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Pinochet and Me

Pinochet and Me

By Marc Cooper

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Tag: Ej Dionne

Will the Courts Wreck Health Care?

As if our political system was not having enough trouble already, we now confront the possibility that a highly partisan judiciary will undo a modest health care reform that is a first step toward resolving a slew of other difficulties.

Posted on May 12, 2011 READ MORE


Needed: A Better Ruling Class

A funny thing happened to the American ruling class: It stopped being concerned with the health of society as a whole and became almost entirely obsessed with money.

Posted on Apr 18, 2011 READ MORE


At Last: A President, Not a Ref

President Obama has finally decided to take his own side in the philosophical struggle that is the true engine of this nation’s budget debate.

Posted on Apr 13, 2011 READ MORE


The End of Shutdowns

One image perfectly captured the absurd, irrational and wholly unnecessary confrontation over whether to shut down the federal government on the basis of differences over a small part of the budget.

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

The Right’s War on Moderation

However the shutdown saga ends, the negotiating styles of the two sides ought to tell moderates that they can no longer pretend that the two ends of our politics are equally “extreme.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 READ MORE


The End of Progressive Government?

Put the two parts of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget together—tax cuts for the rich, program cuts for the poor—and its radically redistributionist purposes become clear. Timid Democrats would never dare embark on class warfare on this scale the other way around.

Posted on Apr 3, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama, Meet Obama

Someone should introduce the Barack Obama who addressed the nation Monday on Libya to the Barack Obama who has been dancing around the edge of the budget fight.

Posted on Mar 31, 2011 READ MORE


The Surprising New Class Politics

The battle for the Midwest is transforming American politics. Issues of class inequality and union influence, long dormant, have come back to life.

Posted on Mar 27, 2011 READ MORE


Why the GOP Is Obsessed With ‘Leadership’

Leaders do not operate in a vacuum. When they make strategic adjustments, their opponents do too. President Obama has prompted just such a pivot by Republicans.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 READ MORE



jqmj (Queralt) (CC-BY-SA)

A Bet on Japan

If ever there was a comeback-kid sort of country, this is surely it.

Posted on Mar 20, 2011 READ MORE


Obama’s Audacity Deficit on Guns

“My administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners,” the president boasted, “it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.”

Posted on Mar 17, 2011 READ MORE


Why We Loved David Broder

I loved David Broder from the moment I met him, and there are scores of reporters who felt that way.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 READ MORE


The High Cost of a Broken Metaphor

“We’re broke.” You can practically break a search engine if you start looking around the Internet for those words. Just one problem: We’re not broke.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 READ MORE


What Wisconsin Can Teach Washington

Consider the contrast between two groups of Democrats, in Wisconsin and in the nation’s capital, and the reaction of voters.

Posted on Mar 10, 2011 READ MORE


The GOP’s Ingenious Madman Strategy

Richard Nixon espoused what he called “the madman theory.” It’s a negotiating approach that induces the other side to believe you are capable of dangerously irrational actions and leads it to back down to avoid the wreckage your rage might let loose.

Posted on Mar 6, 2011 READ MORE


Why the Wisconsin Fight Matters

This is not the first time that Wisconsin has been at the center of national agitation over the role of unions.

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 READ MORE


The Mayor Rahm Mystery

Mayor Rahm. It will be a hoot. It could even be good for Chicago. And in a way he has never had to do before, Rahm Emanuel will finally reveal who he really is.

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 READ MORE


The Tea Party Is Winning

We are acting as if the only real problem the United States confronts is the budget deficit, the only test of leadership is whether a president is willing to make big cuts in programs that protect the elderly, and the largest threat to our prosperity comes from public employees.

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 READ MORE


Obama and the Failure of the Deficit Hawks

The president has proposed some serious spending cuts and some modest revenue increases to keep things stable. This annoys his deficit-obsessed critics. He should smile, let them rage, and go about his business.

Posted on Feb 17, 2011 READ MORE


Can Obama Be Luke Skywalker?

Welcome to the war over E2I2. The great budget battle of Bill Clinton’s presidency was waged around a slightly different set of initials, also inspired by the “Star Wars” character R2D2.

Posted on Feb 14, 2011 READ MORE


Judging Obama’s Relaunch

Is President Obama a friend of business or a critic of business? The answer: Yes.

Posted on Feb 9, 2011 READ MORE


Lessons From Our Egypt Moment

In light of the history-shaking events on the streets of Cairo, it’s not surprising that a truly remarkable development slipped through the news cycle with barely a nod.

Posted on Feb 7, 2011 READ MORE


America’s Foreign Policy Revolution

The democratic uprising in Egypt has brought into relief a gradual and little-noticed transformation in American politics.

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 READ MORE


Can Obama Make Sense of Government?

A cynic might be justified in seeing a call for a sweeping reorganization of the federal government as the last refuge of a politician who doesn’t want to ruffle any ideological feathers.

Posted on Jan 30, 2011 READ MORE


Barack Obama: Paradoxical Whig

Be ready for the paradoxical phase of Barack Obama’s presidency. Many things will not be exactly as they appear.

Posted on Jan 26, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

How Obama Can Define Moderation

President Obama faces a choice in this week’s State of the Union message: Does he spend the next two years consolidating the gains he has made, or does he go into retreat?

Posted on Jan 24, 2011 READ MORE


JFK’s Eloquence, 50 Years Later

It’s remembered as a day chilled by “a Siberian wind knifing down Pennsylvania Avenue” and illuminated by “the dazzling combination of bright sunshine and deep snow.”

Posted on Jan 19, 2011 READ MORE


Health Care and the New Civility

President Obama’s call for “a more civil and honest public discourse” will get its first test much sooner than we expected.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 READ MORE


How Violent Talk Blocks Sane Gun Laws

The descriptions of President Obama as a “tyrant,” the intimations that he is “alien” and the suggestions that his presidency is illegitimate are essential to the core rationale for resisting any restrictions on firearms.

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 READ MORE



AP / James Palka

Gabrielle Giffords: Tragic Prophet

There is one commentator whose words should enlighten us on the meaning of Saturday’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the savage murders that took the lives of, among others, a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. The person is Giffords herself.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 READ MORE


Turning the Tables on Health Care

Rule One of politics: When you have the advantage, don’t allow your opponents to turn the tables. House Republicans violated this rule, a mistake that will haunt them for years.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 READ MORE


The House of Professors

Alas for all of us and for American conservatism in particular, the new Republican majority that took control of the House on Wednesday is embarked on an experiment in government by abstractions.

Posted on Jan 6, 2011 READ MORE


Celebrating the New GOP Majority

Welcome to the Republicans who take over the House of Representatives this week. Since it is a new year, let us be optimistic about what this development means for our nation.

Posted on Jan 3, 2011 READ MORE


Will Liberals Learn From Adversity?

Was 2010 American liberalism’s Waterloo? If there is one thing the Obama White House most underestimates, it is the dispirited mood of its troops.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 READ MORE


Let’s Not Spin the Civil War

The Civil War is about to loom very large in the popular memory. We would do well to be candid about its causes and not allow the distortions of contemporary politics or long-standing myths to cloud our understanding of why the nation fell apart.

Posted on Dec 26, 2010 READ MORE


The Pride of ‘Obama’s Orphans’

This will go down as the most productive Congress since the 89th. And 52 Democratic House incumbents, most elected in 2006 or 2008, lost their seats.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 READ MORE


Good Business, for CEOs and Commoners Alike

Our government already favors certain industries—finance and defense, among them. President Obama should identify the parts of the private sector that share an interest in reducing the dreadful inequalities that have metastasized over nearly four decades.

Posted on Dec 19, 2010 READ MORE


Labels Aren’t the Problem

The “No Labels” group that held its inaugural meeting this week in the name of the political center fills me with passionate ambivalence.

Posted on Dec 15, 2010 READ MORE


The Specter Haunting Obama

American decline is the specter haunting our politics. This could be President Obama’s undoing—or it could provide him with the opportunity to revive his presidency.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Speaks Ill of His Allies

What does President Obama think of those who fought and bled to pass his bills in Congress (in some cases losing in this year’s election for their pains) while also defending him against wild charges from the right wing? Are they among the liberals he described as “sanctimonious”?

Posted on Dec 9, 2010 READ MORE


Can Democrats ‘Up Their Game’?

Being the party of “new and improved” surely beats getting trapped in a fight whose terms were set entirely by Republicans.

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE


Where Is Obama Going?

Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries?

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 READ MORE


Blaming Obama’s America First

We are about to enter a two-year period in which the Beltway Republicans will always blame Obama’s America first—you know, the America that happens to disagree with much of the conservative agenda, the America from which they want to “take back” the country, as if the rest of us represent an alien force.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE


The Thanksgiving Wars? No Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving. That is not a political sentiment. Yet this year, everything seems partisan and even this most unifying of national holidays has become an occasion for ideological warfare.

Posted on Nov 25, 2010 READ MORE


Calling the Bluff on Deficits

The proposal put forth by the deficit commission’s chairmen is a deeply conservative document, but if Republicans are as concerned as they say, they should debate the plan—and deficit-increasing tax cuts—in Congress.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE


Saying Goodbye to Compassionate Conservatism

The real point of the tea party may be to get the GOP to say goodbye to the idea of a compassionate conservatism and to Bush’s peculiar but real brand of multiculturalism.

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 READ MORE


A Lame and Spineless Duck?

The lame-duck session of Congress that kicks off this week will test whether Democrats have spines made of Play-Doh, and whether President Obama has decided to pretend that capitulation is conciliation.

Posted on Nov 15, 2010 READ MORE


Do Only Conservative Victories Count?

In 2008, the largest number of voters in American history gave the Democrats their largest share of the presidential vote in 44 years and big majorities in the House and Senate.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010 READ MORE


Why Pelosi Wants to Stay

I spoke with Nancy Pelosi less than 24 hours before she announced she wanted to stay on as Democratic leader, and everything she said made clear that she’s not ready to allow millions of dollars in Republican attack ads to drive her from public life.

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 READ MORE


And Now for the Next Battle

President Obama allowed Republicans to define the terms of the nation’s political argument for the past two years and permitted them to draw battle lines the way they wanted. Neither he nor his party can let that happen again.

Posted on Nov 3, 2010 READ MORE


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