Ruth Marcus

The fight over Susan Rice is a reminder that the GOP's lack of diversity hamstrings the party on a regular basis -- not just on Election Day.

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“Being a jerk is not a felony”—this was the consensus among pundits within days of John Edwards’s indictment for violating campaign finance laws by inducing two political donors to pay the living expenses of his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their child, while a former campaign aide posed as the child’s father. It’s still hard to absorb the magnitude of Edwards’s moral offense, and “jerk” hardly does it justice, but let’s assume that Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, quoted above, and election law professor Rick Hasen are right that funneling money to a presidential candidate to cover up his

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Very Serious People ™ continue to accuse the Democrats of dishonesty and demagoguery on Medicare. On Sunday, it was the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus during an appearance on “Meet the Press.” Today it is Time’s Don Von Drehle, writing at the Swampland blog: Medicare promises more to future retirees than it is going to be able to deliver. Change is urgently needed.

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Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus imagines the fabled "adult conversation" on Medicare between President Obama and Paul Ryan: Barack: The current system can’t go on. I wouldn’t say this publicly, but my party’s wrong to pretend it can. Still, your approach goes way too far. Seniors would get help to buy private insurance but would pay a lot more than they do now. And over time, because the vouchers rise only with inflation, not with medical costs, beneficiaries would have to pay even more. They’re not going to be able to afford it, not with median incomes of less than $21,000.

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With the House Republicans planning a Wednesday vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, I’m going to go back through some of their arguments over the next few days.

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One of the defining beliefs of sensible-center Washington establishment types is that elected officials need to make Tough Decisions, including unpopular decisions, rather than just try to skate through to the next election. However, a second set of beliefs held by this group is that, if you do lose an election, this proves that all your ideas were not just politically unwise but substantively wrong. Here, for instance, is Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus: The day after his shellacking, the bruised president offered a sober, tripartite analysis of voters' message.

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Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist. He blogs at A plain blog about politics. Yesterday, Chris Dodd -- who has served in the Senate since 1981, and before that in the House since 1975, and whose father served in the Senate from 1959-1971, and who is completing one of the all-time great final years in office (in terms of quantity and importance of accomplishments), threw cold water on Senate reform: I’m so vehemently opposed to the ideas to fundamentally change the rules of the Senate,” retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) told reporters this afternoon.

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With the deficit reduction commission still plugging away and expecting to release a report after the elections, the debate on the center-left is shaping up around the desirability of reducing Social Security spending.

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The politics of an abortion deal are tricky. Here's how it would work. Pro-life Democrats would vote for health care reform, and then they'd take a subsequent vote sometime later this year to codify the Henry Hyde language ensuring that federal money does not subsidize abortion. Republicans, naturally, want to make that very difficult. So they're putting out word that they would never vote for such a measure. I have two points to make. First of all, once the health care bill has passed, what incentive do they have to vote against abortion restrictions?

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The ability of a minority in the Senate to prevent the federal government from dealing with pressing national problems -- or even to staff the executive branch -- is so glaring that few people, outside of partisan Republicans, can deny that there's a problem. Unfortunately, much of official Washington remains unable to recognize the nature of the problem. The problem is that the minority party has a strong political incentive to block the majority's agenda and render the president a failure, and the filibuster gives it the incentive to do so.

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