obviously has no deeply held beliefs or political philosophy beyond a commitment to self-promotion and personal enrichment, but like so many other skilled con men throughout history, he could sell stuff – most notably lies and half-truths designed to manipulate audiences.