Dana Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital. He joined The Washington Post as a political reporter in 2000, after two years as a senior editor of The New Republic and eight years with the Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of three political books: Tears of a Clown (2010), Homo Politicus (2008) and Smashmouth (2001). He lives in Washington with his wife and daughter.
There are various reasons you might not care about the Obama administration's spying on journalist James Rosen and labeling him an "aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" in an espionage case. Liberals may not be particularly bothered because the targeted journalist works for Fox News. Conservatives may not be concerned because of their antipathy toward the news media generally. And the general public certainly doesn't have much patience for journalists' whining.
As the nation's top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows. Why didn't his Justice Department inform The Associated Press, as the law requires, before pawing through reporters' phone records? "I do not know," the attorney general told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, "why that was or was not done. I simply don't have a factual basis to answer that question."
They summoned a whistle-blower to Capitol Hill, but instead they got a virtuoso storyteller. Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 U.S. diplomat in Libya the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, was to be the star witness for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the man leading the probe of the Obama administration's handling of the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.
It's never a good sign for a president when he feels compelled to assure the public he still has a pulse. This is the unenviable position President Obama was in Tuesday morning when he held a news conference and faced questions about the stalled pieces of his legislative program.
Whoever thinks there's no such thing as a free lunch has not been to the Heritage Foundation. After Sen. Mike Lee's speech to the conservative think tank Monday, his listeners didn't rush to the front of the room, where the Utah Republican was greeting well-wishers, but to the back to get in line for sandwiches, cookies and soft drinks provided gratis to the hungry young conservatives who sat through the hour.
The gun bill was going down, but Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who reached a compromise to try to save it, went to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to give it one more try.
The gun-lobby goons were at it again. The National Rifle Association's security guards gained notoriety earlier this year when, escorting NRA officials to a hearing, they were upbraided by Capitol authorities for pushing cameramen.
Imagine how gratifying it must feel to be Anthony Kennedy.
This week's 10th anniversary of the Iraq War passed quietly, and that's not a bad thing. Most Americans have no wish to celebrate the war, fought under false pretenses to a costly and ambiguous end. But in Washington,D.C., this week there are welcome signs that the lessons of Iraq have finally sunk in, among Republicans as well as Democrats.
The nation has moved on, but Ted Cruz has pulled his fellow Republicans right back into 2010. Three years ago next week, the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- became law. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the legislation in an opinion written by the conservative chief justice, John Roberts.