The Great Debate

Party opinion usurps public opinion

By Bill Schneider
May 21, 2013

We are witnessing the slow death of public opinion in this country.  It’s being displaced by party opinion.

Right-wing talk shows turned White House blue

By Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell
April 11, 2013

Talk isn’t cheap, as Republicans have learned. The conservative talk show culture is proving expensive for GOP presidential hopefuls.

Obama’s budget bid for a ‘grand bargain’

By David M. Walker
April 10, 2013

President Barack Obama’s budget, released Wednesday, is getting a lot of criticism from ideologues on the right and left. That is one of the most encouraging things about it.

The price of defying your base

By Bill Schneider
April 8, 2013

Defying your base is always risky. It can either bring you down — or it can make you look stronger.

A politics of ‘unreliable narrators’

By Jennifer Gilmore
April 3, 2013

An unreliable narrator cannot be trusted.

He comes in many guises. There is the delusional unreliable narrator, like Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, unaware of how the reader and the other characters perceive him. There is the mad narrator, as in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. There are the unreliable narrators who lie to themselves to make the unreality appear real. Middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert in Lolita famously lies to the jury and to himself,  believing his sexual affair with the drastically under-aged Lolita is not criminal. Yet Vladimir Nabokov, the author, gives a wink to  the reader: We know the protagonist is not being honest with himself.

2014: The Democrats’ dilemma

By Robert L. Borosage
March 18, 2013

Washington has been fascinated by Republican self-laceration since the 2012 election. Karl Rove triggered a circular firing squad by vowing to take out unwashed challengers in GOP primaries. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal begged Republicans to stop being the “stupid party.” Strategists say the party can’t survive as stale, pale and male. Tea Party legislators knee-cap GOP congressional “leaders” and well-funded political PACs strafe any who dare deviate from the party’s unpopular gospel. Republicans are even talking about changing “Grand Old Party” to something more fashionable.

Jindal’s model for tax reform

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
March 14, 2013

With dueling budgets being introduced on Capitol Hill this week, the possibility of tax reform is the talk of Washington. As we predicted before last November’s elections, tax reform will be on the agenda in 2013 – but has its best chances in the states. We are seeing that demonstrated Thursday by Louisiana’s Republican governor, Bobby Jindal.

from Judgement Call:

The fiscal crisis nears – or not

March 12, 2013

Few economists preach spending cuts as a cure for high unemployment. Yet that’s exactly what Congress decided when it imposed, starting March 1, across-the-board spending cuts (the “sequester”). Despite Friday’s mildly upbeat jobs numbers, the economy remains limp, with 15 million or so unemployed individuals who want to work. Federal spending cuts won’t make their plight any better.

Obama’s political options

By Bill Schneider
March 11, 2013

Fiscal crisis? What fiscal crisis? The stock market is up, unemployment is down and the deficit is shrinking.

California v. Texas in fight for the future

By Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Douglas Jeffe
March 8, 2013

It is not a national election year, but the “red state versus blue state” wars continue. Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent foray into California, to lure away businesses and jobs, signals more than a rivalry between these two mega-states. The Texas-California competition represents the political, economic and cultural differences driving American politics today – and for the foreseeable future.