Diversity has been written into the DNA of American life; any institution that lacks a rainbow array has come to seem diminished, if not diseased.
I believe that poverty is often the result of inappropriate behavior - out-of-wedlock births, dropping out of school, crime and drugs - which should not be rewarded. But often it isn't, and common decency requires that we take care of the least of these.
Affirmative action was always racial justice on the cheap.
That was the miracle of Abraham Lincoln, politician. He pursued the high purpose of moving justice forward via the low arts of patronage and patronization. Indeed, in a democracy, it is usually the only way great deeds are done.
Barack Obama's inspirational whoosh to the presidency in 2008 was unusual. Most campaigns are less exhilarating; indeed, they are downright disappointing - until someone wins.
Bush promised a foreign policy of humility and a domestic policy of compassion. He has given us a foreign policy of arrogance and a domestic policy that is cynical, myopic and cruel.
When I started in the press there were really ink-stained wretches. Not everybody went to college. Now, everybody at the New York Times and the Washington Post and Salon and Slate, most of them have Ivy League educations.
Back in George W. Bush's second term, when diplomatic realism began to overtake foolish bellicosity, the president developed one of his patented nicknames for the two most powerful neoconservative journalists, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer: he called them 'the Bomber Boys.'
I invented the psychological histories and the relationship between Jack and Susan Stanton. I didn't know anything about the Clintons. I don't know more about the Clintons' marriage than you do.
If he'd been negotiating Obamacare, Lincoln would have made the infamous 'Cornhusker Kickback' deal - $100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska to secure a Senator's vote - in a heartbeat, even if the press howled as it did when Barack Obama agreed to it, forcing its cancellation.
Bush the Elder's stature as president grows with every passing year. He was the finest foreign policy president I've ever covered and a man who defied his party on tax increases while imposing budget restrictions on the Democrats.
For me, a really radical position for journalism to take is to stop being cynical. Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.
We journalists are never so idiotic as when we analyze things that we shouldn't be analyzing.
You know, larger-than-life politicians have larger-than-life strengths and larger-than-life weaknesses.
Republicans should embrace the possibility that Obamacare could pave the way toward lower health care entitlement spending overall. That won't be easy. But it's not unthinkable, either.
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