Government-shutdown-happy GOP could elect a Democratic House in 2014

As an important story in The Hill suggests, even the conservative Wall Street Journal opinion page scorns the obsessive GOP attacks in the party's latest threats to shut the government down. 

When the Journal editorial board states that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others are charging into fixed bayonets, those bayonets are held by President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (California) and the American people.


Punishing Congress's bad behavior

This month Congress is working hard to lower its 9 percent approval rating, with open talk of prospects for shutting the government down and defaulting on our debt. What is hard to believe is that it's no longer hard to believe. As we long for a functioning government that strengthens our democracy and protects our economy and our leadership role in the world, we continue to wonder how and when our system can be repaired. It starts with holding lawmakers accountable for the disruptions Congress has grown accustomed to creating, according to Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), and punishing them for bad behavior.


Santorum isn't sitting out

Even political junkies have all but forgotten former Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-Pa.) presidential campaign just 18 months ago, erased by Mitt Romney, who defeated him and then went on to defeat himself.

But Santorum is back in Iowa today, where all 2016 wannabes are now regularly making appearances. Santorum is even hitting all his carefully chosen events — GOP fundraising dinners, the state fair and the Christian conservative confab the Family Leader is hosting Saturday in Ames — in the same "Chuck Truck" in which an aide (named Chuck) ferried him through all 99 Iowa counties in back in 2012.

While Republicans are largely touting Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the top 2016 prospects, Santorum told ABC News he believes he offers something different. 


Backlash: Will more high-profile women in public office discourage others from following?

Ten years from now when we look back at this period in political history, I suspect we might see a decline in the number of women running for public office — a theory I shared with Jake Miller of CBS yesterday for an article about women running for the White House in 2016.

I realize this perspective might upset a lot of women’s organizations like She Should Run, EMILY’s List, VIEW PAC and others that are focused on growing the number of women running for higher office. But there are some very real reasons to be concerned.


New generation rising: Nancy Mace’s perfect timing (Lindsey Graham vs. Nancy Mace)

Youth wants to know: Would John McCain vote for Lady Gaga, Bono or Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats? Anthony Weiner? Huma? 

It seems certain he would vote for Hillary in opposition to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R). Is it her sublime record as secretary of State? No: They share the same generation and times, and both hope against hope to keep the rising generation at bay to legitimize their own halcyon days of mayhem and misadventures, quickly passing into oblivion.


Eastern establishment vs. the Texas Century: Rick Perry should lead Western conservatism

In the last Republican primary, a division occurred between Western conservatives and Eastern conservatives. As a species, Westerners might be identified as those who instinctively respond positively, innately, traditionally to these principles: states' rights, sound money, constitutional government.

It is a difference of temperament than that which we experience back East, here at “the Hub”, meaning “the center of the universe” where our founding motto was “Our country is the world, our countrymen mankind.”

We see ourselves naturally as conquerors and expect people to do what we like and them to want to be like us. But it changes. It is not hooked to principle but to rising and receding cultural themes of the times; invade the South, Texas and Utah at one time, then smoking dope and gay marriage at a different time. Secretary of State John Kerry presents the Boston archetype — so tall — the liberator, hovering above the little people in the Holy Land. 


Liz Cheney will withdraw, Mike Enzi will be reelected

I guess in Washington, when it comes to Dick and Liz Cheney, the old saying is right: if you want a friend, get a dog. 

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) had every right to expect his friends and supporters the Cheneys to support his reelection. Little did he know that when ambition strikes, loyalty and friendship go out the window. The ancient Washington tradition of backstabbing and betrayal will not work in Wyoming, where if you want a friend, get a friend, which is why the Liz Cheney attack on Enzi is looking like the biggest belly flop since Ford introduced the ill-fated Edsel.


Texas women, American women, global women and the war against women

The voice of the past in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry (R), signs an anti-choice bill that will force the closing of many women's clinics. The voice of the future in Texas, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), begins her long march to what may become political greatness. America's most popular leader, Hillary Clinton, may soon begin her great march to history. And I suggest something here that I rarely suggest: It is time for a poll.


Eliot Spitzer for president

"This is the way the world ends ..." — The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

This Sunday will have historic resonance: It will be remembered as the first Sunday since Vatican II when women devoutly covered their heads in church. On the front page of The New York Times pious women were pictured who “wore hoodies during a service to remember Trayvon Martin at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan.” A second thing it will be remembered for: Eliot Spitzer. His stride to the presidency starts at State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman.


Wendy Davis + Julian Castro + Hillary Clinton = Texas Blue

If Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) runs for governor in 2014 and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) runs for United States senator in 2014 and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, you read it here first: Texas goes blue in either 2014 or 2016. 

It will be a new day for women in America with a female Texas governor and a female president of the United States. It will be a new day for Hispanics who will not have to revisit the indignities of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) attacking their voting rights in Texas while Republicans seek to destroy fair immigration reform in Washington.