Milbank: Lessons from Iraq inform U.S. response to Syrian crisis

By Dana Milbank March 23, 2013 6:01 a.m.

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.

Milbank: GOP on Cruz control as veterans cede power to newbies

By Dana Milbank March 16, 2013 6:01 a.m.

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.

Milbank: Republican governors embracing Obama's health plan

By Dana Milbank March 9, 2013 6:01 a.m.

'It is not a white flag of surrender," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.

Milbank: Justices Sotomayor, Kagan take on high court's bullies

By Dana Milbank March 2, 2013 6:01 a.m.

For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down. As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court's newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Milbank: Jesse Jackson Jr.'s downfall a too-common political tale

By Dana Milbank February 23, 2013 6:01 a.m.

Jesse Jackson Jr. arrived in court wearing a leather bracelet, not the gold-plated Rolex watch he bought with $43,350 in federal campaign cash. The former congressman's head was bare, unadorned by the Michael Jackson fedora, purchased with $4,600 from the campaign kitty. His wife, at his side, eschewed the reversible mink parka, procured with $1,200 in campaign money from Edwards-Lowell furrier of Beverly Hills.

Milbank: Lawmakers party, with little thought about paying bills

By Dana Milbank February 16, 2013 6:02 a.m.

There is something entirely appropriate about holding the State of the Union address on the same day as Mardi Gras. One is a display of wretched excess, when giddy and rowdy participants give in to reckless and irresponsible behavior. The other is a street festival in New Orleans.

Milbank: Republicans' happy talk collides with grim realities

By Dana Milbank February 9, 2013 6:01 a.m.

Republicans have happened upon a felicitous new strategy for reviving their party from its depressed state: They need only think happy thoughts.

Milbank: NRA spokesman shoots self in foot before Congress

By Dana Milbank February 2, 2013 6:01 a.m.

Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's chief executive, arrived for his hearing on Capitol Hill in the organization's trademark fashion: violently.

Milbank: Clinton's commanding testimony quiets GOP critics

By Dana Milbank January 26, 2013 6:02 a.m.

They blamed her mismanagement for the death of Americans in Benghazi, Libya. They accused her of a cover-up. Some even suggested that she faked an illness to avoid testifying about the attack.

Milbank: In protecting kids, adults must cease childish behavior

By Dana Milbank January 19, 2013 6:01 a.m.

If the gun debate gets any more juvenile, the participants will need strollers.

Milbank: A way out of the wilds for wayward Republican Party

By Dana Milbank January 12, 2013 6:01 a.m.

A pair of polls out this week shows the dire state the Republican Party finds itself in -- and a way out of the wilderness, should Republicans choose to take it.

Milbank: On Sandy, Boehner refuses to stir tempest in Tea Party

By Dana Milbank January 5, 2013 6:01 a.m.

The end-of-term reviews of John Boehner's House speakership are in, and they aren't pretty.

Milbank: It will be difficult to keep focus on issue of gun control

By Dana Milbank December 29, 2012 6:01 a.m.

It was a most audacious application of the Emanuel rule. "Never allow a crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel said when he was tapped to be President Obama's chief of staff.

Milbank: Obama fails to heed calls for swift action on gun control

By Dana Milbank December 22, 2012 6:01 a.m.

President Obama says we will change our approach to gun violence — some other day.

Milbank: Lieberman's lonely Senate send-off sad, yet fitting

By Dana Milbank December 15, 2012 6 a.m.

It was a lonely farewell for Joe Lieberman.

Milbank: Boehner knows Obama holds all cards on fiscal cliff

By Dana Milbank December 8, 2012 6 a.m.

Speaker John Boehner emerged from his weekly huddle with House Republicans on Wednesday morning to take his place behind a mahogany lectern in front of a brown backdrop. The dark tones provided ideal camouflage for the deeply tanned speaker -- as though he were trying to vanish into the background. Who could blame him?

Milbank: Schapiro transformed SEC from lapdog to bulldog

By Dana Milbank December 1, 2012 6 a.m.

In the early days of the Obama administration, I sat in a Capitol Hill hearing room and listened to Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower in the Bernie Madoff scandal, bemoan the toothless Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC, which ignored his warnings about Madoff, is "captive to the industry it regulates, and it is afraid of bringing big cases against the largest, most powerful firms," he said. "The SEC continues to roar like a mouse and fight like a flea. … I gift-wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them, and somehow they couldn't be bothered to conduct a thorough and proper investigation."

Milbank: Keeper of Republican tax pledge says answer is still no

By Dana Milbank November 24, 2012 6 a.m.

Some prominent Republicans — among them House Speaker John Boehner, publisher Bill Kristol, and Sen. Bob Corker — have been making noise about the need for the GOP to be flexible about raising taxes.

Milbank: Sorry Obama, but Rice ill-suited to replace Clinton

By Dana Milbank November 17, 2012 6 a.m.

President Obama had a rare "bring-it-on moment" when ABC News' Jonathan Karl asked him about threats by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham to block confirmation of Susan Rice as secretary of state. "If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me," Obama said last week, defending his U.N. ambassador from charges she misled the public about attacks on Americans in Libya. "For them to go after the U.N. ambassador … and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous. And, you know, we're after an election now."

Milbank: Romney reveals himself as anything but a common man

By Dana Milbank November 10, 2012 6 a.m.

It was a victory party fit for the 1 percent.

Milbank: No surprise that Trump's 'October Surprise' just hot air

By Dana Milbank October 27, 2012 6 a.m.

October Surprises just aren't what they used to be.

Milbank: Romney's job creation claim built on flawed math

By Dana Milbank October 20, 2012 6 a.m.

Mitt Romney has done a heckuva job with his jobs plan.

Milbank: Seeking to shame Obama, Republicans blow CIA's cover

By Dana Milbank October 13, 2012 6 a.m.

When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA's cover.

Milbank: Romney gets best of lackluster Obama in first debate

By Dana Milbank October 6, 2012 6 a.m.

DENVER — Fifteen minutes into Wednesday night's debate here, Mitt Romney politely called the president of the United States a liar.

Milbank: Presidential candidates' make room for 'The View,' banality

By Dana Milbank September 29, 2012 6 a.m.

As heads of government arrived in New York on Monday to attend the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama also made his way to Manhattan -- but to see a different group of world leaders: Barbara, Elisabeth, Joy, Sherri and Whoopi.

Milbank: Romney may not be ideal candidate, but he's great copy

By Dana Milbank September 22, 2012 6 a.m.

'The media wants to beat up Mitt Romney," Sean Hannity told his Fox News viewers this week, "which is driving me nuts."

Milbank: Romney all wet after Obama Mideast criticism

By Dana Milbank September 15, 2012 6 a.m.

NBC News reported on Tuesday morning that Mitt Romney's campaign was "throwing the kitchen sink" at President Obama. But the problem with throwing the kitchen sink is you might break a pipe — and then you've got a real mess.

Milbank: Obama realizes benefits of basking in Bill Clinton's glow

By Dana Milbank September 8, 2012 6 a.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Moments before Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic Party's convention, word bubbled through the Time Warner Cable Arena that President Obama would join him on the podium after his speech. This made official what was already implicit: The sitting president had come to bask in the former president's glow.

Milbank: Romney campaign exhibits loss of control at convention

By Dana Milbank September 1, 2012 6 a.m.

TAMPA, Fla. — Delegates were finding their seats on the floor of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday when a commotion broke out in the back corner, near the Maine contingent.

Milbank: Ryan has long shared Akin's views against abortion

By Dana Milbank August 25, 2012 6 a.m.

When Todd Akin sneezes, Paul Ryan catches a cold.

Milbank: Reid calls out Romney and gleefully watches fallout

By Dana Milbank August 11, 2012 6 a.m.

For once, Harry Reid held his tongue.

Milbank: Romney skittish when it comes to horse ballet questions

By Dana Milbank August 4, 2012 6 a.m.

The animal kingdom has been inhospitable to Mitt Romney in this election cycle. First there was the damaging story of Seamus, the Irish setter the Romneys strapped to the roof of their car on a family trip. And now it seems that, when it comes to Romney's political aspirations, Seamus may not be the most dangerous animal in the family menagerie. This past week belonged to Rafalca, the dancing horse.

Milbank: Mitt must choose between defense spending, tax cuts

By Dana Milbank July 26, 2012 6 a.m.

There have been many mendacious moments in this presidential campaign, but it will be hard to top what Republican Mitt Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference this week: President Barack Obama is seeking "an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with $1 trillion in cuts. Strategy is not driving the president's massive defense cuts. In fact, his own secretary of defense warned that these reductions would be devastating, and he's right. … This is no time for the president's radical cuts in our military."

Milbank: Ron Paul to leave office with Fed crusade unfulfilled

By Dana Milbank July 21, 2012 6 a.m.

Ron Paul ran for president three times, served nearly a quarter-century in Congress, spawned a national movement and saw his son elected to the Senate. But in his singular objective -- to "End the Fed," as the title of his book put it -- the libertarian obstetrician from Texas failed. He didn't even make a dent in it. In a valedictory Wednesday before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee, Paul raised the white flag.

Milbank: Politically petty Senate has taken giant step backward

By Dana Milbank July 14, 2012 6 a.m.

Four years ago this week, Ted Kennedy changed history with the sheer force of his will. Senate Democrats, battling the Bush administration, needed one vote to maintain a key provision of Medicare. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, then used a lifeline: He called Kennedy, who was in Boston receiving chemotherapy for brain cancer, and pleaded for the liberal giant to return to Washington, D.C., to provide the clinching vote. When Kennedy walked onto the floor on July 9, 2008, senators on both sides erupted in cheers, and some wept. The Medicare bill passed -- with nine Republican senators switching their previous votes to be on Kennedy's side. Among those cheering the loudest that day was Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, Kennedy's longtime legislative partner, who eulogized him at his memorial.

Milbank: Justice Roberts upholds Supreme Court's integrity

By Dana Milbank July 7, 2012 6 a.m.

John Roberts was the first justice to appear from behind the curtains when the buzzer sounded in the Supreme Court chamber at 10 a.m. sharp. He forced a tight grin and scanned the audience, which, on this historic day, included several members of Congress and retired Justice John Paul Stevens. The only hint of what was afoot came from Antonin Scalia, who, taking his place at the chief justice's right, bowed his head, as if in mourning.

Milbank: Congressional Republicans bend to will of Norquist

By Dana Milbank June 30, 2012 6 a.m.

All hail Grover Norquist!

Milbank: GOP indignation over Fast and Furious not so righteous

By Dana Milbank June 23, 2012 6 a.m.

There is something charmingly futile about House Republicans' move to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Even if the full House follows the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's vote Wednesday to hold him in contempt, the decision about whether to prosecute him will be left to a Justice Department run by … Eric Holder.

MIlbank: Competition, cash: Not 2012 election, summer camp

By Dana Milbank June 9, 2012 6 a.m.

My daughter is only 8 but, being a child in Washington, D.C., she has already felt the cruel sting of rejection.

Milbank: Secret Service director in need of serious reality check

By Dana Milbank May 26, 2012 6 a.m.

The Secret Circus may soon be looking for a new ringmaster. The prostitution scandal involving a dozen Secret Service agents in Cartagena, Colombia, is spreading into a broader burlesque for the agency, furthered by a Washington Post report that tolerance of a frat-house culture has induced some employees to come up with the "Secret Circus" name.

Milbank: Sen. Paul’s refusal to compromise cynical, hypocritical

By Dana Milbank May 19, 2012 6 a.m.

‘Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer,” Sen. Rand Paul said of President Obama.

Milbank: Romney reluctant to stand up to radical Republicans

By Dana Milbank May 12, 2012 6 a.m.

Almost four years ago, I was watching Sarah Palin rile up a Clearwater, Fla., crowd with anti-Obama broadsides when a spectator let loose a bloodcurdling cry of “kill him!”

Milbank: Gingrich brings campaign to rambling, chaotic end

By Dana Milbank May 5, 2012 6 a.m.

With “more discipline and more courage to be more outside the mainstream,” Newt Gingrich told USA Today on the eve of ending his presidential bid, “it might have worked better.” Actually, Mr. Moon Colony was plenty outside the mainstream. But discipline? Yes, that might have helped.

Milbank: Obama makes political investment in Buffett Rule gimmick

By Dana Milbank April 14, 2012 6 a.m.

President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick. “There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”

Milbank: Obama strangling business with new rules? Hogwash

By Dana Milbank April 7, 2012 6 a.m.

Think the Obama administration has been strangling businesses with red tape? Well, that’s a load of chicken droppings.

Milbank: Is Romney running for president, or best in show?

By Dana Milbank March 31, 2012 6 a.m.

In Washington, D.C., even the dogs are pundits. My dog, a 2-year-old golden retriever/poodle mix named Z.Z., had her cable news debut last week, on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.” Host Lawrence O’Donnell had us on set to discuss Z.Z.’s membership in Dogs Against Romney.

Milbank: Romney unable to shake, erase Etch a Sketch remark

By Dana Milbank March 24, 2012 6 a.m.

It is typical of Mitt Romney’s luck that, on the morning after he all but secured the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign became embroiled in a controversy over a 1950s plastic toy. On Wednesday, hours after Romney’s 12-point victory over Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary silenced most of the remaining doubters, senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom went on CNN and gave new meaning to the term “game change.”

Milbank: Republican Medicare solution: Kill program before it dies

By Dana Milbank March 17, 2012 6 a.m.

Are Republicans ready to be trusted with the reins of power? If you’re thinking of answering this in the affirmative, you might want to pause long enough to learn what transpired on the third floor of the Capitol on Thursday. There, four prominent Republican lawmakers announced their proposal to abolish Medicare -- “sunset” was their pseudo-verb -- even for those currently on the program or nearing retirement.

Milbank: GOP drives around facts to blame Obama for gas costs

By Dana Milbank March 10, 2012 6 a.m.

The Republicans are synthesizing a higher-octane blend in their bid to fuel Americans’ anxiety about higher gas prices. The Republican National Committee sent out talking points instructing party faithful to take up the issue. House Speaker John Boehner urged his caucus to do the same. And, on Wednesday, the House energy committee obliged: The Republican majority called in a bunch of oilmen for a hearing dedicated largely to blaming President Obama for gas prices.

Milbank: One moderate standing amid exodus from U.S. Senate

By Dana Milbank March 3, 2012 6 a.m.

A few months ago, Sen. Michael Bennet’s staff staged what the Colorado Democrat calls an intervention. He had survived a brutal campaign in 2010 to win his first full term. But after a year of deadlock and partisanship in the Senate, he was wondering whether it had been worth the struggle. “It was right after we managed to end our session with a two-month extension of the payroll tax,” Bennet told me Wednesday. “I got to a point where I was referring to this place as the Land of Flickering Lights, because the standard of success was we kept the lights on for another two months.”