There is a reason why it has taken so long to emerge from the Great Recession. And the Republican leaders of the House and Senate with their new majorities exemplify why we have barely emerged from it.
Obama, like some treacherous Jacobean villain, has had the nerve to make decisions while the Congress was out on a well-earned vacation for six weeks from doing nothing for over six years.
President Barack Obama took a historic step in announcing he would take far-reaching executive actions to change immigration policy. But his actions have set up a major confrontation with Republicans who have accused the president of an abuse of power.
We've waited this long, I think we can afford to wait another couple of weeks. It might not change anything -- it might not influence congressional Republicans in the slightest -- but there is a chance that it could. That chance is worth taking.
Nancy Pelosi is a unifier and not a divider within her Caucus. Time after time the Democrats were united -- from promoting the Make it in America jobs agenda to fighting the GOP shutdown.
This week brought reports that President Obama will soon take executive action to prevent the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. The news sparked howls of protests from Republicans, with Speaker John Boehner on Thursday refusing to rule out shutting down the government in retaliation. "This is the wrong way to govern," he said. So in order to prevent the president from exercising the power of government, the right "way to govern" is, apparently, to prevent all government from working. Perhaps when Philae is done probing Comet 67P, it can land on a place even more inhospitable to humans -- the U.S. Congress -- and make sense out of that dormant, non-celestial body. Meanwhile, New York Mayor De Blasio announced that those caught with small amounts of marijuana would be given tickets instead of being arrested. It's a welcome, if belated, step -- but even better would be ending the racial disparities in drug enforcement. That's the real ticket.
Obama shouldn't "poison the well"? Really?
Many are now pointing out that Warren's elevation pretty much assures she won't be running for president in 2016, but then we never really believed she would run in the first place. At this point, she'll be much more effective within the Senate Democrats.
Speaker Pelosi was able to pass meaningful legislation despite an ideologically diverse cause because she made sure that her members understood that even though they might disagree on many things, their job was ultimately to negotiate a compromise and take action to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.
The important lesson from all of this is that leaders in Washington shouldn't start believing their own press releases. Go ahead and claim voters endorsed everything you stand for, but don't start acting like it's true. The American people did not suddenly decide they don't care about clean air, clean water, and a healthy climate.
Obama needs to strongly show that no election instantly changes what the two parties believe, and that all this talk of waving red flags cuts both ways.
What is the TPP? A giant trade agreement between the U.S. and 12 Pacific Rim nations now being negotiated in secret. Well, mostly in secret. Around 600 corporations have seen a draft. Yet Congress and the public still have not.
By starting off on the negative and accusatory foot, you aren't earning any points, except by those waiting at the castle gates with their pitchforks, and in doing so, you are poisoning the well of conciliation and progress.
Even as Republicans bask in victory and Democrats try to recover from shell-shock, the greater implications of this election are starting to crystallize. It's early, but three lessons particularly stand out.
Now the Democrats have been rebuked. The people are not happy, and understandably so. But what has made the people unhappy is mostly the result of deliberate Republican choices to sabotage our political process.