Reform 2, Repeal 1: Judge Rules Against Affordable Care Act (Updated)
December 13, 2010

A federal district judge in Virginia has become the first to rule that one key provision of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. I haven't read the decision carefully. But it appears that the judge believes that the federal government cannot require that all Americans have health insurance. The government has argued that the constitution grants such authority via the power to tax and the power to regulate interstate commerce--an argument with which I, and quite a few legal experts, happen to agree. The judge, Henry E.

Criticize Obama? Sure. But Not For This.
September 02, 2010

I've heard a lot of theories about why President Obama and the Democrats are in political trouble right now. And I find most of them plausible. But I continue to baffled by the consistency theory, which erstwhile Democratic strategist Pat Caddell endorsed in a recent interview with National Review: “President Obama’s undoing may be his disingenuousness,” Caddell says. After campaigning for post-partisanship, Obama, he observes, has lurched without pause to the left.

Texastential Crisis
August 17, 2010

Rick Perry should be riding high. Chasing his third full term as governor of Texas, Perry is a blood-red conservative running in a blood-red state in a blood-red cycle. In April of last year, he cheered a bill in the statehouse aimed at reasserting Texas’s sovereign rights against an “oppressive” federal government. A few days later, he began publicly musing about how, in its struggle against tyranny, Texas might find it necessary to secede.

May 18, 2010

Whether you like the old codger or not, Arlen Specter knows how to win elections. At least that’s what he and his surrogates have been telling Pennsylvania voters—over and over again—in his dead-heat senatorial primary race with Joe Sestak. “People recognize that I am the only guy who can beat” GOP challenger Pat Toomey, Specter told CNN on Sunday. Sestak “can’t do it.” Meanwhile the state Democratic chairman, T.J.

Murtha Lives!
May 16, 2010

Twelve hours a day for several weeks now, supporters of Tim Burns, the GOP's candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's Twelfth district, have staffed a call center in a mostly-vacant office building in downtown Washington, PA. Bundles of phone cables hang from the ceiling, and the walls are decorated with navy “Tim Burns for Congress” signs and an American flag.

Immigration Reform And Positive Sum Politics
April 26, 2010

Politico says immigration reform is a bad issue for both parties: [T]he polarizing issue is fraught with peril for both parties — so much so that, when asked about the politics of it all, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie paraphrases the words of Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: “When immigration is an issue, nobody wins.” Of course this is almost literally impossible.

Will Rogers Update
March 04, 2010

I occasionally accompany my posts about the disarray of the Democratic Party with pictures of Will Rogers, like the one at right. If you don't get the reference, it's because Rogers once joked, "I belong to no organized political party. I'm a Democrat." Here's a good case in point. Democratic representative Neal Abercrombie of Hawaii resigned from Congress and departed, depriving the party of another health care vote. Republican representative Nathan Deal also announced he's resigning, which would seem to cancel that out. But no: U.S. Rep.

Labor and Delivery
March 03, 2010

In a few weeks, Barack Obama will have a chance to do something he hasn’t done particularly well during his first year in office: successfully defy his opponents and, at the same time, reassure his most loyal supporters. At issue is the fate of Craig Becker, one of Obama’s nominees for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Last month, Becker was denied a vote on his nomination when Senate Democrats failed to overcome a GOP filibuster. Now, the Senate’s coming Easter break will give Obama an opportunity to put Becker on the NLRB via recess appointment.

Is Murdoch Trashing the WSJ's Washington Coverage?
January 15, 2010

One obvious question when Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd announced his retirement last week was what impact it would have on the effort to reform Wall Street. Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and the bill he wrote last year is the most ambitious regulatory initiative pending in Congress.

Mass Appeal
November 12, 2009

Polls show that Americans are confused about what health care reform means. And, if you listen to members of Congress on television, you get the impression that some of them aren’t certain, either. But figuring out what health care reform entails isn’t hard. All you have to do is look at Massachusetts. Almost three years ago, the state introduced an ambitious initiative designed to make sure nearly all residents have health insurance. Under this scheme, the state requires employers to contribute toward the cost of covering workers, while requiring individuals to get insurance.