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By WILLIAM PFAFF | December 22, 1994
Paris.--Nineteen ninety-four saw the end of the American political parties as we have known them since the 1930s, and in the case of the Democratic Party, since the election of 1800, when an alliance of Southern agrarians and Northern city-dwellers made Thomas Jefferson President. That coalition of interests survived to elect John Kennedy in 1960, but it is now dead.The uneasy alliance in the Republican Party between Eastern internationalist banking and trading interests and the suburban and small-town middle class is also finished.
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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | August 24, 2014
A truism: Almost nobody looks good in his booking photo. That said, the 47th governor of Texas, one James Richard Perry, certainly gave it his best shot when he faced the camera at the Travis County Courthouse last week. The resultant image is ... not terrible. Perry is caught somewhere between a tight smile and an outright grimace, his mien taut with confidence and seriousness of purpose. Gazing on that photo, one cannot help but suspect that a transparently political indictment designed by his Democratic opponents to cripple this presumed presidential aspirant might actually help him instead.
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NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | November 24, 2004
THAT MORNING of Jan. 18, 1976, I sat in a dusty city-room corner of the now-departed News American and hit the keyboard of an old Royal typewriter. Marvin Mandel, governor of Maryland back then, was on his way to federal court. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., governor now, was on his way to freshman classes at Princeton. And I was beginning what has become nearly 29 years of writing newspaper columns. A columnist's job is different from a reporter's. A reporter says: Here are the facts. A columnist says: Here are the facts - and here's what I think about them.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | May 12, 2014
After endlessly trying to repeal and replace "Obamacare," the GOP has come up empty-handed. The health-care law appears to be gaining more public acceptance. So congressional Republicans are doing what they can to revive another old hobby horse - Benghazi. The name of the Libyan city where an American ambassador and three consulate officials were killed in a terrorist raid on Sept. 11, 2012 has become shorthand for what Republicans argue is a continuing political cover-up by the Obama administration.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | April 16, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, usually more an arbiter of law than of politics, turned its attention yesterday to whether political parties' spending has a bad -- or good -- influence on election campaigns.With a lawyer for the federal government arguing that money tends to corrupt politics, the justices probed the possibility that campaign spending by parties may be part of the problem -- especially in sponsoring negative advertising.At issue, in a case from Colorado, is the constitutionality of a federal law that limits how much money a political party can spend on political messages during congressional election campaigns.
NEWS
July 6, 1996
"WHAT IS TO BE DONE?" is the Russian equivalent of Hamlet's "To be or not to be." That question was the title of a novel by 19th century author and literary critic Nikolai Chernyshevsky, a book which had such an influence on Vladimir Lenin that the Bolshevik leader used it in one of his most influential theoretical tracts. Today the question is again asked -- this time in regard to Russia's political situation after President Boris N. Yeltsin's re-election.As important as is the symbolism of free elections that now have been institutionalized as part of Russia's democratic reforms, that country's political system is woefully underdeveloped by Western standards.
NEWS
By Susan J. Tolchin | October 20, 1996
In the weeks before the 1994 election, the House Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided not to show committee members videotapes of focus groups of angry voters in key districts from Idaho to Maine."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Luke Broadwater | June 6, 2011
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a GOP presidential candidate, was on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, and, as usual, the congressman skewered at least one sacred cow of American politics.  Paul's target this time? The notion that Republicans and Democrats are diametrically opposed political parties. You know, the idea that they're bitter political opponents. They fight over everything. They hate each other.  But the truth is, Paul said, they're the same party.  "We don’t have a good democratic process," Paul said.
NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | April 2, 2014
America is not yet an oligarchy, but that's where Charles and David Koch and a few other billionaires are taking us. American democracy used to depend on political parties that more or less represented most of us. Political scientists of the 1950s and 1960s marveled at American "pluralism," by which they meant the capacities of parties and other membership groups to reflect the preferences of the vast majority of citizens. Then around a quarter century ago, as income and wealth began concentrating at the top, the Republican and Democratic parties started to morph into mechanisms for extracting money, mostly from wealthy people.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | February 11, 2002
WASHINGTON - As the House heads toward a key vote on campaign finance legislation, Republicans and Democrats have been raising money so aggressively that they are breaking records, despite an informal fund-raising moratorium after the attacks of Sept. 11. Officials of the two political parties say their year-end reports for 2001 will show they pulled in about $151 million in the large unlimited contributions known as soft money for this year's midterm elections. The Republicans raised $87.8 million, and the Democrats took in $63.1 million.
NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | April 2, 2014
America is not yet an oligarchy, but that's where Charles and David Koch and a few other billionaires are taking us. American democracy used to depend on political parties that more or less represented most of us. Political scientists of the 1950s and 1960s marveled at American "pluralism," by which they meant the capacities of parties and other membership groups to reflect the preferences of the vast majority of citizens. Then around a quarter century ago, as income and wealth began concentrating at the top, the Republican and Democratic parties started to morph into mechanisms for extracting money, mostly from wealthy people.
NEWS
March 22, 2014
The commentary regarding challenges facing the U.S. in the global economy ("Corvette economics," March 2) contained the most succinct and clear descriptions of our two chaotic political parties in the last 30 years that I have ever read. It is a shame those paragraphs can't be plastered across America to wake up the average, inattentive citizen as to the inefficiencies of our current parties and the lack of caring displayed by the politicians. Raymond Daniel Burke is correct - politicians of both parties are displaying unbelievable inadequacies serving the issues facing us nationally and globally.
NEWS
July 9, 2013
There has been much back-and-forth recently on The Sun's op-ed page over which party is the more egregious tax abuser, Republicans or Democrats. As a moderate, registered independent, I often get a chuckle when these two sides begin slinging their rancorous stones at each other on this matter. It is like listening to children arguing which came first, the chicken or the egg. Owen Cummings
NEWS
April 4, 2013
As a post-World War II political activist, candidate, office holder and Republican supporter for the past 67 years, I have always believed in the two-party system of Republicans and Democrats. I believe in a political system consisting of "big tent" Republican and Democratic parties that, among other things, consist of liberals, conservatives and independent voters. However, for the past 40 years, the zealots in each party have rejected the emphasis on united parties in favor of fragmented "leftist" and "rightist" principles.
NEWS
November 9, 2012
As a septuagenarian (and Democrat), I was happy that President Barack Obama won re-election, but sad that the morning-after TV news shows reported the win as "the election results validated the Obama team's game plan," rather than the election was the result of a real choice of the American people ("Re-election," Nov. 7). Our elections are now reported by commentators who appear to have been trained primarily as sportscasters and who speak of who "wins" rather than who was elected, how many points ahead or behind a candidate's "game plan" may be and generally cover campaigns as sporting events.
NEWS
September 11, 2012
According to letter writer Rani Merryman's reasoning ("Romney is a leader, Sept. 8), President Barack Obama promised unity but failed to unite the two political parties. In my way of thinking, Mr. Obama cannot be faulted for the results of a stone-walling obstructionism with which Republicans in Congress met him from day one. While in Mr. Obama's bid for the presidency a short three and a half years ago, his platform featured an important goal of breaking the existing gridlock in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that "the main goal of the Republican party is to make Obama a one-term president.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover and Jules Witcover,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 23, 1997
PITTSBURGH -- AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney proposed yesterday that organized labor begin diverting money it now gives to political parties and candidates into boosting its own political influence, by raising voter registration and turnout among its members.Kicking off the labor federation's first full convention since his insurgent takeover nearly two years ago, Sweeney called for a ban on unregulated "soft money" donations as part of broader campaign finance reform.Such donations, he charged, are "polluting our political system."
NEWS
By Arch Parsons and Arch Parsons,Washington Bureau of The Sun | July 23, 1991
WASHINGTON -- With an eye on the 1992 elections and with an unusual show of political unanimity, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission is urging President Bush and leaders of both political parties to take "racial tactics" out of political campaigns.The commission released yesterday a letter containing the plea that it sent Friday to Mr. Bush and to the leadership of the Senate and House. The letter called upon the nation's political leaders to "prevent the use of irresponsible campaign tactics that only serve to divide the nation along racial lines."
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2012
They are here to support Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but a handful of Marylanders considering a run for higher office are also hoping to benefit politically from his convention. The concentration of news media - both from Maryland and from other states - serves to elevate their profiles, and that helps with fundraising. There are more subtle advantages to attending the conventions, too: networking with party leaders, befriending longtime campaign volunteers and hearing national politicians at the top of their game give the most important addresses of their political careers.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2012
Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has made another foray into Maryland politics, endorsing GOP candidate Dan Bongino in what she calls his "uphill battle" for the Senate, his campaign announced Monday. In 2010, the former Alaska governor backed Republican Brian Murphy in his unsuccessful GOP primary bid against former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Bongino, a retired Secret Service agent, is challenging first-term Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin. "Dan has seen what politicians have done to our country, and he's decided, 'If I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem,'" Palin said in a statement released by the Bongino campaign.
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