The Two-Party System
The two-party system is not a one-party idea, contrary to popular belief. One does not have to go to France or Italy, or to myriad South American countries that have multiple factions, or parties, to find an example of how coalitions can lead to inaction and disaster.
Let's Be Kinder, Gentler
When George (H.W.) Bush ran for president he said he wanted "a kinder, gentler" nation. He said he wanted to be the "education president" and the "environmental president." Unfortunately, none of these things happened.
My Vote Goes for Character
Some of our nation's best and brightest people have been attacked for missing votes, including former President John F. Kennedy. In truth, having a perfect voting record is not all it's cracked up to be! Missing a committee meeting may not necessarily be bad. It all depends!
Confession Is Good for the Soul
President Clinton confessed of one of his sins to the entire world in 1998 in a major, televised speech viewed by millions of fellow sinners. Perhaps our politicians today can gain an object lesson from his experience.
Who Says I Can't Vote?
There's a chance that the 21st Century will usher in a new age of enlightenment -- at least in the age of voting rights. Now that the Constitution allows blacks, women and 18-year-olds to vote, isn't it time that voting becomes the birthright that it truly is?
The Center Alone Can't Fill the Void
Americans, somewhere in the 1960's, began splintering away from the two-party system, which served the country well for decades. Many simply said, "A pox on both your houses," abandoning both major political parties. I believe they made a big mistake.
Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa
I learned early in life there is a chasm between Democrats and Republicans that's impossible to cross over. If you're a Democrat, you can't sit by and watch people suffer. If you're a Republican, you merely declare, "If I made it, so can you; fend for yourself."
Strike Out the Line Item Veto
The U.S. Supreme Court did not say the line-item veto is constitutional when it declined to take up the issue in 1996; it merely said it could not take up the case until the issue is properly brought before it; that is, by someone with proper "standing." It's still an issue!
Whitewater: A Tempest in a Teapot
When the word "Whitewater" entered my vocabulary, I greeted it with incredulity. How could the Clintons, I wondered, be accused of wrongdoing connected with the Savings & Loan scandal? After all, the S&L debacle was a product of the Reagan Administration.
It's Best to Work Together
In the aftermath of Bill Clinton's election victory in 1996, Republicans relentlessly continued their unwarranted attacks on the president -- and continued full speed their efforts to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. Fortunately, so far, they've failed.
Blumenthal Hits Target on This One
It seems to me that civic organizations and charities, which thrive on the goodheartedness of the people from whom they hope to gain financial (and volunteer) support, should be held to a higher standard than business organizations that merely provide a service.
Starr Probe of President Really Scary
The American people have seldom, if ever, witnessed such a sweeping abuse of power at the highest levels of the federal government than the Watergate probe by Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr. Americans must always be alert to any potential abuse of power.
Acquit, Don't Censure the President!
In the early months of 1999, President Bill Clinton was acquitted by the Senate of charges of perjury and obstruction of justice after his politically inspired impeachment by the House of Representatives. His impeachment and trial were both ill-advised.
Let Parties Pick Their Candidates
Years ago, political parties were closely knit units in which the leadership and the membership pretty much agreed on the basic issues facing the city, state and country. That is to say Republicans agreed with Republicans, Democrats agreed with Democrats.
Budget Proposal Is Unbalanced
A balanced budget amendment, whenever proposed, is a bad idea. Budget problems abound, but a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget is not the answer. Our legislators already have the power to balance the budget and can do so at any time.
Clinton Deserves a Break
Dirty politics is as old as Moses, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. But when it rears its ugly head, it's always dirty pool. President Clinton, in 1994, was a victim of such tactics, but he was in good company -- Harry Truman, for one.
Why It's Vital to Vote for Your Party
"I don't belong to any political party; I'm Independent. I vote for the best man." Chances are, like me, you've heard this statement from friends and foes alike on many occasions. But, in reality, voting for the "best man" is a formula for disaster.
Where Is the Crisis?
President Clinton had been in office five years when his political opponents instigated investigations against him for everything and anything. Although there was no credible evidence against him, TV commentators drummed up a phony "Crisis in the White House."
Just Say No to the Urge to Impeach
President Ford was right in 1998: Impeachment is whatever Congress says it is! But our founding fathers were uncommonly wise. They made the impeachment process difficult, thus making frivolous charges unlikely to stick.
Vote Your Conscience
It seems that politicians, like lawyers, have graduated from being the butt of everybody's jokes to becoming the target of every lowlife who disagrees with their political positions. One reason for the increased enmity, in my view, is the demise of the two-party system.
Transition Process Is Party Time
The peaceful transition of presidents is something to marvel at in this country. While tradition and the Constitution play important roles, the temperament and good judgment of outgoing presidents can be vital.
Did the Voters Buy a GOP Pig in a Poke?
Newt Gingrich, the freewheeling, big-mouthed loose cannon who was elected Speaker of the House in 1995, used his position to lord it over the Democrats by bulldozing his so-called "Contract With America" through the lower legislative body of Congress. In the end, it failed.
Editors Clash on the Issues
News reporters and editors often are considered either lunatics from the right wing fringe or part of the liberal East Coast media. The Hour newspaper exemplifies what's really true: The staffs of most papers have employees representing a wide variety of views.
Making Your Vote Count -- for You!
With Election Day coming hard upon us, our thoughts turn to candidates, political parties and issues -- and to insuring we find our way to the polls on Election Day. Vote Democratic or vote Republican, but be sure to get out and cast your vote for democracy.
'Contract' a Failed Strategy
The road to hell, it's been said, is paved with good intentions. While always praiseworthy, good intentions can, if you're not careful, take you down the primrose path. Newt Gingrich took us down that path with his so-called "Contract With America."
Congress Deserves the Blame
In May of 1998 there was no longer any rational scenario that could lead an impartial observer to the conclusion that Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr was objective. But, then again, it was not all his fault. The real culprit was the U.S. Congress.
Congress: Give Back Our Country
In 1998 our country was in trouble -- not because of the manufactured attacks on President Clinton -- but because too many Americans were hoodwinked by right-wing extremists willing to discard the American way to regain the White House any way they could.
Newt, Bob: Just Balance the Budget
It would be great folly for Congress -- and the states (which must ratify amendments by a two-thirds vote) -- to clutter up the Constitution with amendments that thoughtlessly change the balance of power that is now finely balanced among the three branches of government.
The Case Against Gingrich
Rep. Newt Gingrich drove Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright out of office in disgrace over a book deal. A few years later, the right-wing Republican attack dog suffered the same fate as his victim over his own book deal.