The Great Debate

America: The anecdotal nation

By Neal Gabler
April 14, 2014

In America today, anecdotes have become the new facts.

Consider Obamacare. Opponents have produced ads featuring apparently ordinary Americans telling stories about the travails forced upon them by the Affordable Care Act. One ad, financed by the Koch brothers, highlighted a leukemia sufferer named Julie Boonstra, who claimed that Obamacare had raised the cost of her medications so much that she was faced with death! Pretty dramatic stuff — except that numerous fact-checkers found she would actually save $1,200 under Obamacare.

Reagan’s true legacy: The Tea Party

By Craig Shirley
February 6, 2014

 

Challenging the status quo is the correct condition of American conservatism.

At the end of the American Revolution, Benjamin Rush, who had signed the Declaration of Independence, vowed that though the war with Great Britain was over, the Revolution would go on.

Obama’s address: Borrowing from Bubba and the Gipper

By David Kusnet
January 29, 2014

Many presidents don’t have the problem of salvaging their second terms because the voters threw them out of office. Among those who win reelection, the successful communicators, such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, used many of the techniques that President Barack Obama deployed in his State of the Union Address last night. He is likely to repeat them often this year, which is one that will determine whether his administration is remembered as transformational or transitional.

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.

Troubled Ties: The Clintons and populism

By Bill Schneider
January 6, 2014

What’s behind the sudden outburst of populism in the Democratic Party?

Partly the weak economic recovery. Most economic indicators have turned positive — economic growth is up, unemployment down, the housing market is in recovery. But ordinary Americans are not feeling it. In last month’s CNN poll, two thirds of Americans said the nation’s economy was poor. More than half expect it to remain poor a year from now.

But can the GOP revise the party?

By Bill Schneider
August 21, 2013

The temptation for political parties to rewrite the rules after every defeat is irresistible. The Republican National Committee did not resist when it met in Boston last weekend. The committee passed a resolution aimed at limiting and controlling the 2016 primary debates.

Why Russia won’t deal on NATO missile defense

By Yousaf Butt
June 17, 2013

President Barack Obama meets with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Mexico, June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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.

Conservatives versus the GOP

By Craig Shirley
May 20, 2013

President Ronald Reagan (L), President George W. Bush (R, Top) and George H.W. Bush (R, Bottom) Reuters/Files

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Not in the spirit of Hayek

By Nicholas Wapshott
May 14, 2013

It has been a bad couple of weeks for conservative social scientists. First a doctoral student ran the numbers on the study by Harvard’s Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff that underpins austerity and deep public spending cuts as a cure for the Great Recession and found it full of errors. Then a policy analyst, Jason Richwine, who angered Senate Republicans trying to pass immigration reform with a one-sided estimate of the cost of making undocumented workers citizens, was obliged to clear his desk at the Heritage Foundation when it became known his Harvard dissertation suggested Hispanics had lower intelligence than “the white native population.”