The political battlefield of the current government shutdown looks a lot like the last big shutdown of 1995. But major changes within the Republican Party in Congress -- a weaker leadership, the demise of moderates and two decades of gerrymandering -- could make this year’s endgame far harder.
from The Great Debate:
Here is something that Richard Ben Cramer, the enormously gifted writer who died earlier this week, understood: Politicians are often created in the image of their journalistic portrayals, and when reporters impute opportunism or cravenness to them, they may well be inducing those things -- as well as undermining public confidence in government. Cramer also understood that a more humane, sympathetic analysis might well lead to more humane public servants -- and a deeper faith in government.
from Tales from the Trail:
WASHINGTON - Former U.S. Sen Bob Dole is a leading advocate for war veterans and a longtime Republican ally of presidential candidate John McCain, but on Friday he sided with Democrat Barack Obama to endorse a bill the Arizona senator opposes to raise benefits for former soldiers.