The Big Question: Can Dems win by running away from Obama?

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

Today's question:

Can Democrats like West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin survive by distancing themselves from Obama?


My vote is not for sale (Rep. Alan Grayson)

(A) "Conservative outside groups" have now spent more than $9 million "slamming vulnerable House Democrats," and (B) the total against me will reach "at least $1.7 million by the end of next week."

Think about that. I am only one member of the U.S. House of Representatives, out of 435. I represent one-quarter of one percent of America. And yet roughly TWENTY PERCENT of spending in the entire country by these shadowy right-wing groups has been spent to


Is Jim DeMint’s hate speech about teachers a teachable moment?

There’s a daily ritual in George Orwell’s book 1984 called the “Two Minutes' Hate,” in which citizens are whipped into a violent frenzy against those who are too different, or too democratic. I was reminded of this scene when I heard what Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) told a church rally recently about who should be barred from teaching in public schools.


Vetting of the president: What political buzzwords tell us about the vote

Recently, the Global Language Monitor (GLM) announced the “Top Buzzwords of the Midterm Election”. GLM found that the buzzwords portrayed a strongly negative narrative that has increasingly entangled the president and his party.

The top ten buzzwords included “narrative”, “lower taxes”, “Obama as a Muslim”, “conservative”, “climate change”, “liberal”, “recession (linked to Obama)”, “Hillary Clinton (related to Obama)”, “Tea Partiers”, and “Obama as aloof, detached, or professorial”. In the interim, GLM has found that “Obama as a smoker” will break into the top ten when the list is updated two weeks hence.


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.