She’s running. You betcha. I heard her come close to saying it outright today. I wasn’t drunk and I assure you I’m not delusional. Gov. Sarah Palin all but announced her bid for the Republican nomination for 2012. I don’t see why the CNN commentators seemed so befuddled as to her reasons after the announcement unless they’d had one too many martinis at lunch.
As the country celebrates another Independence Day weekend, it’s worth stepping back from our hot political debates to ask a question: How free is America?
Since last July 4, the country has seen the changing of the guard in the White House — with accompanying changes in policies on everything from war to the environment to health care to the economy. Those changes have sparked cries of tyranny from the right and angry rebuttals from the left.
So how free is America? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, consider the question.
Toward the end of last year’s election, I turned to a young African-American acquaintance and said, "If Barack Obama wins, you can kiss goodbye to affirmative action, or what’s left of it after 20 years of Supreme Court cases whittling it away.
"Really?" she said, "You think so? I don’t agree." I responded, "Would you think affirmative action for women should have been sustained if Sen. Clinton had won the Democratic nomination and the White House?" "I may not agree with you, but I get your point," she responded.
Al Franken, the comedian turned politician, should be right at home in Congress, which humorist Will Rogers once described as the greatest collection of his type in the world.
"Every time they tell a joke, Rogers said, ”it becomes a law and every time they pass a law it becomes a joke."
Half of the states in the United States no longer require high school graduates to have a basic knowledge of civics. One of every three Americans is unable to name the three branches of government.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor think this is a crisis.
They are working to try to educate young Americans about the role of courts in our society. Otherwise, they argue, we risk politicizing the courts and losing the checks and balances the founding fathers valued above all else.
Punditry is easy. Policy is hard.
OK, to be fair, writing articles and speeches that are powerful and persuasive is a demanding job. But crafting sound policy adds layers of complexity.
Example: President Kennedy pledged that Americans will "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Very inspiring. But try translating that into policies toward Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Russia, China and Venezuela. That’s tough.
Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth yesterday canceled plans for a series of policy dinners at her home after learning that marketing fliers offered corporate underwriters access to Post journalists, Obama administration officials and members of Congress in exchange for payments as high as…