The GOP Convention’s Anxiety of Akinism
August 28, 2012
Think Republicans are worried about Todd Akin? Consider how Tampa conventioneers are rejecting his latest copycat, Pennsylvania's Senate nominee.
Blunt, Rubio, And The Madness of Employer-Based Health Care
March 01, 2012
I'm blinking in astonishment at the vote breakdown on the motion to table the Blunt-Rubio amendment allowing any "sponsor, issuer, or other entity" involved in providing health insurance--not just the Catholic Church--to eliminate coverage for contraceptives if doing so conflicts with that sponsor's, issuer's, or other entitity's "religious beliefs or moral convictions." In the name of religious freedom, Sens.
A Libertarian’s Lament: Why Ron Paul Is an Embarrassment to the Creed
September 02, 2011
I don't put much stock in politicians, so I've only twice donated to political campaigns. In 2006, I tossed a few dollars at the Democrat running for Senate against the loathsome Rick Santorum. It could have been a three-headed goat, for all I cared, but Wikipedia says it was Bob Casey. (You're welcome, Bob.) And late in 2007, I gave $50 to Ron Paul. I was working at the time for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, but it wasn't that I had any plans on voting for him.
Specter of Defeat
May 05, 2010
Just over a year ago, Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak was seriously weighing a Senate bid in Pennsylvania against then-Republican Arlen Specter, but he wanted one last word of sage advice. So he called up his former boss, Bill Clinton, for whom he’d served as director for defense policy on the National Security Council, and, according to Sestak, “he invited me over to sit down with him over at his home in Georgetown.” But the meeting didn’t go exactly as planned. “Just as I walked in,” Sestak says, “an aide came up and said, ‘Did you hear?
March 17, 2010
Washington—One of the tragedies of the viciously politicized battle over health care reform is the defection of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops from a cause they have championed for decades. Indifferent to political fashions, the bishops were the strongest voices in support of universal health coverage, a position rooted in Catholic social thought that calls for a special solicitude toward the poor. Yet on the make-or-break roll call that will determine the fate of health care reform, bishops are urging that the bill be voted down.
Church and State
December 24, 2009
WASHINGTON--It is 2009's quiet story--quiet because it's about what didn't happen, which can be as important as what did. In this highly partisan year, we did not see a sharpening of the battles over religion and culture. Yes, we continued to fight over gay marriage, and arguments about abortion were a feature of the health care debate. But what's more striking is that other issues--notably economics and the role of government--trumped culture and religion in the public square.
Catholic Hospitals v. Catholic Bishops
December 17, 2009
If you've followed the debate over abortion rights and health care reform, you're familiar with the role played by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Bishops want to prohibit all insurance coverage within the new insurance exchanges, on the theory that some people might use federal subsidies to buy those policies, thereby allowing federal funding of abortion.
Ben Nelson, Still a Big Problem (Updated)
December 17, 2009
In a local radio interview this morning, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson indicated that he remains a "no" for now. He's not satisfied with the compromise on abortion that Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey proposed. He's not happy about the burden the Medicaid expansion places on states. He's not content with the level of cost control. He could be posturing, of course, but this is entirely consistent with what he's been saying all along. And it's why insiders have been warning he'd be harder to win over than Joe Lieberman. (Time's Amy Sullivan is among those not at all surprised at this deveopment.
One Issue Where Obama Really Is Winning
October 07, 2009
Among President Obama's attempts to pass far-reaching liberal legislation this year, his signature plan to overhaul the way students receive college loans has probably received the least attention. Yet, right now, it's arguably the issue on which Obama is closest to achieving an unvarnished success. Last month, taking cues from Obama, the House of Representatives passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would alter the way the government funds Pell Grants and other student loans.
The Democrats Strike Back
August 27, 2008
David Kusnet was chief speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton from 1992 through 1994. He is the author of Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier than Ever. Before the 2004 Democratic convention, I drafted a speech for a client. Intent on running a "positive" campaign, John Kerry's message-meisters scrubbed the speech of even the mildest and most factual criticisms of the Bush Administration's record.