Ruth Marcus is a columnist and editorial writer for The Washington Post, specializing in American politics and domestic policy. Marcus has been with The Post since 1984. She joined the national staff in 1986, covering campaign finance, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court and the White House. From 1999 through 2002, she served as deputy national editor, supervising reporters who covered money and politics, Congress, the Supreme Court, and other national issues. She joined the editorial board in 2003 and began writing a regular column in 2006. A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2007. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Jon Leibowitx, their two daughters, and the world’s cutest dog.
The two photos serve as powerful visual bookends for any discussion of gender and the Obama White House. The first was worth its thousand words, and sparked even more: the president sitting in the Oval Office with 10 men arrayed in front of him, and Valerie Jarrett's leg barely visible.
No doubt: Barack Obama has what it takes to be a terrific law student. It's less clear those are the ingredients of a successful president.
Sputtering adjectives -- outrageous, appalling, intolerable -- can scarcely do justice to the fiasco involving the Internal Revenue Service's reported targeting of conservative groups. But the current scandal obscures -- and, ironically, threatens to prevent action on -- another, equally corrosive failure on the part of the IRS when it comes to scrutinizing political groups.
I am so looking forward to the end of firsts.
The conundrum of President Obama's budget is that he has produced a "come let us reason together" proposal aimed at a Republican Party that has demonstrated no interest in being reasonable.
Supreme Court justices recently seemed tempted to put off deciding the question of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. But they appear prepared to take the significant step of overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and granting full federal benefits to same-sex couples in states that recognize their marriages. Indeed, the juxtaposition of the two cases may have the beneficial effect, from the perspective of those supporting same-sex marriage, of making the DOMA case look like a relatively easy and modest move.
When it comes to Republicans, President Obama sees himself as a kind of reverse Sally Field: "They don't like him. They really, really, don't like him."
Paul Ryan says he doesn't spend much time worrying about Republicans being blamed for sequester pain. The bruises, in his view, go with the territory. "We have to get right in our minds that the bully pulpit will always probably get better press than we will," the House Budget Committee chairman and the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee told me recently. "That cannot deter us."
Ted Cruz is not going to win Senator Congeniality. Not that he cares. The newly arrived Texas Republican has come out, well, guns blazing -- and not just on guns.
The latest weapon in the war against reasonable restrictions on access to guns is the straw woman. Don't fall for her.