All sanity seems to have left the ranks of those in charge of the GOP. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the party is against everything and for nothing. That's not governing. That's just lobbing hand grenades. And the GOP is shrinking daily before our eyes.
Imagine if you had U.S. citizenship, a U.S. passport, and the right to die in combat as a U.S. soldier - but no right to vote in presidential elections and no voting representation in Congress. Sounds nuts, I know. But that's the deal if you live on the island of Puerto Rico. And that's basically been the deal since 1917.
If you watch a lot of TV - and, hey, who doesn't? - you may have noticed that your life has suddenly improved. You're no longer facing a ceaseless barrage of political ads sponsored by groups with innocuous-sounding names like Restore Our Future, American Crossroads, and Priorities USA Action.
What a shame that Nora Ephron is not around to critique The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin's new riff on media and politics in America. As a role model for working women, she would have surely assailed its depiction of female professionals as neurotics with the emotional intelligence of seventh graders. In Nora's absence, allow me.
The Supreme Court's thumbs-up ruling on health-care reform Thursday was a historic win for 33 million uninsured Americans, up to 17 million kids with preexisting conditions, countless financially strapped young adults getting coverage through their parents, and one president who staked his first term on helping the have-nots. The other big winner is Chief Justice John Roberts. Much to the dismay of Obama-haters everywhere, he refused to march in partisan lockstep and deep-six the Affordable Care Act. Instead, he functioned as the swing vote in a 5-4 decision to uphold President Obama's singular achievement. He did so by adhering to traditional conservative principles — most notably, by respecting judicial precedent and reminding his fellow Republican-appointed justices that laws enacted by Congress should be junked only when they clearly violate the Constitution.
Cited by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the nation's top political reporters, and lauded by the ABC News political website as "one of the finest political journalists of his generation," Dick Polman is a national political columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is on the full-time faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, as "writer in residence." Dick has been a frequent guest on C-Span, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC. He covered the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 presidential campaigns.
All commentaries posted before April 18, 2008, can be accessed at www.dickpolman.blogspot.com.