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WASHINGTON — Stay wide awake in the coming weeks. This is a historic moment when all of the divisions, misunderstandings and hatreds of President Obama’s time in office have come to a head. We are in a different place than we were. We are also in a place we were bound to get to eventually.
WASHINGTON — Republican leaders in the House and Senate have made clear that they'll deploy every weapon in the legislative arsenal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They'll try to chip away at the taxes that support it and abolish the mandates that make its insurance markets work.
WASHINGTON — For Democrats, the 2014 election was not the 2010 Republican landslide. It was worse.
WASHINGTON — President Obama has always had a thing about hope as an antidote to cynicism.
BOSTON — Seth Moulton, an Iraq veteran and Democratic congressional candidate on Massachusetts' North Shore, has done something with little precedent in political campaigning: He was caught underplaying his war record.
BURLINGTON, N.C. — The clergy gathered in the second-floor conference room at the First Baptist Church here were pondering whether this midterm election might be different from other midterm elections.
WASHINGTON — Over the last decade, Americans' views on foreign policy have swung sharply from support for intervention to a profound mistrust of any military engagement overseas. Over the same period, political debates on foreign affairs have been bitter and polarized, defined by the questio…
WASHINGTON — In 1937, Franklin Roosevelt went to Chicago to give one of the most celebrated speeches of his presidency. Pushing against isolationist sentiment, he condemned the “unjustified interference in the internal affairs of other nations” and “the invasion of alien territory in violati…
WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be a slam dunk issue for the Republicans in this fall’s elections. Karl Rove told us so in April, writing that “Obamacare is and will remain a political problem for Democrats.”
WASHINGTON — When does Congress become so embarrassed by its laughably low approval ratings that its leaders decide to pass laws to make our country a modestly better place? Is there a plain vanilla agenda that might pass muster across party lines?
WASHINGTON — If you attack the president repeatedly for law-breaking, executive overreach and deceiving the public and Congress, do you have an obligation to impeach him? This is the logical question Republicans are now trying to duck.
WASHINGTON — You cannot talk for very long to a conservative these days without hearing the words "constitutional" and "constitutionalist."
WASHINGTON — “There is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats.”
WASHINGTON — The infinitely valuable Yiddish word "chutzpah" is defined as "shameless audacity" or "impudence."
WASHINGTON — In 1961, John F. Kennedy said: “In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Anyone with a weak stomach and refined sensibilities should stay out of Kentucky for the next six months.
WASHINGTON — To understand why religious freedom matters, put yourself in the position of someone who is part of a minority faith tradition in a town or nation that overwhelmingly adheres to a different creed. Then judge public practices by how they would affect the hypothetical you.
WASHINGTON — Have we gone stark raving mad?
CHICAGO — The Democrats' biggest strategic challenge in maintaining control of the U.S. Senate involves motivating the party's base while simultaneously attracting swing and even Republican voters in contests being waged in conservative states.
WASHINGTON — We are at a point where we will soon have vicious ideological debates over motherhood and apple pie.
WASHINGTON — Finding a way out of our current political impasse requires some agreement on what problems we need to solve. If anything should unite left, center and right, it is the value of work and the idea, in Bill Clinton’s signature phrase, that those who “work hard and play by the rule…
WASHINGTON — You never get a second chance to make a first impression. But at the end of this month, the new health care law will get a third chance to make a decent impression — finally.
WASHINGTON — Religion makes a lot of mistakes.
WASHINGTON — Certain political cliches cry out to join the list of the biggest lies in the world. Today's candidate: Partisan politics stops at the water's edge.
WASHINGTON — Social and religious conservatives should have been the first to oppose the Arizona Legislature’s effort to allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds.
WASHINGTON — The law is supposed to solve problems, not create them. Laws should provide for as much clarity as possible, not expand the realms of ambiguity and subjectivity. Laws ought to bring about the practical results their promoters claim they’ll achieve. And at its best, the law can h…
WASHINGTON — One of my favorite moments during the 2012 Republican presidential contest came when Ron Paul, fresh from his strong showing in Iowa, triumphantly told his supporters: “We’re all Austrians now!”
WASHINGTON — One of the best arguments for health-insurance reform is that our traditional employer-based system often locked people into jobs they wanted to leave but couldn’t because they feared they wouldn’t be able to get affordable coverage elsewhere.
WASHINGTON — It was a bittersweet briefing that told us exactly where the Obama administration finds itself at the dawn of its sixth year.
WASHINGTON — What is the greatest fear of conservatives when they warn against the dangers of big government? It is that a leader or the coterie around him will abuse the authority of the state arbitrarily to gather yet more power, punish opponents and, in the process, harm rank-and-file cit…
WASHINGTON — I have no desire to smoke marijuana, partly because doing so might drive me back to the cigarette habit I broke two decades ago. I don’t want to be one of those “cool parents” who pretend to be as culturally advanced as their kids. In my case, that’s a ridiculous aspiration anyway.
WASHINGTON — Why are we arguing about issues that were settled decades ago? Why, for example, is it so hard to extend unemployment insurance at a time when the jobless rate nationally is still at 7 percent, and higher than that in 21 states?
WASHINGTON — “Has this been the worst year of your presidency?”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The debate over the Affordable Care Act can stay small, focusing on website failures and other short-term difficulties facing the law. Or it can get bigger, with wider insurance coverage seen as part of a larger struggle for social justice in a nation growing steadily less equal.
WASHINGTON — Christianity has often been used over the centuries to prop up the powerful. But from the beginning, the Christian message has been subversive of political systems, judgmental toward those at the top, and demanding of all who take it seriously.
WASHINGTON — Those who lament the Senate Democrats’ vote to end filibusters for presidential nominations say the move will escalate partisan warfare and destroy what comity is left in Congress. Some also charge hypocrisy, since Democrats once opposed the very step they took last week.
WASHINGTON – President Obama is furiously fending off those “winter of discontent” stories, and it’s not even winter yet.
WASHINGTON — If you’re a conservative strongly opposed to abortion, shouldn’t you want to give all the help you can to women who want to bring their children into the world? In particular, wouldn’t you hope they’d get the proper medical attention during and after their pregnancy?
WASHINGTON — The center of gravity in American politics moved left in Tuesday’s off-year elections.
DALE CITY, Va. — Bill Clinton, the nation’s politician in chief, is on a roll on behalf of his friend Terry McAuliffe, the front-runner in Tuesday’s election for governor of Virginia.
WASHINGTON — Obamacare is working.
WASHINGTON — Seeing our government and our creditworthiness held hostage to the demands of a right-wing minority is infuriating. It’s also heartbreaking.
WASHINGTON — The Tea Party Republicans should hang a “Mission Accomplished” banner across the House of Representatives. They could flank it with large portraits of Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who has in fact, if not in name, replaced John Boehner as speaker of the House. The right-wi…
WASHINGTON — The coming battles over budgets, the debt ceiling, a government shutdown and Obamacare are not elements of a large political game. They involve a fundamental showdown over the role of government in stemming rising inequality and making our country a fairer and more decent place.
WASHINGTON — The debate over Syria is a jumble of metaphors, proof that every discussion of military action involves an argument about the last war. Yet beneath the surface, the fight in Congress over President Obama’s proposed strike against Bashar al-Assad’s regime is a struggle to break f…
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama surely didn’t want to offer his commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on a day dominated by rumors of war. An armed conflict with the Syrian government, even of limited duration, was never part of Ob…
WASHINGTON — The things we forget about the March on Washington are the things we most need to remember 50 years on.
WASHINGTON — Whenever I write sympathetically about religion, I get bombarded by tweets and notes from readers who normally agree with me but cannot abide the idea that religious belief should be seen as intellectually serious.
WASHINGTON — The rapid evolution of attitudes toward gay marriage is a wonder to behold.
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder has opened what will be an epic battle over whether our country will remain committed to equal rights at the ballot box. In a display of egregious judicial activism in late June, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Right…