The differences between an ideologue -- someone who subscribes completely to a political ideology (whether conservative or liberal) and a pragmatist -- someone who is concerned almost exclusively with the practical results of a specific public policy -- is the biggest divide in American politics.
Simply stated, the ideologue believes that ...Read more
Baseball is back, and not a moment too soon. America -- and especially Washington -- in 2021 desperately needs the values and the constancy of baseball. Nobody put baseball better than did war hero, team owner and American original Bill Veeck: "Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even ...Read more
Shortly after the cooling of the earth when I was a younger man, I managed political campaigns for Governor, for mayor, for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Some of my candidates, in spite of my brilliant managing, actually won. I learned early on that the legendary Speaker of the California State Assembly, Jesse "Big Daddy" Unruh, was ...Read more
In the New England where I grew up, March was an unpopular month -- wet, muddy, cold and, with the occasional late-spring snowfall and mud, really ugly. Nobody ever wrote a memorable (or unmemorable) ode to the charms of March.
For this reason, we all about now need a good smile, or even a chuckle, for which I turn, irrespective of party of ...Read more
There has always been something faintly Old Testament about the way we Americans pick our presidents. Remember the first election of the 21st century when, by a 2-to-1 margin in national polls, voters found the country to be "headed in the right direction" and the then-term-limited President Bill Clinton was given a favorable job rating by 65%...Read more
Bill Cohen, the former Republican three-term U.S. senator and U.S. representative from Maine, never lost an election. He was elected to the Bangor City Council before being elected that city's mayor and then winning the first of three terms in the U.S. House. When he was nominated by a new Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to be secretary of ...Read more
While glued to the coverage, both riveting and chilling, of the Senate trial of former President Donald J. Trump, and watching the House prosecutors and the Senate jurors, I kept wondering how much -- or how little -- our elected representatives look like the people and the places they are elected to represent.
For example, Sen. Jon Tester, ...Read more
On April 1, 2018, when Thad Cochran retired after 40 years as a U.S. senator from Mississippi, he made history; Cochran was the last Republican in Congress to have ever voted to increase federal taxes. He had done so on Dec. 19, 1990, when Republican President George H.W. Bush, deeply concerned about the rising federal budget deficit, persuaded ...Read more
Regular readers of this space may recall that I believe Americans are the most optimistic of voters. Think about it: With the exception of those who were already here when Christopher Columbus arrived and those who were brought here against their will in chains, every American is either an immigrant or the direct lineal descendant of immigrants....Read more