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.
Which of our two great political parties is the stronger? Maybe it makes more sense to ask which of the two is weaker.
Mark Sanford's heralded engagement to Maria Belen Chapur is apparently over. The rep from South Carolina released the news to America through a Facebook post. That's how Chapur found out, too.
Another week is down the drain in the race for the Senate, and while our overall outlook is unchanged — a five to eight seat gain for the GOP — some of our ratings are in need of adjustments.
One of these comes as a surprise, as Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is proving to be quite resilient.
Conservatives rightly point out that America is a nation of laws. No one should be exempt. That's why many oppose amnesty and other paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are here now.
"If they want to be in America," the argument goes, "they ought to return to their own countries and apply for a visa legally. America should not reward law breaking."
That sounds sensible -- but what happens when the immigrant does that, goes to the U.S. embassy and says, I'd like to work in America legally?
The tea party mantra, "I want my country back," resonates with many. The racial undertones can be ugly (as well as pointless). But the longing for an economically secure America centered on a strong middle class is on point and widely shared.
Older and mostly white members of the far right tend to see themselves as model Americans who worked hard, saved up and played by the rules. They may have done all the above, but many also have no idea of how easy they had it.
Iraq, immigration, inversion. On all three of the issues referred to, President Obama finds himself forced by events to do something he dislikes -- and he's in trouble with much of his Democratic Party base for doing so.
Minutes after President Barack Obama concluded his strong and sensible address explaining how he intends to destroy the terrorist organization the Islamic State, Republicans popped up on television like political snipers. He should have kept a "residual force" in Iraq, complained Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and he is to blame for the Islamic State's advances. He sounds just like George W. Bush, gloated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and he is reluctantly enacting the advice of Dick Cheney.
"Twentieth-century technology," writes economic historian Joel Mokyr in the Manhattan Institute's excellent City Journal, "was primarily about 'large' things."
Large in physical size, that is. Mokyr's examples include the diesel engine and the gas turbine, shipping containers, communications satellites launched by giant rockets, oil-drilling platforms, massive power stations, giant steel mills and huge airplanes.
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There's this scene in Shakespeare where the straight-talking Rosalind tries to make sense of Jaques, a guy who travels all the time and is plagued by melancholy.