The Great Debate

What does Eric Cantor’s loss mean? Gridlock until 2023

By Bill Schneider
June 12, 2014

Cantor and Boehner hold a news conference after a Republican Party caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington

Gridlock is likely to rule the federal government until at least 2023.  Why 2023?  Because it may not be until after the 2020 Census that the Democrats have a good chance of regaining control of the House of Representatives.

Benghazi: The zombie scandal

By Suzanne Garment
May 9, 2014

Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the World Affairs Council in Portland, Oregon

We’re not making scandals the way we used to.

The House of Representatives has now voted, virtually along party lines, to create the Benghazi Select Committee that conservatives have long called for. The atmosphere of scandal that has surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton for decades has gotten, at least temporarily, a renewed lease on life.

Boehner: The fight to hold the party line

By Terry Golway
May 2, 2014

U.S. House Speaker Boehner holds a news conference at the Republican National Committee offices in Washington

In his latest attempt to impose discipline on his famously disorderly Republican caucus, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) chose the soft power of public mockery over the more militant promise of private retribution. Speaking at an event in his home state, Boehner lashed out at fellow Republicans who have stymied immigration reform. “Here’s the attitude,” Boehner said of his recalcitrant colleagues. ‘Oooh, don’t make me do this. Oooh, this is too hard.’ ”

Populism? Where are the pitchforks?

By Robert L. Borosage
April 16, 2014

Americans are in a surly mood, confronting rules they feel are rigged against them. President Barack Obama captured this populist temper in his re-election campaign.  He then launched his second term declaring that inequality is the “most pressing challenge of our time,” and laying out a popular agenda to raise the federal minimum wage, provide pay equity for women, establish universal pre-school and other initiatives that polls show the public strongly supports.

Revising Obama’s ‘deporter in chief’ policy

By Herman Schwartz
April 8, 2014

In response to angry complaints from the Latino community about the administration’s deportation policies, President Barack Obama ordered a review in March “to see how to conduct enforcement more humanely.” At the same time, however, White House officials said the administration would neither suspend deportations nor expand the opportunities to stay for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.

America is not broke

By Harry Stein
March 31, 2014

“We’re broke.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Tea Party groups have repeated that phrase so frequently that it must be true, right?

Can Obama circumvent Washington?

By Bill Schneider
January 31, 2014

Washington is broken,” Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, said in September 2008. “My whole campaign has been premised from the start on the idea that we have to fundamentally change how Washington works.”

2014: Another election about Obamacare

By Bill Schneider
December 23, 2013

Here we go again.

2014 will be the third election in a row in which Obamacare is the central issue. The Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, contributed to a fierce voter backlash against Democrats in November 2010. After the Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012, the issue seemed to be settled by Obama’s re-election that November.

Tea Party zealots hold the public debate hostage

By Robert L. Borosage
October 15, 2013

This year’s contrived budget crisis is headed to its climax, as the date for defaulting on the nation’s debt approaches.

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.