Third Way Perspectives

Subscribe via RSS

Posts Tagged ‘conservatives’

Polar Politics

January 7th, 2014

by

All politics is national. Tip O’Neill’s famous maxim, “All politics is local,” which he said he learned from his father in 1935, no longer applies.

Political parties in every corner of the country have become nationalized. There used to be very liberal Democrats in New York and very conservative Democrats in Texas. No more. Now Democrats are the progressive party everywhere. There used to be liberal Republicans in the Northeast — Senators Jacob Javits from New York, Lowell Weicker from Connecticut. No more. Now Republicans are the conservative party everywhere.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can States’ Rights Work for Liberals?

December 5th, 2013

by

Can states’ rights work for liberals? It has always been a conservative cause. Conservatives use states’ rights to resist federal policies that protect civil rights, voting rights, and abortion rights. Today, however, federal action is often blocked. So progressive states are passing laws that bypass gridlocked Washington and advance the liberal agenda on their own.

In his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, Barack Obama criticized pundits who “like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states.” His rejoinder: “I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.”

Obama was wrong. Americans have become more and more politically segregated over the past 50 years. Since the 1960s, politics has come to reflect lifestyle and values, and people often choose to live among others who share their lifestyle and values. And therefore their politics.

Read the rest of this entry »

Unity Has Failed

June 4th, 2012

by

This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Can President Obama get reelected the same way President Bush did in 2004? The recall election in Wisconsin on Tuesday will give us a pretty good idea.

Bush got reelected with a base strategy. He rallied conservatives with an “us versus them” campaign. Republicans demonized John Kerry and tried to discredit Democrats as soft on terrorism. It was an intensely divisive campaign that embittered the electorate. Read the rest of this entry »

Look to ’94 Crime Bill to Solve Budget Crisis

June 16th, 2011

by

This piece was originally published in The Hill.

The FBI reported that crime took another dip last year. That came as a surprise, because conventional wisdom held that crime rates track the economy: fewer jobs, more crime.

But the decline in the crime rate is not a one year blip. In the last fifteen years, the number of murders in America declined by one-third, assaults by one-fourth, and car thefts by one-half.[i]

Is there a lesson here for the budget debate? Just as the budget is the dominant, intractable, insoluble problem today, so was crime in the 1990s. Just as a major deal on an anti-crime package seemed improbable then, a major deal on the budget seems a pipedream today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bush tax cuts reverse party lines

August 24th, 2010

by

This piece was originally published in Politico.

The next big issue on the congressional agenda is a real humdinger: the Bush tax cuts.

This is one issue on which Republicans can’t “just say no.” If Congress fails to act by the end of the year, the Bush tax cuts will expire. And Republicans will have enabled a major tax hike.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Tea Party: Goldwater 2.0

April 24th, 2010

by

This piece was originally published in National Journal.

If you are of a certain age, the “tea party” movement may evoke a distant memory, the takeover of the Republican Party by Barry Goldwater’s supporters in 1964. The two political movements share the same driving force — not personal discontent, but ideological outrage.

Read the rest of this entry »