WASHINGTON -- The collapse of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a monumental political defeat wrought by a party and a president that never took health care policy or the need to bring coverage to millions of Americans seriously. But their bungling also demonstrates that the intense attention to Obamacare over the last ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Over the last century, there has been a characteristic American cycle of response to far-reaching social reforms.
When the breakthroughs are first proposed, conservatives fight them with a devout passion, warning that the measures on offer would move the nation toward socialism and perdition. Then, over time, the disastrous ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "Will he tell the president 'no'?"
This question was at the heart of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's opening statement at Wednesday's confirmation hearing for Christopher Wray, President Trump's nominee as FBI director. Wray was there because the man who appointed him had fired James Comey for failing, as Feinstein put it, to "pledge his ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump has performed a service of sorts to our debate over how the United States views itself and its role in the world. He has reminded the democratic left and the democratic right -- note the small "d" -- that they share more common ground than they often realize about the importance of democracy, the gifts of modernity,...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The most corrosive aspect of Donald Trump's presidency is its rousing success in making our politics ridiculous.
The political class (yes, including columnists) is obsessed with his most unnerving statements, especially on Twitter. These are analyzed as if they were tablets from heaven or the learned pronouncements of a wise elder...Read more
NEW ORLEANS -- During a week when we try to put aside our divisions to celebrate a shared love for our country, we should ponder that we are as badly fractured in approaching history as we are in confronting the present.
There is, of course, a case for using the holiday to shelve our differences altogether. This would be a useful reminder that ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In its current iteration, the Republican Party truly seems to believe that the solution to every problem involves throwing more money at rich people. This explains the health care fiasco in the Senate, and it's why President Trump and Congress have yet to address a single major problem the country faces.
Everything is secondary to...Read more
WASHINGTON -- To succeed in gutting health coverage for millions of Americans, Senate Republican leaders need to get a series of lies accepted as truth. Journalists and other neutral arbiters must resist the temptation to report these lies as just a point of view. A lie is a lie.
Lie One: Democrats and progressives are unwilling to work with...Read more
The Empty PulpitSandra Arrants
Fourteen year old Sherman Thompson has stumbled upon the body of his pastor. Laid out, dead, on the front lawn of the parsonage, Reverend Archibald Temple had a voice of thunder that has been rendered silent forever. Sherman and his sister Grace are determined to find out who killed him and ...
WASHINGTON -- What we learned from Tuesday's special congressional election in Georgia is that there is no magical solution to the country's Trump problem. This will be a long fight.
Karen Handel's victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff was not an endorsement of the president. It was a personal and party success achieved despite him.
Democrats are, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Let it be said that for one lovely moment, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responded exactly as those in authority should to a shocking assault on human lives and our political system. After Wednesday's shooting on a baseball field, both spoke in a spirit of thoughtful solidarity and genuinely ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell once had passionate views about how carefully Congress should consider sweeping changes to the health care system.
"Fast-tracking a major legislative overhaul such as health care reform or a new national energy tax without the benefit of a full and transparent debate does a disservice to the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Britain's election was a catastrophe for Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and a personal vindication for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party's left-wing leader.
It was also the revenge of the young, whose voices go unheard because their turnout is usually low. Britain's new generation taught a lesson to their counterparts ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Succeeding in politics in a democratic nation is different from making a go of it in a business centered on one person -- or in an autocracy. Almost all of President Trump's problems can be traced to his failure to grasp this. It explains why he now has such a big problem with former FBI Director James Comey.
It's not surprising ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The problem with "America First" is that it describes an attitude, not a purpose. It substitutes selfishness for realism.
It implies that nations can go it alone, that we stand for nothing beyond our immediate self-interest, and that we should give little thought to how the rest of humanity thinks or lives. It suggests that if we ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Most of the conservative Republicans opposed to President Trump are writers and policy specialists. Few are politicians -- or, perhaps more precisely, few of the conservative politicians who see Trump as a danger to the nation are prepared to say so in public.
So does this mean that the writerly anti-Trump right is ineffectual? ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We cannot imagine John F. Kennedy on his 100th birthday. For all of us, he will always be a man in his 40s, exuding the vigor that became one of his trademark words, pronounced in his distinctively New England way.
He was a student of history whose rhetoric gloried in the future, challenge and change. He became an icon even though...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump's budget demonstrates the costs of accepting lies as a normal currency in politics, broken promises as a customary way of doing business, false claims of being "populist" as the equivalent of the real thing, and sloppiness as what we should expect from government.
Trump's fiscal plan was described as dead before ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If anyone ever needed a conversion experience -- and fast -- it is President Trump. The issue here is not switching religions. What he could use is an honest examination of his conscience, his attitude toward himself and others, and his approach to what it means to be a leader.
Even to suggest such a possibility seems absurd, more...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There is really only one issue in American politics at this moment: Will we accelerate our way to the end of the Trump story, or will our government remain mired in scandal, misdirection and paralysis for many more months -- or even years?
There is a large irony in the politics behind this question. The Democrats' narrow interest ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump's opponents have spent his administration's first month engaged in an unusual but important debate: Is Trump a problem because he is incompetent or because he harbors autocratic designs that threaten American democracy itself?
At the end of his first 100 days, the debate was tilting toward ineptitude. Trump didn't ...Read more