Tag Archives: Campaign promises

A Chance to Split Religious Leaders from their Voters?

A glimpse at mainstream conservative news sites would convince anyone that the Obama administration’s proposed contraception rule — which purports to require church-affiliated institutions and hospitals, but not places of worship themselves, to provide free contraception through their employee health plans — means the President stands to reap a whirlwind of fundamentalist backlash as the […]

Indefinite Detention, and Our Unlikely Ally in the Fight

At the close of the last year, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, which includes language that commentators claim, not unfairly, would permit the indefinite detention of even American citizens by a willing administration. The operative sections permit “detention under the law of war without trial until the end […]

Let the King Reign

Yesterday’s Times profile on the history of that quintessentially American tradition — the peaceful, loyal succession — ought to raise a question for today’s Democrats. Has the tradition been followed in this administration, in fact as well as in form? And if not, what can we say about it? Consider Senator McCain’s dignified concession speech that night […]

Chemistry, Timing, and the Transformative Presidency

Certainly without knowing it, President Obama, in this pre-inaugural picture plucked from the New York Times, manages to pull off a fair impression of the famous classical statue, the Augustus of the Primaporta, matching almost perfectly the second Caesar’s raised arm, held either to indicate a more prosperous future and recovery from Rome’s century of civil […]

The Post-War on Terror Republican Party

Moammar Ghadafi’s death comes as just the most recent in a string of events putting the lie, conclusively, to the notion that Democrats are too weak, diplomatic, even-tempered, internationalist, or what-have-you to lead the American military. And every day the country survives without a terrorist attack counts as one more blow to the theory that […]

Campaign for the Unemployed

With unemployment at 9%, we should take two lessons. First, this is untenable long term. And second, Democrats should make every effort to win the trust (and the votes) of this unfortunately large demographic. Unemployed Americans are a natural Democratic constituency. They’ve been wronged by corporate interests, and feel the system — the unrestrained free […]

The Good Guys, and the Excuses We Make For Ignoring Them

Permit me to indulge in a bit of idealism. I spent the close of last night reading Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games — and I’ll explain. It’s a series of young adult books that, like Harry Potter and Ender’s Game, made the crossover and gained some popularity among the older and wiser set. In […]

Allocating Blame Between a Willing President, and an Unwilling Law

Consider it a metonym for larger questions on the economy, the war on terror, and beyond: if we have a President who’s made his policy position clear, do we blame him, or others, when the law prevents him from making good on a promise? Here’s the story. Two men married in Massachusetts, one an American, the […]


Saddled with an opposition that relentlessly avoids the appearance or actuality of substance, and which tries at every turn to push the country farther right than their thin mandate should support, even at the expense of the country’s fiscal integrity, this President has somehow continued to speak in substantive, positive, centrist terms. After the hard-right […]

Some Thoughts on Being in Power

In a few weeks’ time, we’re going to be filing a complaint against the federal government for, well, a stereotypically liberal cause, arguing a stereotypically liberal claim. It goes without saying that we’re absolutely, 100% going to win — really! Or we should. But a reaction I’ve had while preparing is, didn’t we put our […]