The Big Question: What does The Hill/ANGA poll mean?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:

What does The Hill and ANGA poll mean for control of the House?

See the poll here.


Letter to Congress: change in rhetoric important for upcoming election

Dear Candidate for Congress:

We are all former Members of Congress - and all partisans. We do not recoil from the term, or from the concept of partisanship.

Although political parties were not mentioned in the Constitution or considered directly by the Framers, they have been a core part of American democracy from the beginning and are central to every democracy. Parties are the way we organize to debate our differences; the way we organize Congress to do its work; the way we organize to offer citizens choices in elections. They pave the way for the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.


There is still more work to do with Vietnam (Rep. Jeff Fortenberry)

Last week, the U.S. government highlighted the compilation by State Department historians of a comprehensive record of U.S. Southeast Asia policy from 1946-1975, including policy related to our long and complex relationship with Vietnam.  As Secretary of State Clinton noted in her address to an assembly of distinguished diplomats and scholars, “the lessons of that era continue to inform the decisions we make.” 


The McClellan Flip

The popular Union General George McClellan, who as the Democratic candidate promised to end the Civil War by negotiating with the Confederacy, lost to Abraham Lincoln in 1864 because of the Union's military successes in the field. Lincoln wanted to persist in fighting to total victory. The presidential election of 2012 may see a reversal of roles: a popular general could make a campaign issue of the winning the Afghan War, while an apparently timid President grapples with his promise to begin drawing down the troops by August 2011.


A dose of political humility would help in fixing the economy

While Congress was on vacation, unemployment crept up to 9.6 percent nationwide. For District of Columbia, it was even worse with a rate of 9.9 percent in August. The economy, after all of the rhetoric, finger-pointing and stimulus, has moved all the way from "free-fall" to "standing still."


Why 2010 doesn’t have to be a repeat of 1994

Political analysts routinely argue that we are heading for a 'wave' election come November. But my 1994 Congressional re-election defeat in Kansas suggests that waves aren’t inevitable, and that there are several lessons that incumbents today might apply to their races if they hope to survive in this tough political climate.


The Congressional Republicans' Pledge: What if the Rubber Hit the Road?

Last night, we got a preview of the Congressional Republican “Pledge to America.” This morning – at a small business that would likely benefit from the President’s plan to help small businesses – they unveiled the full thing. As news reports have already noted, there weren’t many new ideas in it, and the document was largely fluff obscuring a return to the same old special interest policies that caused this recession.  But a close look at what the real-life implications of their “pledge” would be if enacted are nothing short of alarming:


Fair elections – a bipartisan boon

This week, for the first time in decades, Congress has a chance to clean up its own house through the Fair Elections Now Act.  Some may think that this bill will only benefit one party but history has shown that Fair Elections will be a boon to candidates of all political stripes.  And a greater selection of candidates is good for voters.