The group blog of The New Republic
January 4, 2013
Last year, an unlikely coalition emerged to preserve Internet freedom. Where has it been since then?
January 3, 2013
As public policy, the fiscal cliff deal has few merits to recommend it. But it does have one positive political consequence that has mostly gone overlooked: It substantially narrows the gap between the policy commitments we have made and the way the budget process officially presents them. Americans can finally have a cleaner—if not necessarily more productive—debate over what to do.
It is tempting, in view of Barack Obama’s re-election, to look back on his first term as a rousing success, but it was not. Obama got his initial stimulus and his healthcare bill, but he made political errors in the first two years that helped Republicans retake the House and a majority of governorships in a crucial redistricting year. And in 2011, he made back-room concessions on the budget that seriously imperiled the economic recovery.
January 2, 2013
If you look at the House Republican vote, you find regional divisions that mirror the Red-Blue divisions in the national electorate. All in all, 85 Republicans voted for the Senate resolution and 151 voted against it. The opposition was centered in the Old South. Southern Republicans opposed the measure by 83 to 10. The delegations from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina were unanimously opposed. As one might expect, the bill got support from five Florida Republicans, including Republicans from Cuban districts.
If you’re gaming out what’s likely to happen during the next fiscal showdown a few months from now, there are two ways to interpret the legacy of the cliff episode, which ended when the House approved the McConnell-Biden compromise last night.