Much ado about a filibuster — the Gorsuch confirmation

Much anguish has surrounded the Senate vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch as a new Supreme Court justice. Democrats denied the ruling Republicans enough votes to cut off debate. The Republicans were faced with the need to lower the 60-vote debate-ending requirement to a simple majority. By themselves, they have the votes for that. One Republican […]

Trump gets civics lessons from failed health care reform

The defeat of the House of Representatives attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act provided great civics lessons. Its most important student turned out to be President Trump.  “We learned a lot about the vote-getting process,” he said.  “Certainly, for me, it was a very interesting experience.” The first lesson is there’s a […]

Immigrants, refugees face U.S., European nationalism

President Trump wants to build a wall with Mexico.  The United Kingdom wants out of the European Union.  The Netherlands blocks the Turkish Foreign Minister from campaigning.  Gov. LePage wants to keep more refugees out of Maine. What these policies have in common is a desire to keep a high degree of national identity alive […]

It’s time to expose five recent political myths

Every so often, the political news gets so rich in misinformation or distorted facts, that it becomes time to expose some myths. Myth 1: President Trump deserves our respect, because he was elected president. In fact, it’s the presidency that merits our respect.  The U.S. is unusual in combining the head of state, the person […]

The difficulty of being Susan Collins — alone in the middle

Sen. Susan Collins is considered a moderate Republican.  That can make life difficult. First, the “moderate” part.  She comes from a Maine Republican tradition that, while supporting the business community, also has focused on good but limited government.  Often in the past, Maine Republicans were associated with environmental protection. A moderate Republican has become a […]

George Washington’s warning recalled as we mark his birthday

On Monday, we will celebrate Washington’s Birthday. Not Presidents’ Day.  Washington’s Birthday is the official U.S. and Maine government designation of the day.  To remember other presidents, some outright failures, the day honoring Washington has become a commercial holiday. But we should remember this country’s good fortune to have been led by this exceptional man.  […]