The Great Debate

The power in a president’s mandate

By William E. Leuchtenburg
October 16, 2013

The controversy over responsibility for the government shutdown has brought about one surprising consequence: a debate over the meaning of the term “presidential mandate.”

The budget is its own ‘debt ceiling’

By Daniel Alpert and Robert Hockett
October 10, 2013

It could be that President Barack Obama and the Republican House of Representatives will again be able to avert fiscal and financial chaos through a short-term, ad hoc agreement on government funding and the “debt ceiling” limit. This would be good news for the world and its markets.

Why this shutdown isn’t like 1995

By Hedrick Smith
October 4, 2013

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.

Shutdown: A fight with no room for compromise

By Bill Schneider
October 2, 2013

To end the government shutdown, all Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) needs to do is let the House of Representatives vote on a budget. It would pass within 30 minutes. Virtually all 200 House Democrats would vote to keep the government open, as would as many as 50 Republicans. An easy majority.

from David Rohde:

The key stumbling blocks U.S. and Iran face

By David Rohde
September 28, 2013

A historic phone call Friday between the presidents of the United States and Iran could mark the end of 34 years of enmity.

Obama’s flawed case for a Syria strike

By Ari Melber
September 3, 2013

We should not bomb Syria without a vital national security interest and a precise foreign policy objective.

The Supreme Court’s race impatience

By David Dante Troutt
June 28, 2013

ILLUSTRATION: Matt Mahurin

As Tuesday’s decision gutting the heart of the Voting Rights Act made clear, it is June and a slim conservative majority of Supreme Court justices is again impatient with race.

Congress should lead on Syria

By Bennett Ramberg
June 7, 2013

Civilians hold up pictures of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and of his father, Syria’s late president Hafez al-Assad (R), as they celebrate in Qusair June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Rami Bleibel

Seeking a smarter approach to the budget

By Senator Roy Blunt
May 30, 2013

Capitol Building in Washington, February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Sequestration grew out of a political impasse: Republicans refused to raise the government’s borrowing limit in 2011 without starting to bring spending under control, but Democrats refused to make choices about where to cut spending.

The Internet’s man in Washington

By Nancy Scola
May 9, 2013

How Darrell Issa, a San Diego Republican, became Web advocates’ closest, and most perplexing, ally in Congress.