Barack Obama campaigning for president (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
There are few things in politics more absurd, or more reliably recurring, than the candidate for Congress who proclaims earnestly that once elected, he or she will "change the way they do things in Washington." Just you wait, you logrolling legislators, you leeching lobbyists, you blundering bureaucrats -- once freshman Rep. Smith gets to town, the old order is going to come crashing down!
Within a few months, the representative stops talking about "change" and assures his constituents he knows how to work the system to their advantage. Before you know it, he's being challenged by a new politician, who proclaims her hatred of politicians and promises to deliver the "change" for which everyone has been yearning.
Over the weekend, Newsweekspeculated that John Huntsman, the former Utah governor who is now the ambassador to China, might be considering a run for the White House in 2012. This was greeted with a round of "Oh, please" by most people, not just because Huntsman is a relatively moderate, non-crazy member of the GOP, but because he actually took a job working for Barack Obama for heaven's sake, which means he probably hates America. Not only that, he speaks fluent Mandarin, and we all know that knowledge of a foreign language is evidence of insufficient love for this land of ours.
In this article from our July/August issue, Nancy Scola profiled Carl Malamud, a fascinating gadfly few people have heard of. Malamud, who has the distinction of having hooked up the first White House internet connection back in the 1990s, is crusading to get every government document online and accessible to the public. Scola's piece not only introduces us to a memorable character, it helps us understand the brief but critical (and uneasy) relationship between the federal government and the information revolution.
When 2010 began, "death panels" were all the rage, Scott Brown was soon to gain Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, and health care reform looked to be on the ropes. Within a few months, however, reform, the culmination of decades of work by progressives, became law. But the debate didn't end when the Affordable Care Act was signed, and TAP covered it from almost every angle imaginable:
Progressives often lament the right's ability to move its preferred stories from the fringe into the mainstream. Got something you want to get on the agenda? Just let Rush Limbaugh and the folks at Fox know, and they can generate a tornado of outrage that quickly draws the attention of more legitimate sources.