A funny thing happened at the Senate Armed Services Committee vote on Chuck Hagel, this week. Senator Ted Cruz, who is quickly making a name for himself as a modern-day Joe McCarthy, turned a normal committee vote into his own personal circus, making outlandish smear after outlandish smear against Chuck Hagel that earned the ire not just of senators in the room, but Capitol Hill newspapers, national media, and even his home state newspaper. Thing of it is, Cruz knows very well who his base is: The increasingly shrill far right, which want to see vicious opposition to anything President Obama says, does, or proposes. People have joked, with some degree of truth, that if President Obama came out against drinking Drano, Tea Party Congressmen and senators would immediately go out and chug gallons of it.
It's the establishment crazies versus the Tea Party crazies. What could be more fun for a raging lib than to see right-wingers eating their own?
Faced with a choice between the path of reason and the road to ruin, Republicans cling to ruin rather than adapt. That is the difference between ideas and talking points. Ideas evolve with new information, while talking points are static.
If these two men are nominated and confirmed, this doesn't mean President Obama will elevate Cuba as a foreign policy priority. But it does mean that seasoned figures who urged the country to dump its Cold War baggage and normalize relations would be at the table.
So, President Obama, you need a new Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton, but you don't like any of the choices sitting on your desk? How's an idea that maybe you haven't thought of: How about Dick Lugar?
With these rules, citizens have been given a potent tool to ensure that their country's natural resources provide them with economic and social benefits. And the era of secrecy for oil and mining companies is coming to a close.
No politician, including the most powerful man in the free world, wants to pull the trigger on solving the complex issue of gun control.
It would be difficult to imagine, because it rarely happens. Grandstanding occurs far more frequently than compromise. That may be good for cable news and bloggers. But for the rest of the people? Not so much.
This is more than just some bureaucratic squabble. Strong support for the principles of transparency, good governance and fighting corruption has been hallmark of American policy for more than three decades, since passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
I write to let you know that one citizen recognizes and appreciates the personal choices you made putting country over career, endangering your political longevity for the good of the polis.
Memorial Day is a tough, serious holiday. Military families who have lost a loved one don't have a "happy", "fun" or even "nice" Memorial Day.
The argument about fiscal austerity has been drilled into all of us. The U.S Marines couldn't have done a better job. It's our new way of life.
Political leaders and the media are failing us on so many levels. But there is hope. Quietly, and without fanfare, groups and individuals are reaching out to each other. I've been involved with one such effort, called "Living Room Conversations."
Sen. Richard Lugar's loss in the Indiana Republican primary last week raises a number of troubling issues about the current state of politics and the future of governance in our country.
While I was working on a graduate degree in comparative literature at Indiana University, Dick Lugar was Mayor of Indianapolis and though he was Nixon's favorite Republican mayor, Dick Lugar was not Richard Nixon.
The recent primary victory by Richard Mourdock over Dick Lugar should send greater shock waves through Washington than merely the one Senate seat now potentially up for grabs. Evidently, Tea Party-backed candidates will be continuing their war against the politics of compromise.