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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 17, 2012/ 4 Teves 5773

President as change agent

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | Let's step back a century. William Howard Taft was in the White House. He came into office literally as the progressive's progressive, having been Theodore Roosevelt's hand-selected successor. He initiated more trust-busting suits than even his predecessor. He supported an income tax for corporations and a constitutional amendment permitting an income tax for individuals.

Then came an abrupt change, beginning with his firing of conservationist Gifford Pinchot, a TR acolyte who served as chief forester.

There had been signs suggesting a conservative impulse; Taft had supported the Payne-Aldrich tariff that didn't approach progressive hopes for tariff reform. By the time his term was up, Taft had drifted far from his progressive moorings.

What's the lesson? Not that Taft was a traitor to his own ideology, though surely many Republicans considered him one. Not that personal betrayal, which was how Roosevelt regarded Taft's apostasy, has political consequences, which it does. Instead, the lesson is that while presidents may be isolated in the White House, they are not frozen in place there. They change. They see life differently from behind the desk in the Oval Office, which incidentally acquired that architecture and name in Taft's time.

This is instructive as we approach the beginning of Barack Obama's second term. He's the same man, but will he be the same president? With eight years in office will he change more than Taft did in four? Will his transformation as president transform the political landscape or will it reflect transformations in the political landscape? If we agree that we will not recognize his face at the end of two terms -- already he looks older, grayer -- will we not recognize his presidency either?

We've started seeing changes in his approach. In earlier budget fights -- which define the confrontations of the Obama era even more than the wars he's fought or the killing of Osama bin Laden -- he stayed close to the White House and held his cards close to his vest. Not this time.

The president is no longer a prisoner of his command post on Pennsylvania Avenue. He's out, engaged in what Andrew Johnson called a swing around the circle, taking his case on the road and to the people, so much so that Republicans, seeing that his public performances have the air of political rallies, worry that they are hardening his position or, worse, pushing him leftward.

But what may be most important is the outlook that Mr. Obama, who has moved from optimism to pessimism to realism, adopts in the first year of his new term. Much of that, of course, will be determined by how he negotiates the path to, or away from, the fiscal cliff. The latest unemployment figures surely will buoy his spirits, and he seems to have an advantage in his negotiations with GOP leaders, who have seen the polls suggesting that if the country falls off the cliff the nation will blame them.

But presidential moods are unusually subject to change. Lyndon B. Johnson began his presidency a half century ago as a mourner who doubted his abilities, became within six months a dreamer who broadened the nation's horizons and eventually became a presidential hermit who dared speak only at military installations, so spooked was he about protesters heckling him for his war in Vietnam even as he took pride in his war against poverty.

A major question is whether Obama 2.0 will move from forcing change, as he did with his economic stimulus and health care plan, to negotiating change. He could go either way. He might consider the stimulus and Obamacare historic, virtuous victories and, having been re-elected, believe the strong-arm is the maneuver of choice. Or he may believe the struggles he's had as president suggest there must be a better way to govern.

There are, of course, perils to negotiating and compromising. In an era when we are starved for both, and for the middle road that solves a problem -- though there are no guarantees that the middle road is the solution -- many Washington insiders turn to the example of 1990, perhaps the greatest modern example of a president changing course. At that difficult economic juncture, George H.W. Bush, who had vowed not to raise taxes and had challenged Americans to read his lips, acceded to a budget compromise that raised taxes.

This decision, which emerged from 11 days of fraught negotiations in isolated bungalows at Andrews Air Force Base, won the plaudits of conventional Washington and even today is celebrated in those circles more as an act of courage than of concession. But it is remembered as an unforgivable unconditional surrender by the founding fathers of the new conservatism -- and a forbidding cautionary tale as this month's negotiations continue.

Part of the Obama approach will necessarily be set by his opponents. They began Mr. Obama's first term believing they were in an ideological crisis. (Remember all that 2009 talk about a new generation of liberalism?) Then Mr. Obama's Democrats were torched in 2010 and the talk was of an irresistible conservative counter-revolution.

Now, after the Republicans' 2012 debacle, the GOP sees itself in a demographic crisis. How the Republicans handle this defeat, and how they plot their return, will be a major factor in the politics of 2013 and the midterm congressional elections of 2014.

The final factor might be called the comparison trap. Mr. Obama began his presidency being compared with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt and did nothing to tamp down those comparisons. This represented two missteps, one from the commentators who made such facile comparisons and one from the president who believed them.

But no two men are the same, and that is especially so for presidents. Mr. Obama really isn't much like Lincoln, or the Roosevelts, or Taft, whose anecdote opened this argument. Each presidency must be regarded on its own, judged by its own merits and demerits.

As he goes forward, Mr. Obama may come to realize he isn't being compared to George H.W. Bush (compromiser in the budget vise) or to Lyndon Johnson (architect of a vast expansion of programs and entitlements). The danger, or opportunity, is something else entirely. He will be compared to Barack Obama.



Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



12/10/12 Another overtime election
12/03/12 Defining the Obama presidency: Our re-elected chief executive has the whip hand now, but how will he use
11/19/12 New Hampshire 2016
11/12/12 Obama's second chance
11/05/12 America's first martyr to free speech
10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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