Washington—The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics.
Washington—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. Last weekend, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who took office in June after the fall of her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, called an election for Aug. 21—they do things fast down there—in which her Labor Party will be using a central argument that Democrats hope to invoke against the Republicans. Gillard's statement opening the campaign left no ambiguity about Labor's message.
Washington—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? The "center" is said to be the most comfortable place in American politics. But this assumes that the center is stable, that most people on either end of the philosophical continuum give would-be centrist politicians the benefit of the doubt, and that voters actually care whether someone is "centrist" or not.Not one of these assumptions works.
Washington—Good for the NAACP. We need an honest conversation about the role of race and racism in the Tea Party.
Washington—If the midterm elections were held now, Republicans would likely take control of the House of the Representatives. It's as hard these days to find a Democrat who's not alarmed as it is to find a Cleveland Cavaliers fan who's cheering for LeBron James. Worse for Democrats: They face two very different challenges, and addressing one could make the other worse. The outcome of the 2010 elections thus depends in large part on whether they can find a solution to a set of simultaneous equations before November. On the one hand, independent voters are turning on them.
WASHINGTON–It's easy to understand why Democrats want Michael Steele to stay in the news. The Republican National Committee chairman is a wonderful distraction, a constant source of gaffes, laughs, clarifications and denials. But Steele recently scored a victory of sorts, even though you wouldn't know it from the coverage: His comments on Afghanistan got Democrats to recite GOP talking points from the Bush era.
Washington—Here's when you know something momentous has happened to our struggle over the Supreme Court's role: When Republicans largely give up talking about "judicial activism," when liberals speak of the importance of democracy and deference to elected officials, and when judges are no longer seen as baseball umpires. All these things transpired during Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, though you might not know that unless you saw some of the most thoughtful blogs or news stories.
Washington—One of the strangest lead sentences I have ever encountered appeared in Politico last week.
Washington—This week’s hearings over Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court will mark a sea change in the way liberals argue about the judiciary. Democratic senators are planning to put the right of citizens to challenge corporate power at the center of their critique of activist conservative judging, offering a case that has not been fully aired since the days of the great Progressive Era Justice Louis Brandeis. It was Brandeis who warned against the “concentration of economic power” and observed that “so-called private corporations are sometimes able to dominate the state.” None of
Washington—Gen. Stanley McChrystal put President Obama in an impossible position. That is why he had to go. A general’s tasks involve executing policies made by the commander in chief, plotting strategy and winning wars—not playing politics in the media to get at civilian rivals inside the government. What McChrystal did required Obama to change generals at a decisive moment in the Afghanistan conflict or risk looking weak and out of control.