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Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections over the past few weeks, you’d think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country. In reality, they were just a curtain-raiser.
An intriguing conversation about the next step in the fiscal drama is taking place among our elected leaders. At this early point it is mostly at an exploratory level, but it’s no less real for that.
Over the last few weeks, as the deadline for the congressionally mandated budget cuts known as the “sequester” came and went, we got a taste of how difficult cutting federal spending actually turns out to be.
Earlier this year, veteran political writer Thomas Edsall reported an eyebrow-raising fact about Americans’ views toward government.
You know who I feel sorry for? Today’s politicians. You’ll laugh at this, but hear me out.
There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress’s long slide into irrelevance may be slowing.
After Congress came a hair’s breadth from shutting down the Department of Homeland Security a few weeks ago, members of the leadership tried to reassure the American people.
These days, the scandal involving long wait times at VA hospitals can feel like some made-in-Washington spectacle generated by politicians looking for headlines.
change, but so long overdue that it can’t possibly make up for what should have been accomplished on Capitol Hill this year.
The rigors of the campaign are still fresh, but for newly elected House members and senators, the hard part is just beginning. Already, they’re inundated with advice on the issues they’ll be facing: the fiscal cliff, crises overseas, how to behave in a highly partisan Congress.
The election of 2012 has called attention to how difficult it is for Americans to talk reasonably with one another about public policy challenges. Our civic dialogue — how we sort through issues and reason with one another — is too often lamentable.
I was first elected to Congress in 1964. That was the year Lyndon Johnson won a full term as president in a landslide. If ever a president had a popular mandate to pursue his goals, it was LBJ in the few years that followed that election.
There are lots of ways in which members of Congress differ from the American people.
As the presidential candidates go at it over the next several months, we’ll be hearing a lot about what the federal government ought to be doing.
Americans get angry when they learn of government bureaucrats spending lavishly at a Las Vegas hotel or Secret Service agents consorting with prostitutes. As well they should. Such conduct wastes money and drains Americans’ respect for their government.