Not To Be Repeated
January 01, 2010

WASHINGTON--As they enter this difficult election year, Democrats seem ready to engage yet again in a debate they never seem to tire of: whether winning demands "moving to the center" or "mobilizing the base." If they get stuck on this one, they're in for a very bad time. The simple truth is that in midterm elections, no party can win without its base because turnout is lower than in presidential elections.

Bunker Mentality
December 30, 2009

It’s been a tough first year for President Obama, as critics throughout the body politic bemoan that Mr. Change-We-Can-Believe-In is looking more and more like Mr. Politics-As-Usual. With the coming new year, however, POTUS has a prime opportunity to regroup, reload, and revamp his image. He could start by ditching golf. Seriously. Its venerable White House history notwithstanding, golf is a dubious pastime for any decent, sane person, much less for this particular president.

Americans Still Driving Less
December 18, 2009

Just about one year ago, Rob Puentes and I published a white paper entitled ‘The Road… Less Traveled.’ As the title suggests, our research found that

Hillary's Revenge
December 16, 2009

With any other POTUS-Secretary of State combo, this latest poll, in which Clinton enjoys significantly higher approval ratings than her boss (75 vs.

The Right Kisses Up To Lieberman
December 12, 2009

Those of us who follow the career of Weekly Standard writer and ex-journalist Matthew Continetti have noticed that he enjoys parroting the line taken by his boss, Bill Kristol. For example, Kristol will go on television and mouth some Republican talking point, and then a couple of days later, Continetti will echo the sentiment. (An alternate theory is that they receive talking points from the same source). Anyway, a few days ago, Kristol wrote a blog post lauding Joe Lieberman's healthcare obstructionism; Kristol concluded with some pathetic brown-nosing: Reid tried to throw a Hail Mary.

Spend and Save
December 10, 2009

White House dilemma: Die now or pay later.

A New Idea That's Old (But Still Good)
December 07, 2009

The ten liberal and moderate Democrats trying to hammer out a compromise on the public option are talking seriously about letting older workers pay to be enroll in Medicare. While doing so wouldn't qualify as creating a new public plan into which anybody could enroll, it would qualify as opening up an existing public plan to a group of people that might appreciate its many virtues. And that's certainly a good thing. Introducing new ideas at this relatively late stage of the debate is not exactly easy to do. But, then, this isn't exactly a new idea.

Key To Obama's Popularity: Sucking Up To The Business Elite
December 04, 2009

I've always had a soft spot for Robert Rubin and the moderate, fiscally-conservative wing of economic officials associated with the Clinton administration. That said, this Wall Street Journal op-ed, by former Clinton deputy Treasury secretary Roger Altman, reads like a left-winger's parody of a moderate Democrat. Altman offers prosaic advise -- propose a tax credit for businesses that create jobs, create a commission to address the deficit -- before uncorking this: A third step involves the party's deteriorating relations with industry.

Food Stamps and the Growing Suburban Safety Net
December 01, 2009

An important federal program that tends to fly under the radar received some unprecedented real estate this past weekend--an enormous spread on page A1 of Sunday’s New York Times. Jason DeParle’s article, and some nifty interactive maps on the Times website, portray the recent rapid growth of the food stamp program, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or by its rather unfortunate acronym, SNAP.

Obama's One Conceivable Foreign Policy Victory: It's Honduras. But He Won't Acknowledge It. Too Bad.
November 30, 2009

When Manuel Zelaya was deposed as president of Honduras with the support of the Supreme Court, the National Congress, the attorney general and most of his own party, much of Latin America went into conniptions about safeguarding the constitution. Of course, that was precisely the issue. Zelaya was about to traduce the constitution, which forbade extension of the chief executive's term, precisely his intention. This is common in the lower part of the Western Hemisphere, and it is the opus operandi of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Zelaya's chosen instrument was a referendum, the tool of tyrants.