I love the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as much as anyone. It's great to have family visit and take some time to talk and visit and just be together. There's the added bonus that comes from a warm glow of nostalgia lingering from long-ago Thanksgiving dinners at Nana and Grampa's.
In the wake of the midterm elections, many are now speculating about what will happen to President Obama's health care law with a Republican Senate. However, all the partisan talk misses the point. In America, change does not come from politicians. It comes from the American people and the popular culture.
Little noticed by the Washington press corps is the extent of the Republican State legislative gains in Election 2014. A quick trip to the enormously informative Ballotpedia.org website provides the numbers that the DC reporters overlooked.
Political pundits often miss the forest for the trees, and it's amazing how things look when you pause for a moment to look at the broader context of the 2014 midterm elections. The short-term discussion among political junkies is all about whether Republicans can win control of the Senate and just how many seats they will win.
To understand the lack of enthusiasm most Americans feel about the midterm elections, it's important to recognize a vital distinction between government and community.
It's a little thing, but it bugs me a lot.
In 1913, an entrepreneur "said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years." For that accurate assessment of reality, he was prosecuted for stock fraud. A U.S. District Attorney claimed that, "based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public ... has been persuaded to buy stock in his company."
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Washington's political class fundamentally misunderstands the role of politics and government in American society. They act as if government is the central force in American life and that its decisions guide the course of the nation. In historical reality, societal trends embrace new technology and the deep currents of public opinion lead the way. Government follows along a decade or two behind.
Many news stories have noted the importance of getting young, healthy people to sign up for insurance on the exchanges created by President Obama's health care law. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein reported that the White House considers this the single most important factor in making the law work.
Many reporters caught up in the bizarre world of official Washington have written extensively on political tactics and implications of the so-called government shutdown and disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov. Typical was a New York Times headline that blared ''Republicans, Sensing Weakness in Health Law Rollout, Switch Tactics.''
Shortly after the end of World War II, a pair of allergists gave some medication to a patient suffering from hives. Surprisingly, the patient reported her lifelong battle with carsickness had disappeared. After follow-up testing, Dramamine quickly became standard issue for fighting motion sickness.
Not long ago, the conventional wisdom in official Washington held that the so-called sequester spending cuts would be a disaster for the Republican Party. People were expected to rise up in vehement protest once the "cuts" went into effect.
The debate in Washington this week was allegedly about the president's health care law, but it quickly became all about Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican objected to the law by speaking on the Senate floor for 21 straight hours. The effort made him a hero to some, a fool to others, and it ultimately had no legislative impact.
It's become common over the past year or two to note how well Wall Street is doing while Main Street is still struggling.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an enabler as "one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior." Enablers do so "by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior."
Each of Newton's two games this season have been decided by late scores.
Official Washington is always a decade or two behind the American people. That was true in 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream for a better America. It's also true today.
You might expect a story about wine, The Washington Post, Twitter and polling to be about the lifestyle of the nation's political elite. But this one is about the digital threat to America's political class.
Americans are rightly upset with political leaders who are more interested in partisan politics and scoring ideological points than in serving their country.
One of the sure signs that political activists have too much time on their hands is all the chatter about who will win the 2016 presidential nominations.
It's no secret that both political parties are struggling to connect with voters. Strategists dream up marketing plans to increase their party's appeal to this constituency or that group. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. But they never establish a deep and lasting connection with voters.
As Americans, we tend to believe we have the right to do whatever we want, so long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others.