Seven Reasons To Stop Being Fatalistic About Immigration Reform
October 24, 2013

The path to actually passing immigration reform is actually pretty simple

Congress Can't Pass a Farm Bill. And Now We're Waiting on them to Stop a Slaughter?
August 31, 2013

Today, President Obama finally addressed the main question that has gripped this town on Syria: will he or won't he?He will, as we knew he would.

A Fiscal Deal Is Emerging—But Is It Any Good?
December 17, 2012

Obama and Boehner may be near agreement on the fiscal cliff. Should liberals be satisfied?

GOP Lacks Leverage, but It's Still Got Spin
December 06, 2012

Republicans may lack leverage in the "fiscal cliff" debate, but they're managing to convince the press otherwise.

The Fiscal Cliff Is Better than Boehner's Lousy Offer
December 03, 2012

Why the country would be better off going over the cliff than accepting Boehner's offer.

Matt Bai's Excellent Piece...Shows 2011 Was Pointless
March 28, 2012

Matt Bai’s long-awaited, 10,000-word opus on the rise and fall of last summer’s deficit grand-bargain is finally out and very much worth a read. Bai adds a lot of new detail affirming what we thought we knew—which is that Obama was ready to do a deal and Boehner wasn’t—but which got much hazier in recent weeks amid Team Boehner’s furious spin.  Still, for my money, Bai puts too little emphasis on the much deeper problem looming over the whole exercise, which is that it didn’t actually matter whether Boehner was willing to strike a deal.

Obama Administration Frighteningly Slow On The Uptake
August 02, 2011

The post-mortems on the debt deal are showing the degree to which, as I've suspected, the Obama administration completely misunderstood the Republican Party. Laura Meckler and Gerald Seib's tick-tock is especially good. Here are the negotiations bumping up against the fundamental ideological divide in American politics: The next day, a Friday, a small group of Boehner confidantes warned the speaker about the political risks of working with the president. "The danger to him is making a deal with no one standing behind him," said one.

No, Obama Was Not Too Demanding With Boehner
August 02, 2011

I'm still shocked and dismayed that President Obama tried so hard to cut a budget deal with Republicans that, in return for enormous concessions, would have raised no more revenue than we'd get if the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000 expire on schedule. William Galston, by contrast, argues that Obama blundered by asking for too much revenue, thereby blowing up the negotiations: If news accounts are accurate, the Obama/Boehner talks broke down when the president proposed increasing the revenue component of the grand bargain from $800 billion to $1.2 trillion.

Boehner's Inability To Strategically Maneuver
July 26, 2011

One of the oddities of the Obama-Boehner negotiation/showdown is that Obama has vastly more strategic latitude than Boehner. Obama can cut almost any deal he wants. He can probably persuade Democrats in Congress to go along with an outrageously bad deal. He could sign a deal that passes with mostly Republican votes. Boehner can't do those things. He got his job as Speaker by default. He is the picture of the Washington insider and the apotheosis of the kind of Republican conservative activists loath and suspect of selling them out.

Two More Reasons Obama Wanted a Deal
July 24, 2011

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Why has Obama been so willing to make a deal on deficit reduction, even if the terms reflect Republican values far more than Democratic ones? The president himself offered some reasons in his press conference on Friday. Observers like me have speculated about others. But administration officials say that two other factors, both related to the economy, weighed on their minds. Obama and his advisers are looking at the same job numbers as the rest of us.