Those who wring their hands about the long-term budget deficit act as if the deficit problem is intractable, and conveniently forget that only a decade ago President Clinton left office with federal surpluses as far as the eye could see.
I was around for the launching of Sputnik in 1957. It created a huge wave of shock and paranoia. Obama was trying to create a mood of crisis in the country, and for a reason: That's the only way we get things done.
Mr. President, this year's State of the Union will help to shape your legacy. That legacy can be one of real bipartisanship. You can bring us together as a people by expressing our shared commitment to Social Security.
Today the country's real center has never been farther from the narrow right-leaning viewpoint that's still being peddled as a "centrism." If the White House and other Democrats buy into that illusion, as they seem to be doing, they'll lose the country.
The mystical center is where Obama's disaffected base resides. He doesn't have to choose. Both swing voters and the Democratic base want the President to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of main street.
The consensus outside Congress is that the U.S. is in a desperate race to restore its manufacturing sector. Will the new Congress have the sense not to stand in the way? Let's hope they dust off their bios of Coolidge.
So-called "deficit hawks" like Kent Conrad, Erskine Bowles, and Alan Simpson aren't just unserious. They're radicals. Their positions are an extreme departure from the philosophy of government that's guided American policy for a century.
Self-identified liberals are an important part of the Democratic base, but they sure aren't the only part, or even the biggest one. Most African-Americans, who voted 90% Democratic, do not describe themselves as liberals. Neither do most Hispanics.