Ron Reagan and David Frum debate whether ending filibusters over presidential appointments was a "power grab" or a pro-democracy move to reduce dysfunction? And is the Obamacare fight about health care or "the promise of liberalism"? Then: the Kennedys, the Reagans & assassination.
Today's debate may be polarized, but no one seriously expects half the nation to secede because of it. And yet, in the early days of the American experiment, that's how controversial the national debt was.
It's one thing to articulate an audacious new vision for an embryonic democracy, it's quite another for Jefferson and his colleagues to actually make it happen -- given the fiercely independent mindset of the original colonies.
There are a lot of good criticisms that can be made regarding the need to overhaul a sclerotic public sector, but starting such discussions with the assumption that one can neatly divide the populace between makers and takers is rank nonsense.
Alexander Hamilton warned about the dangers of "unreasonable religion." Conservatives are attempting to recreate a world that never existed. They insist that the United States is a Christian nation with no room for secular thought or other religions.
When the plutocrats and their minions abuse the average citizen, it is called "oppression." When the oppressed presumed to assert their rights as citizens, the Republicans call it "class warfare." We call it justice ... or, the American way. No feints in that.
The donors were, of course, the same kind of folks that a tuxedoed George W. Bush described at a fancy dinner a dozen years ago as: "The haves and the have-mores," adding congenially: "Some people call you the elite. I call you my base."
Partisanship and rancor are not new. We have not fallen from some republican ideal into a new style of debauchery. Our political battles have been hard-fought and hard-won right from the very beginning.
The "American System" has the following insight: The American economy cannot flourish over the long term with merely the financial and resource extraction sectors. American prosperity was built upon the nurturing of human capital.