On Health Care, Romney Goes Retro
May 23, 2012

Editor's Note: After looking at the economic platform of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, this installment of our series on his policy plans examines the details of his health care agenda. The gist: Repeal the Affordable Care Act; end Medicare and Medicaid as we know it, by turning the former into a voucher program and the latter into a block grant scheme; unravel private insurance, by changing the tax treatment of benefits and undermining state regulation. The good. Not much. Once in a while he talks up worthwhile reforms designed to improve the quality of care.

Soaking The Poor
May 17, 2012

I've written a lot about the push by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other conservatives to raise taxes on the poor for the express purpose of lowering taxes on the rich. Writing in the Nation, Barbara Ehrenreich points out that local governments have been soaking the poor for years. In some jurisdictions you can get charged for occupying a jail cell; in 2009 one homeless woman in Michigan was incarcerated for falling behind on her $104 monthly payment for her 16 year-old's incarceration and was thereafter required to pay jail fees for her son and herself.

The Man Who Beat Lugar Is—Gasp!—Right
May 09, 2012

If you were trying to get a handle on what the Senate will look like over the next decade or so, you could have done worse than watch Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly make the rounds on television Wednesday morning. Mourdock is, of course, the man who just ousted Indiana’s longtime eminence, Dick Lugar, from the Senate. Donnelly is the Democratic congressman he’ll be facing in November. Mourdock fulminated against everything Lugar stood for—namely bipartisanship and civility in politics, but also the auto bailouts that saved tens of thousands of Indiana jobs.

The One Nice Thing About Rick Santorum’s Now-Doomed Campaign
April 05, 2012

The only mystery left in the Republican presidential race is guessing the moment when Rick Santorum bows to the inevitable. It may come with a gesture of face-saving capitulation before his home-state primary on April 24, with a feeling of forgotten-man frustration as Mitt Romney nears a delegate majority in early June, or with a final burst of angry defiance on the eve of the Tampa Convention.

Defending (George) Romney And "Mad Men"
April 02, 2012

Devotee though I am of Mad Men, I haven't had a chance to catch up with the first two episodes of its new season, so I'm hearing second-hand that Henry Francis, the aide to New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller who earlier rescued Betty from her marriage to Don (and now kind of regrets it because Betty's such a head case) last night--which is to say, in 1966, when this new season is set--called Michigan Gov. George Romney "a clown." Francis is shown saying into a telephone, "Well, tell Jim his honor's not going to Michigan.

The Basis For Mad Men’s George Romney Tweak
April 02, 2012

As “Mad Men” advances through the 1960s, you knew it was coming: a shout-out to the moderate Republican whose profile grew during the decade to the point where he was, very early on, a leading contender for his party’s 1968 presidential nomination. Yes, George Romney had his moment last night. And his family’s not happy about it. No “Mad Men” aficionado myself, I’ll let someone else recap the moment: In the 1960s-era series, the character  Henry Francis, who in previous seasons worked as a political aide for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, calls Gov.

Did SCOTUS Hearings End The GOP Primary?
March 29, 2012

We’re talking a whole lot less about the Republican primaries than we were a week or two ago, which my former colleague Chris Cillizza attributes to the endorsements of Mitt Romney by Marco Rubio and others, which Chris suggests have effectively ended the GOP race: In just the last 9 days — since Romney won the Illinois primary — he has been endorsed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former President George H.W.

If X, Then Why?
March 29, 2012

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention By Manning Marable (Viking Press, 594 pp., $30) I. When Malcolm X died in a hail of assassin’s gunfire at the Audubon Ballroom in February 1965, the mainstream media in the United States was quick to suggest that he reaped the harvest of bloodshed he had brazenly sown.

Michigan Now Officially Out Of Play
March 28, 2012

Well, just minutes after I put up a post which included as an aside the concession that Mitt Romney does have sort of a sense of humor comes evidence to the contrary. Check out the rip-roaring joke Romney just told to ingratiate himself with the voters of Wisconsin, which holds its primary next week. He was talking up his connections with cheese-heads and said this, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert: “One of most humorous I think relates to my father.