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POLITICAL COMMENTARY

  • Democrats Should Be Nicer to the South by Froma Harrop

    MOBILE, Ala. -- It's been noticed by just about everyone except what we call the "liberal establishment" that of the eight Senate seats now up for grabs, four are in the South -- Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina. H. Brandt (Brandy) Ayers, the publisher of The Anniston Star in Alabama, has certainly noticed the neglect. And boy, is he frustrated.

    Ayers is both a staunch liberal and Southern to the core. If the Democratic Party wants to establish a healthy dialogue in the Southern states, he told me, it has to first say, "We like you." Liberals can't just sigh at the troublesome region's sharp move right and say, "That's a Southern thing."

  • Obama Stands Aloof From America's Four Foreign Policy Traditions By Michael Barone

    President Obama's speech at the United Nations last week was "an important turning point in American foreign policy -- and in his presidency." That's the verdict of Brookings Institution scholar and former Clinton White House aide William Galston, a Democrat who has not been an unqualified admirer of this Democratic president's foreign policy.

    Whether Obama's decision to launch air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Khorasan terrorists is a turning point, it was at least a move in the direction of a tradition in American foreign policy that has been conspicuously lacking in his administration.

  • Scots Vote Against Independence, but Controversy Continues in Britain By Michael Barone

    Last week, the voters of Scotland, in a heavy turnout and from age 16 up, decided not to disunite what has been arguably one of the most successful and beneficial nations over the last 307 years, the necessarily clunkily named United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    It was a relatively close-run thing: 45 percent voted for an independent Scotland, just 383,000 fewer than voted for Scotland to remain part of the now-not-necessary-to-be-renamed UK.

  • Kids Who Don't Go to College Also Matter by Froma Harrop

    It shouldn't be this way, but the well-to-do tend to dominate public conversations in this country. The result has been a national preoccupation with the comfort, safety and psychological health of children like theirs -- that is, children who go to college.

    Thus, the students' problems get customized attention. Government asks: How can we protect women on campus from sexual assault? How can we stop students who drink too much or are "underage"?

    It's hard to believe that sexual predators roam more freely at the dorms than in society at large. Or that there's more drunkenness around student hangouts than at working-class bars

  • House 2014: Generic Movement, Specific Standstill By Kyle Kondik

    The national numbers indicate that Republicans should be on the verge of big House gains. But a district-by-district analysis suggests a different story.

  • What the Republicans Chasing Hillary Should Learn From Wile E. Coyote by Joe Conason

    As the Republican right's fear swells in advance of Hillary Clinton's anticipated presidential campaign, conservatives' feverish smears increasingly resemble the desperate gambits of a certain Wile E. Coyote. The latest episode in their cartoonish crusade appeared in The Washington Free Beacon, which headlined "The Hillary Letters" the other day with an ominous subhead: "Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence revealed."

  • Two Anti-Choice Parties By John Stossel

    Democrats often call themselves "pro-choice." Republicans defend "freedom." Unfortunately, neither party really believes in letting individuals do what we want.

    When Democrats say they are "pro-choice," they are talking about abortion. Some act as if a right to legal abortion is the most important freedom in America.

  • Ending Life on Your Terms By Froma Harrop

    The low point of the Obamacare debate -- and there was much probing of the floor -- had to be the "death panel" charge. It was the creepiest in a volley of lies aimed at killing health care reform.

    What was the fuss about? A proposal to pay doctors for time spent talking to patients about the kind of care they wanted in their last days. Such conversations would be entirely voluntary.

  • Why has Immigration Shifted? By Michael Barone

    What should we do about immigration policy? It's a question many are asking, and some useful perspective comes from an article in Foreign Affairs by British-born, California-based historian Gregory Clark, unhelpfully titled, "The American Dream Is an Illusion."

  • American Amnesia: Why the GOP Leads on National Security by Joe Conason

    If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient -- and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.