Don't repeat this history
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Looking out from the harbor here, it's easy to imagine a mortar lighting up the night sky as it hurtled toward Fort Sumter and signaled the start of the Civil War. It's also easy, standing inside the walls of the island garrison, to view today's nullification battle over health care less as a frivolous political game and more as a serious threat to the Constitution...
In praise of moral courage
What do Bob Dole, Howard Baker, Pete Domenici, Sam Nunn, Tom Daschle and Chuck Robb have in common? They are all former senators, from both parties, who are working together on such issues as expanding health care, reducing the deficit, controlling nuclear weapons, and promoting energy independence. They prove that bipartisanship is not some impossible goal dreamed up by egghead professors and editorial writers...
Pitchfork Barry at the gates
Coming soon to your radio, television, Twitter feed, YouTube screen and Facebook wall: Pitchfork Barry, the People's Friend! Over the last week, the president has been flight-testing a populist pitch that tries to rekindle the loyalty and enthusiasm that propelled him into the White House. The tone might be new for the Cool One, but he's following the oldest script in the Democrats' canon: the Little Guy vs. Big Business, Main Street vs. Wall Street, Us vs. Them...
An American tableau
Every so often in Washington, politicians pack up the poison and do something that just makes you feel good about America. That happened recently at the swearing-in ceremony for Surgeon General Regina Benjamin when partisanship was put aside and pride in this doctor and the Public Health Service that she now heads was cause for celebration...
Winning battles, losing wars
President Obama has sold his overhaul of the healthcare system to the American Congress. But selling it to the American people poses one of his biggest tests for 2010. Last week, Senate Democrats voted yes on health care because they had no choice. They confronted the same irrefutable fact that House Democrats had faced in early November when they passed their own bill by an eyelash. ...
A CLASS Act deserves support
We are the lucky ones. Not only are we blessed with two mothers in their 90s -- we are doubly blessed with mothers whose resources cover their care. That's not the norm in America, where the aging population's need for long-term care imposes harsh economic as well as emotional stress on many families. A provision of the health-care bill aims to offer some relief to those families, and we're all for it...
The buck stops nowhere
The good news: Both parties finally agree on an important element of public policy. The bad news: What they agree on is doing nothing real about the deficit. True, the country is still staggering from the hammer blows of a severe recession. With unemployment at 10.2 percent, the administration's first moral--and political--priority should be kick-starting the economy and creating jobs...
War on Fox News diminishes the White House
Presidents usually turn to their secretaries of state for foreign-policy advice. But Barack Obama must have been channeling Hillary Clinton when he decided to attack Fox News. It was Clinton, of course, who blamed her husband's troubles during Monica Madness on a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Now White House communications director Anita Dunn is accusing Fox of operating as "a wing of the Republican Party."...
A whip-smart word wonk
This week marked Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Observant Jews fast until sundown, then celebrate with a festive meal. For more than 30 years, we were privileged to attend a "break fast" party hosted by Bill Safire, convivial (if occasionally cantankerous) conservative columnist, polished (and highly prolific) political pundit and whip-smart word wonk given to lilting (but also lacerating) linguistic legerdemain. ...
Cokie and Steve V. Roberts
Cokie and Steve V. Roberts