Given the orgy of gloating on the right and the hand-wringing on the left that followed this week's elections, it would not seem unreasonable to conclude that next year's midterm elections have already been decided via Tuesday's results.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid grew up 50 miles outside the gaming capital of the world and sparred as an amateur boxer during his teen years. Perhaps this upbringing explains the Nevada politician's urge to take up the risky fight for a public option in the health-care reform bill that will soon come to the Senate floor. In some ways, Reid's willingness to play hardball is a new development for timid, risk-averse Senate Democrats, who have been caught playing defense on an issue that they should own.
In normal times, it would make no sense for the White House to engage Fox News Channel in battle. That tactical decision would make as much sense as a dog chasing a crocodile into a swamp -- the White House is on Fox's turf, and the cable network has all the advantages. But these are not normal times, and the White House is not dealing with a typical media outlet.
Fox News is everything that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says it is: It's an arm of the conservative movement and an opposition research shop for the GOP. And now, the Fox affair is a test case about the future of American political journalism.
Jon Corzine, governor of New Jersey. (Center for American Progress/Ralph Alswang)
Current political weather reports forecast gloom and doom for Democrats come election time. The predictions are of severe changes in the climate from the triumphs of 2006 and 2008, when they took control of the Congress and won back the White House, to something considerably less favorable in 2009 and 2010. The anticipated result could be anything from a few lost Senate seats to a huge Republican comeback built on the decline in President Barack Obama's popularity.
In an outburst during the president's address on health care, Rep. Joe Wilson accused Barack Obama of lying on the issue of immigration. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
There must be some powerful atmospheric agents shaping the politics of South Carolina. How else can the Palmetto State's tendency to repeatedly produce odd and bombastic figures be explained? Here, I'm not talking about the increasingly infamous and boorish Rep. Joe Wilson, who interrupted the president's health-care speech by shouting, "You lie." Nor am I even talking about the similarly infamous and boorish incumbent Gov. Mark Sanford, whose affair with an Argentine woman fueled a summer spectacle. No, I'm thinking of the reformed segregationists like retired Sen. Ernest Hollings and the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, who turned out to have fathered a black child. These gigantic personalities possessed boundless political skill but ultimately had a difficult time with their aspirations.