| Oct 8, 2013
This is the first year in more than four decades that I haven't been in the legislative branch of government. During that span, I've witnessed government's greatest potential as well as its calamitous capacity for dysfunction. Unfortunately, the latter is...
| Oct 16, 2013
God bless Mitch McConnell.
The Senate Republican leader isn't an especially lovable figure. Even many of his fellow conservatives are lukewarm about him.
He's colorless and charisma-free. He's a thoroughgoing partisan who has launched more filibusters...
| Oct 16, 2013
In 1942, the popular detective fiction writer Rex Stout published a book about Congress featuring "the silliest, stupidest and most dangerous statements that have ever been made by men laying claim to being leaders of the American people." The book's...
| Oct 15, 2013
Two different narratives have been at play in Washington lately to explain what caused the government shutdown. In the first, House Republicans are to blame for trying to hold Democrats and the president hostage over a law that was duly passed by...
| Oct 20, 2013
Obama and the Democrats won; Republicans and the tea party lost. And both sides are gearing up for next time.
Now that our recent brush with financial crisis is behind us, it's time to start planning for the next one.
That's the problem Congress set...
| Dec 29, 2013
To err is human. To err twice a week, you have to be a columnist.
In 2012, I cemented my reputation as a pundit by making some notable blunders — predicting, for example, that the presidential election would be too close to call. The race was...
| Nov 3, 2013
Only two weeks ago, President Obama looked like a man on the rise. He and his party had successfully stared down Republicans in a 16-day government shutdown. Voters were angrier at the GOP than any time since, well, the last government shutdown. A...
| Oct 24, 2013
The feeling inside the GOP these days can be summed up in a paraphrase of a line by an old French Marxist: "Hell is other Republicans."
After a government shutdown that was foreseen as a failure even by many of those who haplessly provoked it, the party...
| Dec 22, 2013
"Congress is finishing this year less popular than a cockroach," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the other day. The reason, he charged, was simple: "mindless, knee-jerk obstruction from Republicans."
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) sees things...
| Oct 2, 2013
Last week, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his Republicans declared that they had two clear goals in this fall's battle over federal spending: no government shutdown, and no implementation of Obamacare.
As of Tuesday, the GOP had failed on...
| Oct 13, 2013
The Republican Party is at war with itself. It's divided over how best to shrink the federal budget and how to undo President Obama's healthcare law. It hasn't been notably successful at either, which helps explain why the GOP's standing in the eyes of...