One reason Washington makes so much bad history is that so many people here know so little history. This helps explain why "comprehensive" immigration reform is foundering: Too few of today's legislators know what happened 163 years ago.
WASHINGTON — "The American people do not want to see a kangaroo court here," Rep. Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democrat, said midway through Wednesday's four-hour prosecution of Obama administration technology experts by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The economy is growing much faster than expected. Inflation is basically nonexistent. The federal budget deficit has been slashed dramatically. The stock market is reaching all-time highs. One of our long-running wars is over and the other is winding down. The status of the United States as the world's pre-eminent economic and military power is unchallenged.
Third parties have had an unbroken record of failure in American presidential politics. So it was refreshing to see in the Tea Party an insurgent movement, mainly of people who were not professional politicians, but who nevertheless had the good sense to see that their only chance of getting their ideals enacted into public policies was within one of the two major parties.
In a move sure to please religious conservatives, President Obama's Justice Department filed a brief in the Supreme Court in favor of allowing overtly Christian prayers before city council meetings. It's an inexplicable move, and it's one more befitting a Republican administration than one headed by a Democrat and a constitutional scholar.
Barack Obama's presidency has become a feast of failures whose proliferation protects their author from close scrutiny of any one of them. Now, however, we can revisit one of the first and see it as a harbinger of progressivism's downward stumble to HealthCare.gov.
Near the end of his new book, "Days of Fire," my friend and former colleague Peter Baker recounts a moment in the White House Situation Room in 2008 when President George W. Bush was uncharacteristically reflective.
If only some mad (political?) scientist could build a creature combining Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Frankenstein, meet Obamaton, except this version would be an improvement on the originals. With the best attributes of each, you could create the near-perfect president.