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.
Will Dems Lose the House Because of Nancy Pelosi?
September 14, 2010
The election is seven weeks away and the outcome, obviously, is far from certain. But a Republican takeover of the House seems more likely than not.
Yes, Pols, It's (Mostly) Safe to Ignore Playbook
September 14, 2010
I’m not sure exactly what Henry Farrell is getting at in his partial dissent to Ezra Klein and John Sides, but I think I’m with them on this one. Farrell: But to say that Politico, cable news etc are (a) trivial and (b) unimportant to the vast majority of voters is not to say that they may not still be important to politicians. This is because the belief in their importance is a collective one rather than an individual one.
America May Have Overreacted to September 11 … but Americans Didn’t
September 11, 2010
Did America overreact to September 11? In a recent column in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria answered that with an emphatic and mournful “yes.” In Mr. Zakaria’s telling, we’ve squandered billions of dollars heedlessly feeding our national security bureaucracies, which hardly provide us, as the French nicely put it, a very good rapport qualité-prix. Worse, we’ve created an intrusive, abrasive, civil-rights-mauling security and intelligence apparatus that “now touches every aspect of American-life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism.” Mr.
The Mosque Is In Trouble, Very Big Trouble
September 02, 2010
Nancy Pelosi who always has her ear to the ground for a simple-minded explanation of an intricate matter has demanded to know whose money is behind the campaign against the Ground Zero mosque. Maybe she can't imagine anything other than a grand conspiracy: maybe Glenn Beck or David Koch, maybe Sarah Palin or some other ditzy lady with access to right-wing money. In my view, the really modest struggle against the mosque is probably the closest thing we've had to a genuinely grass roots effort against the casual and elitist First Amendment fundamentalists.
GOP Confusion On House Reform
September 02, 2010
Republicans are promising the change the way the House works if they win a majority.
A Dem Palin? Not Needed
August 30, 2010
The Sunday NYT carried an unusually useless op-ed yesterday, asking for a "Palin of Our Own" for the Democrats. Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister note that Sarah Palin generates a lot of publicity, and conclude: The left should be outraged and exasperated by all this — but at their own failings as much as Ms. Palin’s ascension. Since the 2008 election, progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership. And despite (or because of) their continuing obsession with Ms.
Inspired Proposal of the Day: A Pelosi-Boehner Debate
August 11, 2010
We expect presidential candidates to debate each other and, in many parts of the country, we expect congressional candidates to do the same. But, as far as I know, we have never had a major, prime-time debate between congressional leaders as a prelude to the midterm elections. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter suggests we start having them now, by staging a debate between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and would-be Speaker John Boehner: Don’t members of Congress debate all the time on the floor? Not really. Instead they give short speeches with no interaction, no questions, and almost no one listening.
The Senate Passes Edujobs! But Before You Celebrate...
August 05, 2010
Today, after months of wrangling, the Senate finally approved $10 billion to prevent teacher layoffs, as part of a larger $26 billion package of state aid. Nancy Pelosi has said she will call the House back next week to vote on the measure as well. States and teachers’ unions (and the Obama administration) are breathing a sigh of relief. But, as I’ve written before, edujobs is far from a perfect bill. It doles out money to save jobs, which is good. But it doesn't include incentives for states to reform the bad systems that govern layoffs.
Is the CBC Uniquely Unethical?
August 03, 2010
Not so long ago, all eight of the members of Congress being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics were black. Now, two powerful black members of the Congressional Black Caucus are on the griddle. There are two entirely appropriate responses. One of them is to wonder if there is something racial going on. Yes, that is reasonable. Dismissals of this line of reasoning as mere “crying racism” are, in this case, hasty. Bloggers blithely listing white people who have fallen into the OCE’s line of sight as disproof of the racism charge are missing the point.