Alan K. Simpson is one of America's favorite political pugilists. A lawyer, legislator, and devout Episcopalian, during his four decades in national politics, Simpson has learned to take a political punch as much as he's learned to throw one.
Strengthening the civic education of the next generation of Americans through exercises in which students have to agree on controversial issues might help. But that will take time. And we can't afford to wait.
Whether the Democrats and Republicans like it or not, they are in bed together and may as well be married. Since the Democrats and Republicans can't divorce, our only hope is that reconciliation is possible.
Differences over his religious orientation have been a sore point between the president and his Republican foes, but in agreeing he is a Muslim, Obama is sending a clear signal that he is trying to find consensus.
Obama wants -- no desperately needs -- to win a big victory on health care, or at least the appearance of a victory, even if it means scrapping the only thing that really represents true health care reform.