The Gentleman & the Boor

I didn’t even know last night was the night of the Al Smith Dinner, with which, of course, I am familiar, as the Washington and Catholic Church insider that I am. But fate set me down in front of Rachel Maddow at just the right time, so I was in virtual attendance. I’ve seen them […]

Framing Obama

I frame, you frame, everybody frame frames. It just helps to know it’s going on. There is an education in itself in noting how the variant definitions of the word “frame” – the verbal form, for instance – bleed into one another, from one to the next: 2. a : plan, contrive <framed a new […]

Politicians, Faith, and Reason

Invariably in American politics, the faith of political candidates will be scrutinized. Because of protestant strains in the nation’s colonial origins and its long-time demographic majority, the scrutiny has always been heightened for the non-Protestant. In the evangelical age, for the Protestant, the scrutiny has taken the form less of a necessary demystification – and […]

A Conservative Trifecta

  1. Here is Michael Tomasky in yesterday’s Daily Beast on the disease of moderation mania. It is an illness that arises, in one origin, from being so systemically embedded that one cannot think outside of it. (That would be the box, for you phrase hogs.) To be making these proposals after the past nearly four […]

Divided America, or Boys & Girls Not Together

. What is there really to work out in the current American divides – which is to ask, what really can be worked out? If you are a politician, an office seeker, hopefulness and the rhetoric that summons a people movingly to common purpose is the lingua franca of your own success. It takes a […]