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The Republican Party is in trouble: In the wake of the presidential election, everybody has said so, and everybody is right. From there, however, a hundred paths diverge and a thousand voices have been heard. The relevant questions are these: How deep is the trouble? How much of it is self-inflicted and how much is

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We’ve both had the honor to work in the White House. We’ve seen presidents, vice presidents, chiefs of staff and national security advisers during moments of international crisis. We know that in these moments human beings make mistakes. There are failures of communication and errors of judgment. Perfection certainly isn’t the standard to which policy

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On May 29, 2009, President Obama gave a speech at the National Archives in which he said the following: Now let me be clear: We are indeed at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates. We do need to update our institutions to deal with this threat. But we must do so with an abiding confidence

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President Obama’s inaugural address was eloquent and moving in parts. It was also deeply partisan and polarizing, something that is unusual for a day normally devoted to unity and common purpose. But not in Barack Obama’s America. In his inaugural speech he did what he seemingly cannot keep himself from doing: portraying himself and his

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In 2000, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was asked to identify the biggest change he had seen in his 40-year political career. Moynihan, a man of unusual sagacity, experience, and perspective, responded this way: “The biggest change, in my judgment, is that the family structure has come apart all over the North Atlantic world.” This change

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I heard from a couple of prominent conservatives yesterday who mentioned to me the pessimism, and even depression, they sense among conservatives throughout the land. That’s understandable, given the results of the 2012 election. Because unlike 2008, this is an election Barack Obama should have lost and that the right fully expected him to lose.

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Since Nov. 6, Republicans have, for perfectly understandable reasons, expressed their deep disappointment with the election results. But even in defeat something significant and positive occurred: Republicans fought Democrats to a draw on the issue of Medicare. That was supposed to be impossible. Republicans were warned that if their nominee made even sympathetic noises about

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Barack Obama has an accountability problem. It’s not simply that during the 2008 campaign he made extravagant promises to heal the planet, slow the rise of the oceans, end political divisions in America, and usher in an era of hope and change. It’s that as a candidate and in the early days of his presidency,

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Why is Barack Obama’s road to re-election so steep and uncertain at this stage? There are five important reasons. 1. An indefensible record. Every election which features an incumbent is, at least in good measure, a referendum on the record of the incumbent. The problem facing Obama is that he can’t offer a convincing case

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In his book The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Robert Caro–in the context of the civil rights struggle–writes this: Johnson refused to compromise. In public, in answer to a press conference question about the possibility of one, he said, “I am in favor of passing it [the bill] in the Senate exactly

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