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The Parties Have Already Devised Their Midterm Messages

January 13, 2014 The gavel has been struck on what has been widely judged to be the least productive session of Congress in history, and now a new one with few, if any, expectations of improvement has commenced. It used to be that this first week of a session was filled with expectations—some ...

Can Democrats Recover From the Obamacare Catastrophe?

December 10, 2013 Most graphs of polling data show shifts that are very gradual. (Tracking real-time changes in poll results often is about as exciting as watching paint dry.) Recently, however, the HuffPost Pollster website produced a graph of national polling on Congress that showed one of the most dramatic shifts I've ever ...

Anti-Incumbent Fever Won't Oust Many Incumbents

November 26, 2013 If you think about it, all the ingredients necessary for a political explosion are in place: Congress's unfavorable ratings are at record-high levels, and, according to Gallup, its favorable ratings are down to 9 percent (who knew members had so many friends and family?). A large segment of the electorate ...

Voters Don't Want to See Anyone Win

November 19, 2013 The day after Election Day 2012, the worst fear for many Republicans was that the GOP’s problems—in terms of the overall party brand and its image among minorities, young people, women, and moderates—would not improve. The biggest concern for many Democrats was that their success had peaked with President Obama’s ...

The GOP Still Hasn't Figured Out How to Get On With the Tea Party

November 11, 2013 Postmortems of odd-year and special elections often suffer from overly broad generalizations that push a particular narrative while overlooking any arguments that get in the way. The instant analyses also tend to suffer from the impulse to extrapolate results and divine great meaning, as if they foreshadow the future. I’ll ...

Obama's Credibility Is At Risk

November 5, 2013 President Obama's allies are alternately wincing over, or shaking their heads at, the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its website, as well as disclosures that U.S. intelligence agencies spied on some of our closest allies. Many of the president's supporters are probably wishing they could avoid watching ...

This Isn't the First Time Obama Ignored Health Care Warnings

October 29, 2013 An eerie familiarity attends the stories of warnings to Obama administration officials that the enormously cumbersome Affordable Care Act was having significant implementation problems and that the website about to be launched was in danger of crashing. The disclosures are a metaphor for the history of this legislation, one that ...

Conservatives, Get a Grip on Reality

October 22, 2013 Here’s a question for conservatives and Republicans: Going into the 2012 Election Day, or even in the last few days before Election Day, did you think Mitt Romney was going to win? A couple of months ago, did you think the strategy of threatening to shut down the government or ...

How Democrats Can Get to Yes

October 15, 2013 Google is a pretty amazing thing. The other day I was thinking about the government-shutdown mess and how it might be resolved, despite the element in the Republican Party, and specifically on Capitol Hill, that remains committed to extending the shutdown as a reasonable tactic in the war on big ...

Why the House GOP Lacks an Electoral Incentive to Compromise

October 8, 2013 Could Republicans lose their House majority if the budget showdown and the upcoming debt-ceiling fight go badly for them? Anything can happen, of course, and the polls showing that Republicans are likely to catch more of the blame than President Obama for Washington's dysfunction are making some Democrats more optimistic ...