The common fear is that the swing to the right that everyone expects Nov. 2 will include such wild gyrations and produce such untried novices that the partisan warfare of the past two years will seem mild by comparison.
Sometimes, the most important clues are hiding in plain view. That was the case in late June, when the Gallup Organization reported that the share of voters who describe themselves as conservative had increased from 37 percent to 42 percent in the past two years.
Now that John McCain has taken care of his political business in Arizona, it is time for him to return to Washington and the responsibilities he bears as a leader of the Republican Party and the nation.
When Congress stays in session during the dog days of a Washington summer, rebellion is always bubbling just beneath the surface. And sure enough, it erupted at a caucus of House Democrats one night last week, triggered by an injudicious comment from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
Conservative populism had an unsuccessful trial run in 1964 under Barry Goldwater but did not flourish until Ronald Reagan took on the Washington establishment in 1980. The differences between them were significant.
Who was this man, the slim 75-year-old whose funeral in the Senate chamber had been attended by the president and so many other worthies that it resembled a State of the Union address?
He was one of the giants of the Senate in its golden age.
A fascinating test of the curative power of sports has been unfolding this week on both sides of the Atlantic, as Washington and Johannesburg look to athletes to lift the gloom surrounding their political leaders.
Last Wednesday night, the John F. Kennedy Library marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant elections in American history — the West Virginia Democratic primary of May 10, 1960, between Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.
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