How did one of our great political parties become so ruthless, so willing to embrace scorched-earth tactics even if so doing undermines the ability of any future administration to govern? The key point is that ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern.
Joe Conason on the return of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
As Clinton himself pointed out, the same forces that wanted to defeat and destroy his administration have predictably mobilized against Obama. For the moment, however, those forces cannot muster the same kind of concerted attack that almost brought Clinton down. They may still have Scaife's money but they have no independent counsel, like the partisan zealot Kenneth Starr. They have no scandal-mongering allies in the mainstream media, like the late William Safire of the New York Times. They have no congressional majority, and nobody like Newt Gingrich to build and lead one -- at least not yet.
Roger Cohen on why Europeans don't understand the American debate over health care.
Whatever may be right, something is rotten in American medicine. It should be fixed. But fixing it requires the acknowledgment that, when it comes to health, we’re all in this together. Pooling the risk between everybody is the most efficient way to forge a healthier society. Europeans have no problem with this moral commitment. But Americans hear “pooled risk” and think, “Hey, somebody’s freeloading on my hard work.”