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Reckless Endangerment

Reckless Endangerment

By Gretchen Morgenson, Joshua Rosner
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Tag: Ej Dionne

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


No Final Victories

It was just four years ago that the Democratic Party began its comeback in what now seems like another country.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 READ MORE


Joe Sestak’s Witching Hour

If there is one candidate who truly wishes that Christine O’Donnell had not won the Republican senatorial nomination in Delaware, it is the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 READ MORE


The Scandal of 2010

If you travel any place where there is a contested race for the House or Senate, you are bombarded with attack ads, almost all against Democrats, paid for by groups that do not have to reveal where their money comes from.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE


A National Election, Like It or Not

While Republicans hammer away at a key set of themes, from jobs to the deficit, Democrats have left loyalists who deserve better without the support of a driving national message.

Posted on Oct 21, 2010 READ MORE


The GOP’s Triple Play

The Republican Party is running a three-level campaign this year that gives its candidates a wealth of advantages—in flexibility, deniability, and determination.

Posted on Oct 17, 2010 READ MORE


‘Crazy Carl’ and the Limits of Anger

To call Carl Paladino brash and a loudmouth understates the case. The New York Daily News has taken to referring to the Republican nominee for New York governor as “Crazy Carl,” and his latest series of outbursts demonstrated why.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010 READ MORE


The Shadow Class War of 2010

The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it. This is a strange development.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010 READ MORE


Tom Perriello’s Political Experiment

Rep. Tom Perriello is this election’s test case of whether casting tough votes is better than ducking them, and whether a progressive who fashions an intelligent populism can survive in deeply conservative territory.

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 READ MORE


Health Care’s Second Wind

Despite the conventional wisdom, more and more Democrats are proudly campaigning on what the health care bill has achieved—and they should.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE


Obama and the Progressive Paradox

A couple of hours before President Obama offered a boffo revival of his 2008 campaign persona during a boisterous rally at the University of Wisconsin, Sen. Bernie Sanders was analyzing why the president was in a political pickle in the first place.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010 READ MORE


The GOP’s Achilles’ Region

It will be very hard for Republicans to take the House if they don’t break the Democrats’ power in the Northeast—and they still have to prove they can do that.

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 READ MORE


Tempest in a Very Small Teapot

Is the tea party one of the most successful scams in American political history?

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE


The Wrong Tax Cut Debate

It’s remarkable how timidity leads Democrats to fight this year’s campaign on Republican terms. Nowhere is this more obvious than on taxes.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 READ MORE


The Strange Death of Moderate Republicanism

After two decades in which moderates fled a party increasingly dominated by its right wing, the Republican primary electorate has been reduced to nothing but its right wing.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE


A Chance for Supreme Court Damage Control

With Congress coming back this week, there’s a chance to limit the damage the Supreme Court has caused our democracy.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

President Obama decided this week to raise the stakes in this fall’s election by making the choice about something instead of nothing but anger.

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 READ MORE


Missing ‘Big Labor’

Remembering the labor movement’s heroic battles is bittersweet on a Labor Day when so many Americans are unemployed, when wages are stagnant or dropping, and when the labor movement itself is in stark decline.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

What’s on Obama’s Next Page?

By insisting Tuesday evening that “it’s time to turn the page,” President Obama was talking about more than the Iraq War, and doing much more than reviving one of his most effective slogans from the 2008 campaign.

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama and the Virtues of ‘Politicking’

President Obama’s address to the nation on Iraq this week underscores the agony of his presidency, and its core political problem. In a democracy, separating governing from “politicking” is impossible.

Posted on Aug 29, 2010 READ MORE


The Primary Differences

Republicans are in the midst of an insurrection. Democrats are not. This vast gulf between the situations of the two parties explains the year’s primary results.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 READ MORE


Forget the ‘Party of No,’ Dems Need to Run Against Extremism

In an election, a solid “no” usually beats an uneasy “yes, but.” That’s the heart of the problem Democrats and President Obama face this fall.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 READ MORE


Chris Dodd and the Politics of Joy

When I sat down last week at the Capitol with Chris Dodd to talk about his 36 years in Congress, he didn’t change my attitude toward the longest-winded legislative body in the world. But he reminded me of something missing in our public life: an ebullient joy about what democratic politics can accomplish.

Posted on Aug 8, 2010 READ MORE


‘Dropping Babies,’ Abandoning Principles

Rather than shout, I’ll just ask the question in a civil way: Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party’s greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 READ MORE


How Big Government Saved the Malibu

Who could have imagined that the bailout of the auto industry, one of the single most unpopular moves by the Obama administration, would become one of its best talking points?

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 READ MORE



Photo illustration based on an image by Flickr user cometstarmoon (CC-BY)

The Politics of Stupidity Strike Again

Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? While we’re at it, does any other democracy have a powerful legislative branch as undemocratic as the U.S. Senate?

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 READ MORE



The End of the Fox News Era?

The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now trivialized phrase has it, a “teachable moment.” It is a time for action.

Posted on Jul 25, 2010 READ MORE


An Electoral Dry Run Down Under

It’s rare to see a dry run for an election campaign. But over the next month, Australia will provide a testing ground for some of the core themes in this November’s American elections.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Socialist Who Coddles Business?

The titans of the private sector say President Obama is anti-business. Many progressives say he coddles business. How does the administration manage to pull that off?

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 READ MORE


The NAACP and the Tea Party’s Flag-Burners

Good for the NAACP. We need an honest conversation about the role of race and racism in the tea party. Thanks to a resolution passed this week at the venerable organization’s national convention, we’ll get it.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 READ MORE


Political Math and Political Passion

If the midterm elections were held now, Republicans would likely take control of the House of the Representatives. Democrats have to figure out a way to appeal to independent voters while simultaneously winning back their disenchanted base.

Posted on Jul 11, 2010 READ MORE


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