Even 150 years later, it's clear that the wounds of the Civil War are not completely healed. But despite these historical and political rifts, there is one thing that can and should unite all Americans, as it has united Senators Leahy and Lee and a unanimous Senate: The wisdom and importance of the constitutional changes wrought by the Civil War and Reconstruction.
You never hear the reformocons talk about arithmetic in their speeches. They talk about inequality and upward mobility and the American middle class. They talk about all sorts of expensive new plans, and they never mention that there's a catch.
Not only can conservatives offer reforms that are both pro-growth and pro-family -- we absolutely must do so in order to earn the trust and support of millions of Americans who are working hard to raise families and make a middle-class living.
Until Congress passes bills like Rob Portman's Second Chance Reauthorization Act, or the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act, we'll remain a long way off from a fair, effective criminal justice system.
When people tell stories rooted in fantasy, they're called fairy tales. Such was the case last fall when Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke at an anti-poverty forum at the Heritage Foundation.
In high-profile speeches on tax reform, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has called forcefully for expanding opportunity and helping parents raising children. Unfortunately, the tax reform plan he recently detailed falls far short of his stated goals.
Government does a lot to stand in the way of the poor. Getting the government out of the way is at least as important as resource transfer.
Some Republicans, like John McCain, never met a war they didn't like. But Senator Mike Lee is not one of those Republicans.
Far too many state and local governments fail chronically and miserably at addressing the mental health concerns of their citizens. The federal government needs to consider the serious consequences of underestimating the mental health crises facing our military and prison system today, and step it up.
Climate disruption, broadband access and crumbling bridges and roads have an odd thing in common: they have entered the never-never land of conservative denialism -- where they are simply not problems for which the right feels obliged to offer solutions.
The trajectory of the LGBT movement for equality is accelerating. Typically, this means the opposition will only get shriller and angrier believing that these hysterics will stop the train from running over their indignation and fanatic devotion to chosen verses of their dogma.
Back in June, when the House passed its first version of the FY14 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the anti-gay crowd was doing a victory dance over the fact that the House version of the bill included Rep. John Fleming's (R-LA) so-called "religious freedom" amendment.
Will Republican leaders wrest control from the tea party and pass immigration reform, or will they set down the path of a spectacular defeat in the 2014 election?
These days, in the wake of the Great Government Shutdown of 2013 -- surprise, surprise -- you actually have to be Anthony Weiner or the Ebola virus to be less liked than the United States Congress. Really. Compare them to dog poop, hemorrhoids or the DMV -- Congress loses to just about everything. Even cockroaches. We're sure you're shocked.
The GOP learned its lesson, right? Right? ...
This country cannot continue to lurch from crisis to crisis because one radical faction refuses to accept the results of an election. We need two parties that compete for votes at the ballot box and then, after the elections are over, act responsibly and get down to the business of governing.