In September 2005, Bill Ritter, a Democratic candidate for governor of Colorado, stood in a Denver living room, surrounded by almost 60angry, crying women. His host, Beth Strickland, was the wife of Tom Strickland--the two-time Democratic Senate candidate--and the pro-choice women she had invited to this unusual campaign event spilled out of the living room and into adjoining rooms and hallways. But the force of their emotion was directed solely at Ritter, who stood at the far end of the room in front of a piano."Don't restrict women's right to choose," the women begged.

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Full Court Press

Bill Keller can't sleep. It is four o'clock on a sticky morning in the summer of 2007, and the executive editor of The New York Times is pacing his home, cursing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Here is the root of his insomnia: A few months earlier, the Democrats recaptured the House.

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TRB: Little Tent

A few weeks ago, the Republican Party faced a choice. It was not between victory and defeat in this fall's midterm elections. That choice had already been made, half a world away in Iraq, where the daily carnage of a failed war had stripped the GOP of its national security bona fides, leaving it politically naked. It was a choice between losing with dignity and losing in disgrace.

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Freakoutonomics

In 1993, mere months into the Clinton era, the new administration went to war with itself. Liberals in the Cabinet argued that the central problem of the U.S. economy was the vast middle class that was not seeing its income improve--a problem, they said, that could only be addressed through massive public investment. Moderates, including Robert Rubin, then the chairman of the National Economic Council, replied that the central problem was restoring economic growth, which could only come about by slashing the budget deficit. The moderates won.

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On Grace

by Cass Sunstein In the immediate aftermath of the elections, at least two Republicans have shown considerable grace: Rick Santorum and George W. Bush. Santorum's concession speech was, in its way, quite remarkable. Showing no trace of bitterness, he began by praising Bob Casey, saying that he was a fine man and that he would do a fine job for Pennsylvania.

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by Eric RauchwayHere is a chart (data here) showing Democratic representation in the Congress since the New Deal; the black bar indicates the threshold for a majority. It's way too soon to say anything really meaningful about this, but here are two of my thoughts:      1. You could spin this as a narrow, non-ideological, throw-the-bums out victory.

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'the Guardian' And Israel

On its front page yesterday, November 7, The Guardian trumpeted a speech it was reprinting by David Grossman, the well-known (I think more than a little precious, but no matter) Israeli novelist. Grossman gave the address at a huge memorial meeting for Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv on the fifth anniversary of the prime minister's assassination. "What has happened to my beloved Israel?" cries out the headline, placed directly under the Zionist banner, two blue stripes and a Star of David on a white field.

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Bye-bye

by Jacob T. LevyThis isn't very scholarly of me, but I'm just too delighted not to say: good-bye to Senator Man On Dog. In memoriam, the transcript, one last time. SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family.

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Unrighteous Outrage

Well, wouldn't you know it? Now that Saddam Hussein has been condemned to execution by hanging, there appears to be great agitation in the world about his death sentence. It seems to me that maybe there should be a consensus on a few people in the world who actually deserve to be executed. How about Osama bin Laden for one? Or, looking backwards, Hitler or Goebbels?

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My Vote For Speaker

Yes, the mind wanders in Paris, and it wanders freely. Here's a thought that is on many people's minds but has not come off many people's tongues. Nancy Pelosi should not be speaker of the House. Rahm Emanuel should be. He is smarter, more savvy, understands the political middle as both norm and fact. And he is extremely likeable, truly trustworthy, a politician of honor and imagination. Imagine someone out of the Clinton White House who emerged untainted by even a whiff of scandal. Unlike other pols who used to raise Democratic money from me, he was not a hustler.

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