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Partisan Politics

The Life Of The Parties

Thomas Frank | Posted 06.30.2016 | Politics
Thomas Frank

It is true that Americans are more cynical about Washington than ever. To gripe that "the system is rigged" is to utter the catchphrase of the year. But it is important to understand just how little difference such attitudes make here in the nation's capital.

Guns, Law And The Public's Confusion

John Roman, Ph.D. | Posted 06.14.2016 | Politics
John Roman, Ph.D.

We, as a nation, think all kind of common-sense laws governing gun ownership are already law. We resist new gun laws because we collectively believe existing gun laws already lean hard on the 2nd Amendment and we are wary of trampling our constitutional rights. Only, most of those laws don't exist.

Cry the Benighted Country: What's Gone Wrong in America

Andy Schmookler | Posted 11.10.2015 | Politics
Andy Schmookler

Many of us in America today sense an adverse shift in the balance of power between the elements that have made our nation great, and those that tear down what's best about our nation. Some dimensions of this shift can be seen in three key elements of the American body politic.

If U.S. Were a Company, It Would Be Delisted

Diane M. Francis | Posted 08.19.2016 | Politics
Diane M. Francis

Washington's incompetence is perplexing, given America's aspiration, in every other endeavor, to be innovative and best in its class. Yet when it comes to politics, the U.S. historically cannot deliver decisiveness, transparency, accountability, or alignment with the public interest.

Donald Trump Being Wrong About Everything and Unelectable Doesn't Make His Candidacy Insignificant

Seth Abramson | Posted 07.14.2016 | Politics
Seth Abramson

If the last three weeks of presidential politics have proven anything, it's that Donald Trump is one of the nation's first "metamodern" politicians. What this means is that Trump is neither sincere nor ironic, optimistic nor cynical, authentic nor false. Instead, he somehow manages to exist outside space and time.

The Logan Act, Redux: Why the Distraction Matters

Monica Bauer | Posted 05.16.2015 | Politics
Monica Bauer

When the 47 Republican senators made fools out of themselves, I suggest that the better strategy was to let the world see just how foolish their behavior was, because they stood against something important for the national security of the United States, and the peace of the world.

President Obama as Media Critic (Rather Than Subject)

Mark Hannah | Posted 04.20.2015 | Media
Mark Hannah

Last week, in an interview with Matthew Yglesias of Vox Media, President Obama was asked whether the media overstates the threat of terror compared with longer-term problems such as climate change and disease. With refreshing candor, the president responded.

Make No Little Plans

Robert Kuttner | Posted 03.13.2015 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

I recently got an email invitation from a Democratic congressional office to come to a "watch party" to view President Obama's State of the Union address. His "fourth-quarter priorities," according to the White House-inspired talking points of the message, are "home ownership, free community college, and high-paying jobs." That sounds pretty good. But if you unpack the specifics, the president is offering pretty weak tea. Obama proposes to have the federal government cover 75 percent of the cost, if states will participate. This could save students an average of over $3,000 a year. By contrast, the original G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944 covered living expenses as well as tuition. The point is that this Obama proposal is not going to be passed by the Republican Congress in any case, so why not think big and act bold? Why not propose something that would make a major difference in the lives of millions of moderate income Americans and dare the Republicans to oppose it?

What David Brooks Gets Wrong About 'Partyism'

Steven Shiffrin | Posted 01.20.2015 | Politics
Steven Shiffrin

Although Brooks decries the extent to which political appeals are phrased in existential terms, he simply tries to wish away the fact that politics addresses fundamental moral issues that go to the heart of what life is all about.

Could Islamic State Defeat the U.S.? Yes - If the Left and Right Continue to Put Politics Ahead of the Nation

Bill Shireman | Posted 11.08.2014 | Politics
Bill Shireman

We all know that Islamic and other religious fundamentalists need to stop trying to destroy each other. But so do conservatives and liberals. We need to stop feeding our own fundamentalist movements.

Free Scotland, Free New England!

Robert Kuttner | Posted 11.07.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Until recently, few people took seriously the possibility that Scotland might actually secede from the United Kingdom. However, with a referendum scheduled for September 18, the latest polls show secession in the lead for the first time, and gaining dramatic momentum. The British government is frantically scrambling to offer the Scots a much more autonomous form of federalism, to head off the drive for full independence. Meanwhile, the specter of a diminished Britain has led to speculative attack against the British pound. What's going on here? For one thing, with the European Union allowing membership for lots of micro-states, the idea of splitting up established countries with minority regions becomes economically plausible. An independent Scotland, population 5.3 million, would be a bigger country than nine EU members -- Ireland, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta.

Republicans Sink to a New Low by Stalling a Well-deserved Resolution Honoring Pope Francis

H. A. Goodman | Posted 09.30.2014 | Politics
H. A. Goodman

When a source of inspiration and spiritual guidance for Catholics around the world is deemed "too liberal" by House Republicans, it's quite evident that Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert are now the face of the GOP.

The Hypocrisy of Extreme Partisanship

Paul Heroux | Posted 07.11.2014 | Politics
Paul Heroux

Sure, one can argue that access to guns is a Constitutional right protected by the Second Amendment. But one could also argue that access to welfare is a Constitutional right protected by extension of the Tenth Amendment and even Fourteenth Amendment.

Damaged Democrats: Can They Recover?

Robert Kuttner | Posted 09.05.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

When you consider what has been happening to the average working person since the era of Ronald Reagan, it's amazing that the Republicans have fought the Democrats about to a draw. The recipe of Reagan and both Bushes has been to weaken government, undermine the regulation of market excesses, attack core social insurance programs, tilt the tax system away from the wealthy and towards the middle class, gut the safeguards that protect workers on the job, make college ever more unaffordable, and appoint judges who undermine democracy itself. That stuff is not exactly popular. Yet Democrats seem largely unable to convert Republican elitism to their advantage.

A Fragile Union

William E. White | Posted 09.01.2014 | Politics
William E. White

The United States of America: we take the name of our nation for granted. From the perspective of nearly two and a half centuries of history, it appears obvious that we should be one country, bound together by constitutional principles, stretching from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans.

Dear Mr. Republican: I Know You Love Our Children

James A. Cusumano, Ph.D. | Posted 08.02.2014 | Politics
James A. Cusumano, Ph.D.

You are probably aware that in a report issued this month by the National Climate Assessment Panel, scientists warn that the effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every sector of the United States.

Dysfunctional Party Bureaucracies Lead Congress Astray

Stephen Tryon | Posted 07.18.2014 | Politics
Stephen Tryon

Americans have good reason to be disgusted with politics in Washington. Both major political party organizations shamelessly pursue policies designed to generate the most money and power for the party in the short term.

'For Dummies' Books Should Top the Republican Party's Reading List

Gerry Myers | Posted 07.13.2014 | Politics
Gerry Myers

Since the Republican party spends a good part of its time explaining what it really means in its racially-charged, women-hating remarks, perhaps reading English Grammar for Dummies will help conservative articulate their thoughts more clearly.

Will America's Failed Domestic Policy Spur a New Cold War?

Karen J. Alter | Posted 07.13.2014 | Politics
Karen J. Alter

While confronting Russia undermines popular support for American and European leaders, Putin, by contrast, is finding that fighting the West enhances his popularity.

Satire Will Not Save Us: A Call for Empathy Over Echo Chambers in the Debates on Race, Gender and Inequality

Joanne Sprague | Posted 07.12.2014 | Politics
Joanne Sprague

There's a cost to this Colbert/Jezebel v. Limbaugh/Drudge boxing-match style of issue analysis: the more one side criticizes, the more the other side digs in its heels and the more likely we all are to write each other off rather than to reach across the table.

The Perpetual Frustration of the Political Vanquishment Fantasy

Sheri and Allan Rivlin | Posted 06.23.2014 | Politics
Sheri and Allan Rivlin

We all suffer because we imagine how wonderful the world will be when we vanquish the opposition and are finally able to achieve our political goals and enjoy the benefits of a society that lives by our values -- but this is a fantasy.

America Is in Transition -- and So Is Its Foreign Policy

Xenia Dormandy | Posted 04.23.2014 | Politics
Xenia Dormandy

America is changing. So too is the rest of the world. But will America's internal changes carry broader implications for its role in the world, the influence and power it wields, and the foreign policy choices it makes?

Deconstructing the Expert Delusion: No, Not Everyone Is One

Lorraine Devon Wilke | Posted 04.12.2014 | Media
Lorraine Devon Wilke

Even the people who've had experience with addiction, molestation, abusive fathers, hysterical mothers, horrible politicians, and Russian sporting events are not necessarily experts. At least not in the classic sense. They can be experts about themselves, their experiences. But no one else, no one else's experiences.

4 Reasons Not to Threaten Friendships Because of Political Differences

Kevin Goodman | Posted 04.07.2014 | Politics
Kevin Goodman

It may sound counterintuitive but we shouldn't want our party to be the only party because the other party (or parties) helps keep us in check and that ultimately helps protect our liberty. This is rooted in our history.

Washington Politics: 'It's All a Game'

Greg Barrett | Posted 12.16.2013 | Politics
Greg Barrett

To anyone who thinks American politics will rise to meet the threat of debt default with any sort of genuine compromise serving the best interest of n...