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Steve and Cokie Roberts


The election is not quite over

Democrats are reeling. They’re playing defense, not offense. Their loss in a Florida election for a vacant House seat — in a district President Obama carried twice — was a devastating blow. As Robert Gibbs, the president’s former spokesman, admitted on NBC’s “Meet the Press:” “There’s a real, real danger that Democrats could suffer big losses” this fall.

Pragmatists, purists and power

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. — On one side are the pragmatists: Republicans who want to be part of the governing process and accept compromise as the price of participation. On the other are the purists, who prefer playing gadfly to governing and equate compromise with betrayal.

The hand over the lens

The top Super Bowl highlight was not Peyton Manning struggling or Renee Fleming singing or even that adorable puppy nuzzling a horse in the Budweiser commercial. It was Bill O’Reilly grilling Barack Obama.

Why the Media Primary matters

Real-live voters won’t cast ballots in Iowa or New Hampshire for another two years, but another primary campaign is already underway that will have a major impact on the presidential election in 2016. Call it the Media Primary.

Hunger hurts us all

Carly Poe is a 33-year-old single mother in Portland, Ore. Despite a college degree, she struggles to find work and raise a teenage son with serious medical problems. Food stamps — the government program officially known as SNAP — help her survive.

One card, two dads, two kids

It’s just one of countless holiday cards, stacked in a basket on our hall table. Our friends Kevin and Grant are holding their twin sons, Gustav and Alton, while each toddler clutches a brightly colored leaf in his tiny hand.

The rise of liberal self-delusion

The civil war ripping through the Republican Party is familiar by now. But a similar battle inside the Democratic Party is just starting to emerge. Orthodox liberals are trying to mimic the tea party and impose political correctness on moderate apostates.

Giving the gift of stories

As a young woman, Steve’s grandmother, Miriam Wasilsky, left her small village in what is now Lithuania and moved to the city of Bialystok, Poland, looking for work. She found a job in a dry goods store, and to mark her new life, asked a local photographer to take her picture.

Fallout from the nuclear option

J. Harvie Wilkinson III is a federal circuit court judge, appointed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, but he’s never seen himself as a doctrinaire conservative trying to “storm the barricades.” After Senate Democrats recently invoked the “nuclear option” and voted to ban filibusters for most presidential nominations, he outlined the consequences of that rash and regrettable action in The Washington Post:

The Republican court-unpacking scheme

Patricia Ann Millett spent 15 years as a Justice Department lawyer, seven of them under the second President Bush. She argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court, another 36 before appellate courts, and in 2004 she was given the department’s Distinguished Service Award by a Republican attorney general.

Sweet home New Jersey

We have a young friend who ran the Young Republicans during her college years and now works for a GOP consulting firm. She’s a loyal party member, but she has a problem. She’s from New York — her father and grandfather were both New York City cops — and she feels increasingly alienated from a party whose center of gravity has moved steadily to the South, the West and the Right.

The women are taking over

The headline in the Washington Post read, “Moderates flex muscle.” Below that were pictures of 12 senators, six from each party, who are helping to forge a bipartisan compromise that would reopen the government and pay its bills. But the story never mentioned a key fact: Five of the 12 are women, three Republicans and two Democrats.

How we got here

This is not the most acrimonious period in American political history. In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr killed his longtime rival, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel. Fifty-two years later, Rep. Preston Brooks of South Carolina assaulted Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a heavy cane.