The Fulcrum

Benjamin Franklin’s last letter

Shortly before he died on April 17, 1790, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay, “Rules for Ruining a Republic.” He had been a master of satirical letters — we might call them hoaxes — written for political purposes. Among the more famous was one he quill-penned in 1773 to warm the

The GOP and the strains on the two-party system

Unless you were hiding under a rock you heard that Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming was pushed out of her Republican leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives. Receiving a bit less media attention was the news that 100 members of the Republican Party threatened to disaffiliate from it.

Overlooked reason for Capitol atrophy: Lack of a modern and more substantial diet

For the past 15 years, public disapproval of the performance of Congress has averaged around 70 percent. Typically, when people look at Washington, as former Speaker Paul Ryan once observed, “It looks like chaos” — not leadership or governance, regardless of which party is in control. What’s wrong with Congress?

The broken budget process is a democracy reform issue

It is difficult to overstate how wrecked the federal budget process is. Late last month, President Trump signed a 30-day stopgap funding measure to dodge a government shutdown. This was the second time this autumn that Congress and the president had to resort to such a continuing resolution. Governing through

Why members of Congress should get a raise, whether they deserve it or not

You’ve surely heard the old line, “The best Congress money can buy.” Typically, it’s said sardonically. In the classic formulation, it’s not your money doing the buying. It’s special interests and lobbyists forking over the dough. In exchange, they get the best Congress they can buy – for them. But

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