Michele Bachmann speaks at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)
A video that made the rounds last summer summed up the problem nicely. Mike Stark of The Huffington Post hoisted a camera on his shoulder, hung out on the streets near the House office buildings in Washington, and asked passing Republican House members: Do you believe that Barack Obama is a rightful citizen of the United States?
So the assignment is "a book that changed my view of politics." Harder than it sounds. I will confess that when I was a younger man, I was far more likely to think of records, as we used to call them, as life-changing, and if pressed, I could probably to this day defend the proposition that The Basement Tapes taught me as much about America as did, say, either John Steinbeck or V.O. Key.
The Supreme Court's Carhart decision was, in a word, terrifying. It established that a five-member majority of the Court -- three of whom will likely retain their seats for another 20 years -- might, given the "right" circumstances, go beyond turning Roe v. Wade back to the states and establish as federal precedent that virtually all abortions are illegal.
Think about this. It is the standing presumption of advocates on both sides of the fight that, if Roe were overturned, the Court would do so by saying that abortion should be a state matter. Bleak as this would be for women in much of America, at least something like a dozen to 15 states would probably assume their prerogative and pass laws making some abortions legal.
Conservatives who admire Rudolph Giuliani for his association with the date September 11, 2001, may wish to consult Google on the question of the mayor's behavior on May 10, 2000. The Rudy of that date should give them, and everyone, reason to stop and think about the great hero's moral architecture.
Ever since we learned that at least 12 and as many as 19 states will hold their primaries or caucuses on February 5, the conventional wisdom has been that when we wake up on February 6, the Democrats will have a nominee.
Seems plausible. Any candidate who takes California, New York, New Jersey, and Missouri, that day's most delegate-rich states, might have amassed something on the order of 800 or 900 delegates. That's almost half the number needed for the nomination -- 2,162 were required in 2004 -- and so would probably make any such winner inevitable.