The Great Debate

For Obama’s second Inaugural, skip the poetry

By Michael Waldman
January 18, 2013

President Barack Obama should hope that old adage, “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” isn’t true. In his second Inaugural Address Monday, he has a chance to sharpen his arguments and move the nation in a way that eluded him the first time around.

Boehner resurrects the antebellum South

By Bruce J. Schulman
January 17, 2013

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is now in Williamsburg, Virginia, meeting with his House Republican conference at their annual retreat. The GOP House members have likely gotten over the initial shock of the November elections – in which President Barack Obama won more than 51 percent of the vote and the Democratic majority swelled in the Senate.

When political compromise is suspect

By Bill Bishop
January 7, 2013

The odds are that the extremely close national election wasn’t close at all in the place where you live.

Class war in the new Gilded Age

By Robert L. Borosage
December 21, 2012

2012 was the first class-warfare election of our new Gilded Age. The first since the middle class has come to understand, in the words of new Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), that the “rules are rigged against it.” Business-as-usual may no longer be acceptable.

Fiscal cliff: D.C.’s Mayan apocalypse

By Peter Wolson
December 20, 2012

We are careening toward Dec. 21, 2012, the date of the Mayan apocalypse, when the world is supposed to come to an end through a series of cataclysmic upheavals, according to assorted astrologers and mystics ‑ though not the Mayans themselves, who said it was merely the end of their calendar. We are also hurtling toward the Jan. 1 “fiscal cliff,” when the American economy could re-enter a devastating recession ‑ a man-made mini-apocalypse.

How Obama seized the narrative

By Evangeline Morphos
December 17, 2012

Barack Obama may finally be defining himself as president. The question is: What took him so long to seize the narrative and find his character as “leader.”

Can Congress pull back from the brink?

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
December 13, 2012

Americans want to see Congress and the president make a deal on the “fiscal cliff,” that noxious mix of expiring tax cuts and mandatory spending slashing due at year’s end. They just don’t think it will happen without a lot of pain, according to recent polls.

Policy debates in the Internet Age

By Jon Peha
December 5, 2012

Technology is changing how power struggles are waged between the White House and Congress. For the last few years, negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders have too often led to stalemate. The battle over how to avert the “fiscal cliff” is the latest example.

Why Congress can’t deliberate

By Lorelei Kelly
December 4, 2012

The new Congress next year will likely inherit high-stakes standoffs over many complicated issues, from financial credibility to immigration. Our elected leaders must be able to make difficult trade-offs and craft policies that reflect the best expert knowledge.

Fighting the filibuster

By Ari Melber
December 3, 2012

President Barack Obama recently said Congress should “seize the moment” and summon a majority to push immigration reform. There is only one problem – Congress already did that.