Republicans Are About to Control the House. Will They Reform It?
November 09, 2010
The big news about Congressional reform lately has been over on the Senate side, but I’ll remind everyone that Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein’s The Broken Branch, published just before the Democratic sweep of 2006, probably spent more time on the House. Will House reform return? I’ll begin with the punch line: since about 1975, the House of Representatives has been the one part of the US government in which party majorities rule. That’s not going to change in 2011-2012.
Inside The Democrats' Tax Cut Clusterf*ck
November 09, 2010
Jackie Calmes has a great reported piece explaining just how Democrats in Congress blew the easiest issue in the world, how to extend the Bush tax cuts: A year ago this month, political and economic advisers at the White House first held a series of meetings on what to do about the tax cuts in the coming year. There was no consensus; advisers would shift positions with time and circumstances. And a vicious circle took hold, according to interviews over past months with Democrats in the administration and Congress: Mr.
In Pelosi They Trust?
November 09, 2010
Last week, when Nancy Pelosi first announced that she wanted to keep leading the House Democratic caucus, I wasn’t sure what to think about it. Now it seems increasingly likely that Pelosi will get her wish. And I’m still not sure what to think about it. It’s not because I have mixed feelings about Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker. As I’ve written several times, I think she will go down as one of the most successful House leaders in modern history. The last two years, in particular, have witnessed the sort of legislative activity we haven’t seen since the 1960s.
November 08, 2010
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calmly assessing the political cyclone that routed her Democratic majority and will, at least temporarily, force her to vacate one of the best offices in the city, with its inspirational view of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. She keeps coming back to the courage of her colleagues who cast hard votes that helped make the last two years one of Congress' most productive periods in recent times—and made her one of the most effective speakers in history.
Follow the Leader
November 05, 2010
Two quick notes, one from each party and one from each chamber: First, I recommend an excellent post by Matt Yglesias about the relative lack of importance of Mitch McConnell in the new scheme of things.
November 03, 2010
This is hardly a surprise, but it appears the Pacific Coast states will give Democrats a nice sunset for an election day that's certainly been full of violent storms. If the exit polls are at all on track, not only are Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown romping to comfortable victories, but we may not have to wait days or weeks to see if Patty Murray will survive. There's still a close governor's race in Oregon to resolve (the exits in that race feature the biggest gender gap I've ever seen, which may be attributable to the fact that Republican Chris Dudley is a former NBA player), and seven or eig
End of the Pelosi House
November 02, 2010
MSNBC is now projecting that Republicans will take the House. This is not at all surprising. Polls have predicted this outcome for a while. It means John Boehner will become speaker, that Darrell Issa will be firing off the subpoenas, and that the Tea Party crowd suddenly has an institutional base for power. It also means that Nancy Pelosi's tenure as speaker is over. I expect to read and hear a lot of people declaring that tonight's results show that she has failed. Do not be fooled. Not only was she the first woman to become speaker.
October 15, 2010
-- Could liberals dump Nancy Pelosi? -- Kevin Drum offers one impeachment scenario, involving South Carolina, nullification, and a book deal for Mary Landrieu. -- Tom Scocca has found "the dumbest libertarian quote ever."
Will Pelosi Pay the Price?
October 14, 2010
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a conference call with some bloggers and reporters on Wednesday. She spent a great deal of time exuding confidence and predicting that Democrats would fare well on Election Day. I think the word “momentum” came up more than once. I don’t know whether she is really that optimistic. I'm certainly not. I’d like very much to see the Democrats maintain control of Congress and, I agree, there have been a few encouraging signs lately, particularly on the Senate side.
Why Some Democrats Are Fraidy Cats on Taxes
September 15, 2010
The politics of the middle-class tax cut would seem to be crystal clear. Over the last few weeks, a half-dozen polls have shown that voters nationally want to extend tax cuts for the poor and middle-class but not the very rich, putting them squarely on the side of President Obama and Democratic leaders in their debate with the Republicans. But not all Democrats in Congress are ready to follow their leaders. A handful recently sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter, calling for extension of all the tax cuts and not just those for the middle-class.