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Some thoughts on governing

I have been working in or around government for over 50 years, and if you asked me to boil down what I’ve learned to one sentence, it is this: Governing is much harder work than most people imagine. This doesn’t excuse its lapses or sluggish rate of progress, but it does help explain them.

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Why government fails, and what we should do about it

As election season approaches, I’ve been pondering a crucial issue about the role of government in our society.

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Are we doomed to polarization?

We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don’t much like the way it’s performing.

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Why I still have faith in Congress

It’s depressing to read poll after poll highlighting Americans’ utter disdain for Congress. But it’s my encounters with ordinary citizens at public meetings or in casual conversation that really bring me up short.

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There’s an alternative to the imperial presidency

In his State of the Union speech to Congress last month, President Obama drew widespread attention for pledging to use his executive authority to advance his priorities.

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It’s time for an intervention

The American public has lost patience with Washington. The question is, now what?