The Great Debate

Filling judicial vacancies to protect the progressive legacy

By Herman Schwartz
January 13, 2014

What could never happen, finally did.

For more than 30 years the Democratic Senate caucus feebly stood by as Republicans seized control of the federal courts. Now, however, faced with a GOP filibuster of nominees for three vacancies on the appeals court that could determine the fate of most of President Barack Obama’s initiatives, the Democrats have at last responded.

Punitive politics: Blame the Puritans

By Neal Gabler
December 24, 2013

‘Tis the season of giving, charity and good will — unless you happen to be a Republican, and then ‘tis the season of pusillanimity, churlishness and bad will.

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.

Obamacare’s endless exemptions

By Mitch McConnell
December 20, 2013

Thursday night, the White House announced yet another exemption from the pain Obamacare is causing so many Americans. This latest “fix” would allow some Americans who’ve lost plans to exempt themselves from Obamacare requirements by claiming the law imposes a “hardship” because it’s “unaffordable.”

The Senate after filibuster reform

By Thomas E. Mann
November 25, 2013

The Washington Post editorial page led the charge in denouncing the change in Senate filibuster rules engineered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and 51 of his Democratic colleagues last Thursday. Many other media voices quickly followed suit.

What Democrats have going for them? Republicans

By Bill Schneider
November 7, 2013

Democrats had one thing going for them in the election this week: Republicans. That kept President Barack Obama’s party from faring much worse.

Not ‘court-packing,’ GOP’s aim is ‘court-shrinking’

By Jeff Shesol
November 5, 2013

The party that brought you “death panels” and “socialized medicine” has rolled out another term — carefully selected, like the others, for its power to freak people out. “Court-packing” now joins a Republican rogue’s gallery of poll-tested epithets.

Why the U.S. must lead on Disabilities Treaty

By Bill Frist
November 5, 2013

In an HIV clinic in Africa, a man born deaf holds a single sheet of paper with a plus sign. He looks for help, but no one at the clinic speaks sign language. In fact, the staff doesn’t seem interested in helping him at all.

Post-Partisan: Fixing our ideological divide

By Jonathan Soros
October 28, 2013

As Americans examine the astounding dysfunction of their government, gerrymandering is usually cited as the prime culprit. This narrative offers a compelling villain: venal politicians who draw district boundaries for partisan advantage or to protect their own incumbency.

Post-shutdown: Time for recriminations

By Bill Schneider
October 18, 2013

Recriminations!

It’s a familiar ritual in Washington every time a party loses a battle or a candidate loses an election. Only this time, it could lead to something more serious: A split in the Republican Party.