As powerful as he is, Mitch McConnell has gotten oddly little attention over the years, in large part because he offers little superficial appeal. But McConnell holds the key to understanding how our politics and government have come to such a low point.
Senate Republicans voted unanimously last week for elections that are competitions of cash, with candidates who amass the most money empowered to shout down opponents. The GOP rejected elections that are contests of ideas won by candidates offering the best concepts.
Although negative political ads take a toll, in most elections voters respond to positive messages. 2014 may prove to be an exception to this rule, as Republicans have waged a relentlessly negative campaign.
Mitch McConnell needs to answer Harry Reid's and Lauren Windsor's question: Is he going to repudiate this extremism? Or if he continues to find it inspiring, he should tell America, and especially his own constituents, why.
Faced with a large, bipartisan grassroots movement that threatens their big-spending friends, the only arguments that Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have left are wild accusations, flat-out falsehoods, and outlandish interpretations of the Bill of Rights.
What it all boils down to is that we may not know which party controls the Senate when the votes are all in on election night. It may be days before anyone knows whether Democrats or Republicans will control the chamber.
Desperation is the father of bad decisions. At this point in the never-ending saga of immigration reform, mass deportations and the GOP's rabid opposition to immigrants, advocates are pushing Obama to take executive action, bold and sweeping changes to the enforcement of our current ramshackle immigration law. That would be a mistake.
The fact is, the things said on these tapes are far more blunt than Romney in his 47 percent moment. This is crazy stuff, folks, and the politicians who were partying with these extremists ought to be held to account.
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart, a poet wrote, and as this year's summer winds toward its end and elections approach, gratitude is indeed what our politicians have flowing from that space where their hearts should be.
As a gay man who has spent the last decade working to advance marriage equality, I cheer "yaaaas" with each new marriage victory. And yet, I know that our momentum will quickly be stunted if we sit out the November elections.
With less than 10 weeks to go before the midterm Congressional elections Americans in general are frustrated with Washington. National polls show that about three-quarters of all Americans disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job. Because so much is at stake, this coming election day is not a time for eligible voters to stay home.
The spectacle of Mitch McConnell kowtowing to Charles and David Koch and other billionaires gathered recently at a luxury resort. This is going to help define the national narrative for the 2014 campaign -- these tapes make 100 percent clear that the modern Republican party is controlled by the Kochs and their billionaire friends.
As Silly Season winds to a close, there were a smattering of 'Obama's on vacation -- how dare he!?!' stories, as usual. Obama has taken less than a third of the days off that President Bush did, but that certainly doesn't stop pundits from complaining every time Obama picks up a golf club.
This Labor Day weekend, millions of Americans will enjoy the final stretch of summer. Most won't think about the 1.6 million hardworking public service workers of AFSCME who are on duty 24/7. But evidence of what we do for our communities will be everywhere.
Instead of joining with Democrats to expand opportunity for all Americans by fighting for equal pay and a raise for millions of Americans, investing in infrastructure and education, and creating jobs, Republicans like Rubio have recommitted to digging in their heels and causing rampant dysfunction that hurts middle class families.
If Obama does announce immigration changes, Republicans may decide the issue is bigger than any competence issue, and go right ahead and shut the government down. But this doesn't automatically make the issue a winner for Democrats everywhere in the midterms, of course.