The Great Debate

The real IRS scandal

By Herman Schwartz
June 17, 2013

The office for the Internal Revenue Service near Times Square in New York May 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Chip East

Can Christie tackle the partisan divide?

By Bill Schneider
June 10, 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in Asbury Park in New Jersey, May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Democrats must overcome Clinton nostalgia

By Robert L. Borosage
June 3, 2013

President Bill Clinton salutes supporters at a campaign rally Oct. 31, 1996. REUTERS/Archive. 

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.

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.