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White House/Pete Souza

Obama and the End of Decline

If Obama is looking for a single, unifying objective, it should be to make sure that by the time he leaves office, the vast majority of Americans will have abandoned their declinist fears.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 READ MORE



Vox Efx (CC-BY)

The Inconvenient Truths of 2012

Human nature and politics being what they are, Republicans will underestimate the trouble they’re in, and Democrats will be eager to overestimate the strength of their post-2012 position.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Shouldn’t Back Down

It is said after every election that the victors should put politics aside and work for the good of the country. If President Obama believed this pious nonsense, he would put his second term in jeopardy.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

The Gilded Age vs. the 21st Century

The 2012 campaign began on Aug. 2, 2011, when President Obama signed the deal ending the debt-ceiling fiasco. At that moment, the president relinquished his last illusions that the current, radical version of the Republican Party could be dealt with as a governing partner. From then on, Obama was determined to fight—and to win.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 READ MORE


How Do You Vote for Compromise?

Here’s where we have arrived as a country: We are so polarized that even compromise has become a partisan issue.

Posted on Nov 2, 2012 READ MORE


The Heartland Election

We still make a lot of stuff in the United States of America, and one of the good things about this election is that it is likely to be decided in the nation’s industrial heartland.

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 READ MORE


How the Right Wing Lost in 2012

If conservatism were winning, does anyone doubt that Romney would be running as a conservative? Yet unlike Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, Romney is offering an echo, not a choice. His strategy at the end is to try to sneak into the White House on a chorus of me-too’s.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012 READ MORE


The Not-So-Hidden Obama Agenda

Everywhere you turn, President Obama is accused of not offering a clear second-term agenda. It’s not surprising that Republicans say it, but you also hear it from quarters sympathetic to the president. But how true is the charge?

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 READ MORE


Romney, the Product

As he tries to engineer a comeback in this week’s presidential debate, President Obama needs to recognize two things. First, when it comes to politics, Mitt Romney treats himself as a product, not a person. Second, Republicans cannot defend their proposals in terms that are acceptable to a majority of voters.

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 READ MORE


Biden Put Ryan-Romney on the Defensive

Some have written that Biden was too hot and overreacted to Obama’s disengagement. But this misreads the net impact of the debate.

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 READ MORE


Sherrod Brown’s Lessons for Obama

Sen. Sherrod Brown’s uncompromising advocacy on behalf of workers, toughness on trade, and progressive policies on a broad range of other issues have allowed him to build a formidable organization across Ohio, and a large cadre of small donors.

Posted on Oct 11, 2012 READ MORE


The Campaign’s Moral Hole

There are forces working to make the campaign about something more than a suffocating battle to influence tiny slivers of the electorate.

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 READ MORE


Romney’s Personality Shift

The strangest aspect of Wednesday night’s debate was Mitt Romney’s decision to change his tax policies on the fly.

Posted on Oct 4, 2012 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama’s Electoral College Ph.D.

Although the Electoral College usually gives Republicans an advantage, the system is working in President Obama’s favor in 2012.

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 READ MORE


The Debate Game: Obama Has a Lot to Lose

In this week’s debate, Mitt Romney has too much to do. President Obama has a great deal to lose. Romney’s is the most difficult position. Obama’s is the most dangerous.

Posted on Sep 30, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Ed Yourdon (CC-BY-SA)

Replace This Greed

For friends of labor, the revolt against the National Football League’s replacement refs is the most remarkable event since the organization of Henry Ford’s car company into the United Auto Workers union.

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 READ MORE


Can This Election Settle Anything?

The most important issue in the 2012 campaign barely gets discussed: How will we govern ourselves after the election is over?

Posted on Sep 23, 2012 READ MORE


Does Romney Dislike America?

The most incisive reaction to Mitt Romney’s disparaging comments about 47 percent of us came from a conservative friend who emailed: “If I were you, I’d wonder why Romney hates America so much.”

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Alexis O'Toole (CC-BY-SA)

The American Election’s Global Reach

The movement in the presidential race reflects a broader trend visible in many nations.

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Shaun Dunphy (CC-BY-SA)

The New Politics of Nostalgia

A specter is haunting the affluent societies of the West. Across the rich countries, and across the political spectrum, there is an unstated but palpable longing for a return to the 1950s.

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 READ MORE


Obama’s Advantage, Romney’s Openings

Normally, a president presiding over 8 percent unemployment and a country that sees itself on the wrong track wouldn’t stand a chance. But then a candidate with Mitt Romney’s shortcomings, including his failure to ignite much enthusiasm within his own party, wouldn’t stand a chance, either.

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 READ MORE


Obama’s Hope and Change 2.0

The man who ran on hope and change didn’t walk away from them. He redefined them for the long haul.

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Government Tutorial

Bill Clinton is typically described as the empathetic, feel-your-pain guy. But his greatest political skill may be as a formulator of arguments—the explainer in chief.

Posted on Sep 6, 2012 READ MORE


Tampa Defines the Charlotte Imperative

The Obama Democrats who gather in Charlotte this week have a big advantage over Tampa’s Romney Republicans.

Posted on Sep 2, 2012 READ MORE



GOP Ghosts in Tampa

In 1964, George Romney, then the governor of Michigan, walked out of the Republican National Convention during Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech. He was protesting his party’s sharp turn rightward and its weak platform plank on civil rights.

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 READ MORE


Scott Brown centerfold
cosmopolitan.com

Elizabeth Warren vs. Mr. Personality

Elizabeth Warren is the kind of person Massachusetts has always liked to send to the U.S. Senate. So why hasn’t one of this year’s most exciting Senate candidates put the election away?

Posted on Aug 22, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Austen Hufford (CC-BY)

False Piety and the Medicare Debate

There is a difference between Obama saying that Romney and Ryan want to alter Medicare fundamentally, which is true, and the GOP saying that Obama wants to undercut Medicare, which is not.

Posted on Aug 19, 2012 READ MORE


How Ryanization Threatens the GOP

There is the idea of having Paul Ryan on the Republican ticket, and then there is the reality.

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Romney’s Theorist

In the late 1960s and ’70s, liberals ran into trouble because they were easily mocked as impractical ideologues with excessive confidence in their own moral righteousness.

Posted on Aug 12, 2012 READ MORE


Romney and the Go-for-Broke Election

Conservatives and a Republican Party now under their control hope to eke out a narrow victory in November on the basis of a quite radical program that includes more tax cuts for the rich and a sharp rollback in government regulation.

Posted on Jul 29, 2012 READ MORE


Rationalizing Gutlessness on Guns

Talk about power: The gun lobby barely had to say a word before the media sent advocates of saner gun regulation shuffling off in defeat.

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 READ MORE


Bill Raspberry, ‘Role Model’

William Raspberry was a provocateur who was so gentle and gentlemanly that you didn’t always grasp how much he was shaking up the conventional conversation until you actually thought about what he had just said.

Posted on Jul 18, 2012 READ MORE


A Challenge to Conservatives

It’s good that conservatives are finally taking seriously the problems of inequality and declining upward mobility. It’s unfortunate that they often evade the ways in which structural changes in the economy, combined with conservative policies, have made matters worse.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Misdiagnosing Romney’s Campaign

Could it be that Mitt Romney is correct from a strategic point of view to tell us little about what he’d do as president?

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 READ MORE


American History the Tea Party Doesn’t Like to Talk About

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: E.J. Dionne Jr. on our “Divided Political Heart.” Also on the show: California’s new mortgage law, the Declaration of Internet Freedom and the secret lives of Russian spies.

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 READ MORE



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

E.J. Dionne: American History the Tea Party Doesn’t Like to Talk About

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: E.J. Dionne Jr. on our “Divided Political Heart.” Also on the show: California’s new mortgage law, the Declaration of Internet Freedom and the secret lives of Russian spies.

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Andrew Buckingham (BY-SA-CC)

An Economics of National Pride

Democrats typically tie themselves up in strategic knots debating whether their future lies in the center or on the left.

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 READ MORE


The Founders’ True Spirit

It’s entirely appropriate that the week of our July Fourth celebrations should coincide with a moment when the Supreme Court’s health care decision has prompted intense debate over the purpose of our government and what the Constitution allows it to do.

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 READ MORE


The Bain of Romney’s Campaign

The Supreme Court’s health care decision only reinforced the importance of the economic argument Obama and Romney have been having for months. And here is where Romney’s Bain problem kicks in.

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 READ MORE


Will We Love the Health Care Law If It Dies?

“Obamacare” isn’t about President Obama. It’s about beginning to bring an end to the scandal of a very rich nation leaving so many of its citizens without basic health coverage. However the court rules, we need to remember why this whole fight started in the first place.

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 READ MORE


We’re Not Greece

If the United States were still governed under the Articles of Confederation, might California be in the position of Greece, Spain or Italy?

Posted on Jun 20, 2012 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Keep the Change

He had just been through the roughest patch of President Obama’s re-election struggle and yet senior adviser David Axelrod seemed, if not quite serene, then at least amiably stoic.

Posted on Jun 17, 2012 READ MORE


Billionaires Against Billionaires

For those who believe money already has too much power in American politics, 2012 will be a miserable year.

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 READ MORE


Government Is the Solution

Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 READ MORE


What Wisconsin Taught Us

The left will make a big mistake if it ignores the lessons of the failed recall of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. The right will make an even bigger error if it allows the Wisconsin results to feed its inclination toward winner-take-all politics.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by (CC-BY)

A Campaign Without Ideology: Profile of a Unicorn

What might a reasonable, constructive presidential campaign look like?

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 READ MORE


The Stakes in the Walker Recall

Gov. Scott Walker is not being challenged because he pursued conservative policies but because Wisconsin has become the most glaring example of a new and genuinely alarming approach to politics on the right.

Posted on May 30, 2012 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Give ’Em Hell Barry

Progressives have yearned for President Obama to follow Harry Truman’s strategy from the 1948 campaign by giving his Republican opponents hell. Now that Obama is doing just that, his critics say he’s not looking presidential.

Posted on May 27, 2012 READ MORE


A Catholic Spring?

There is a healthy struggle brewing among the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops.

Posted on May 23, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by (CC-BY-ND)

A Choice of Capitalisms

In this election, we’re not having an argument that pits capitalism against socialism. We are trying to decide what kind of capitalism we want.

Posted on May 20, 2012 READ MORE


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