Ten years from now, we may look back at a small GOP primary as the tipping point for Democrats' return to dominance on national defense.
The Tea Party cost Republicans Senate seats in 2010, and they're poised to provide Democrats another gift in 2012: Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Dick Lugar was a nice guy who stayed too long. But his crushing loss is also a valid data point in a profound and troubling trend, obvious not only in politics but in every other aspect of American life. We are losing the mediating middle of everything.
The Tea Party's appeal may be waning nationally, but in the Republican heartland they remain a potent force. The Texas and Indiana Senate races are a fine test of the Tea Party's ability to drive the GOP farther and farther out of the national mainstream.
Richard Mourdock may have an uphill battle in trying to "out-conservative" the venerable Lugar, a Capitol Hill denizen who has fought like a tiger for Israel, against nuclear proliferation, and for other important foreign policy priorities.
If Senator Jeff Merkley's "expedite the drawdown from Afghanistan" amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act makes a strong showing, that could tip the Obama administration towards a faster drawdown.
Congressional debate is a key means of compelling the administration to clearly state its case and its objectives, to be honest and transparent about the potential cost of its proposed policies, and to limit its actions to its stated objectives.
Unlike the United States, China has designed an approach to public diplomacy that is well-funded, imaginative, and fully integrated within its overall foreign policy.
Marc Grossman has courageously agreed to take up what has been called "the worst job in the world" -- special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
From what I can tell, Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock isn't just another Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, or John Raese. While he's to the right of Lugar, he would appear to be a competent figure.
On numerous levels, the United States continues to fall farther behind China. Within Congress, the most thoughtful and persistent champion of public diplomacy is Senator Richard Lugar.
There is simply no understanding the prevalence of gun violence in America without discussing the nefarious role played by the NRA. Any public conversation regarding restricting access to guns has been considered verboten.
Were advocates of comprehensive immigration reform too slow to shift to supporting piecemeal legislation? And, did these leaders advance the optimal piecemeal strategy by focusing exclusively on the DREAM Act?
The Senate has shown it can rise above the partisan bickering and pursue an agenda that benefits all Americans, and the world.
The New START treaty has obvious benefits for national security. But the overwhelming vote in favor of the treaty (71-26) has much broader significance. And the still sizable vote against it, a troubling dark side.