Every political science undergraduate learns the "canonical" list of realigning elections: 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, and 1968. These elections, so the narrative goes, bring about sharp, enduring changes to the American political system, forcing one party into the background and allowing another party to come to the forefront.
I've long been skeptical of the utility of the concept of realignments. But oddly enough, if we look closely at the voting habits of various political grouping, we do find one enduring, long-lasting example of what we might call realignment. It isn't, however, on any of the canonical lists.
I'm speaking of the Eisenhower coalition. Dwight D. Eisenhower is one of those executives whose terms in office have enjoyed substantial and steady upward revisions by students of presidential administrations. While Ike was initially viewed skeptically by scholars — historian Arthur Schlesinger rated him 22nd of 31 in 1962 — today he routinely finds himself placed in the top 10. His moderate approach to domestic policy, his stewardship of the country through the early days of the civil rights revolution, and his adept handling of the emerging Cold War all mark his presidency as important, and at the very least, "near-great." more >>
I have to admit, there's painfully little I agree with our current president on. And time and time again, I have wished that he and the first lady would extend their concern for children to the most vulnerable and innocent children among us – the unborn. Tonight, in his speech on immigration, the president referred to "the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come." I couldn't help but wish he would indeed take steps to protect those who are yet to come into our nation – those who are still inside their mothers' wombs.
Returning to immigration, though, I have to agree with his basic contentions. While I'm not convinced President Obama has quite as much power and authority as he thinks he does to take action alone, I do believe that some of his proposed plans are solid.
Here are three simple reasons why the president is right on immigration: more >>
"This Marriage is not ours to alter. It is ours, however, to encourage and celebrate…this we affirm." These were the final words recited from a new affirmation on marriage at the conclusion of the three-day conference of international religious leaders at the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The atmosphere was almost euphoric as the attendees from six of the world's seven continents broke from the historic gathering to return to their respective nations renewed in their stand for marriage.
As I shared with reporters earlier in the day, anyone who cares about the well-being of children, the well-being of men and women, and the well-being of society as a whole cannot help but be encouraged by what happened in Rome this week. Stepping away from the U.S. media's incessant spin that the redefinition of marriage is inevitable and corporate America's capitulation to cultural extortionists was refreshing. more >>
WASHINGTON – A "tsunami of confusion" exists regarding religious liberty in the United States Armed Forces, according to panelists testifying before Congress.
Experts told the panel that the military is caught between a strong desire not to condone or coerce religious doctrine on soldiers and an equally strong desire to protect speech, especially religious speech, in the military. more >>
During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking.
On the evening of Nov. 11, at historic St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Baltimore, Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis and Bishop John Michael Botean, head of the Romanian Catholic Eparchy (diocese) of St. George in Canton, Ohio, broke bread with about 20 Catholic peace activists including myself, and dialogued with us about how the Catholic Church could shift from a "just war" to a "just peace" doctrine and spirituality.
Eli McCarthy, director of justice and peace for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, started the dialogue off with a presentation on the theological developments of the concept of "just peace." more >>
Our immigration system has been broken for decades -- and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.
Tonight, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he's taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tonight at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
This is a step forward in the President's plan to work with Congress on passing common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. He laid out his principles for that reform two years ago in Del Sol High School in Las Vegas -- and that's where he'll return on Friday to discuss why he is using his executive authority now, and why Republicans in Congress must act to pass a long-term solution to immigration reform. more >>