In reflecting on nearly 30 years in the U.S. Senate, I can hardly think of a time when a group of lawmakers has acted so recklessly as now.
Today's debate may be polarized, but no one seriously expects half the nation to secede because of it. And yet, in the early days of the American experiment, that's how controversial the national debt was.
Like virtually every Democrat, like most independents, like a strong majority of Americans, I am fed up with the bullying anarchism of the Tea Party right in the House of Representatives.
After many incidents, and finally the tragedy of September 11, the Congress in 2001 created the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). Since then...
The United States Congress has careened into a government shutdown, and everybody wants to find someone to blame. But in the accusatory frenzy, they're missing the real culprit: the voting rules that drive the political behavior of Congress.
The president has a lot of nerve to actually run the country while the GOP harms millions of people shutting down the U.S. government. The reality is that the press is not helping by paying far too much attention to the ilk of Senator Ted Cruz.
Although most Americans are exasperated by the stalemate in Washington and by the extreme tactics of the Tea Party, students of history will recognize the symptoms of generational change.
It's one thing for the GOP to demand cuts in government spending as a way to enforce fiscal responsibility on Washington, but it is quite another for them to hold the federal budget hostage in order to backdoor a political agenda. That is so far from governing that it is laughable, if not downright impeachable.
I have fought in the trenches on issues as contentious as gun control and campaign finance reform, but I have never seen anything quite like this. This is visceral. And, quite frankly, it frightens me.
How did we get to this point? How we can avoid being in this position in the future? We don't yet have the perspective necessary to answer these questions fully.
We cheerfully allow domineering corporations, which are not in fact living human beings, the kind of bailout that outrages us when we reward flesh-and-blood tyrants with the same privilege -- impunity for the damages they cause to others.
The House actually pinged two bills back to the Senate: one that conditions funding the government on defunding the health care law, and the other that exempts military pay from the shutdown. I suspect the Senate will unanimously approve the latter. The former will lead to the shutdown.
Giving in to bullies just encourages them to escalate their demands.The president gave in at the end of 2011 when Republican bullies threatened to go over the fiscal cliff and take the rest of the nation with them.
Scripture has a lot to say about how we should treat the widow, the orphan, the sick and the desperately poor. Only in the ideological bubble of conservative Washington would taking food away from them qualify as Biblical.
Doing better begins by thinking about things differently and contemplating our nation's current confrontational and judgmental culture which places blame and finds fault rather than searching for solutions and common ground.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz knows exactly what he is doing and he thinks he is achieving all of his goals. His disruptive tactics are winning him acclaim from conservative Americans who disdain all things Washington, while the Republican establishment is fuming with anger.