Michael Gerson writes a twice-weekly column for The Post on issues that include politics, global health, development, religion and foreign policy.
Michael Gerson is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Michael Gerson served as a policy adviser and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush from 2000 to 2006. Before he joined Bush's presidential campaign in 1999, Michael Gerson was a senior editor covering politics at U.S. News & World Report. Michael Gerson is the author of the forthcoming book "Heroic Conservatism" and a contributor to Newsweek magazine.
Fights between Congress and the executive branch over access to information are a staple of American politics. Every president will prefer less disclosure about the messy internal processes of his administration. Congressional investigators suspecting scandal prefer more.
President Obama's decision to lead with social issues in his re-election campaign -- immigration, gay marriage and contraception -- makes some political sense.
What to make of Vice President Joe Biden? Sometimes he is gaffe-prone comic relief. Sometimes he is the possessor of the worst geopolitical judgment in Washington -- as when he opposed the Osama bin Laden raid or advocated the partition of Iraq. And sometimes he seems to be the last genuine human being in American politics.
In a blowout presidential election, a few large issues dominate. In a tight election, a range of smaller concerns -- important to strategic constituencies in battleground states -- can end up being crucial.
Principled or calculating or a bit of both, President Obama's choice on gay marriage is a bet on the political future -- a wager on the views and values of the millennial generation making its long march through American institutions.
The last few years have been the most decisive and divisive ideological period since the early 1980s, perhaps since the late 1960s.
From media reports, it is now clear that America's hold on Afghanistan is unraveling and our military faces defeat.
For me, the Quran-burning incident in Afghanistan brought back memories of the horrible morning at the White House when photos of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison surfaced.
The central narrative of the Republican nomination contest is easy to summarize: Any candidate who is perceived as the main opponent to Mitt Romney immediately ties or leads Mitt Romney.
Before Barack Obama can defeat his opponents he must first be rescued from his friends. Some of them are now suggesting that his contraceptive mandate on religious institutions was a skilled political stratagem.
The granting of Secret Service protection following Mitt Romney's decisive Florida victory did not prevent him from immediately shooting himself in the foot.
It is commonly argued that Mitt Romney has benefited from a weak Republican field, which is true. And that the attacks of his opponents have been late and diffuse. True, and true.
As the heroes of the Cold War walk off into the mist -- Ronald Reagan, then John Paul II, now Vaclav Havel -- each departure makes their world more distant and foreign. But it is too early for forgetfulness, which would also be ingratitude.
The God particle -- really the Higgs boson -- still resists confirmation, though scientists at the Large Hadron Collider recently reported "tantalizing hints" of its existence.
The epochs of Newt Gingrich's public life are defined by the books that have revolutionized him -- generally of the type that sell well at airports.
Now the conscience protections of Catholics are under assault, particularly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). And Obama's Catholic strategy is in shambles.
When President Obama announced the deployment of 100 U.S. military advisers to aid in the pursuit of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), reaction was swift. Michele Bachmann criticized "unnecessary foreign entanglements," while admitting, "I do not know enough about it to comment on it."
It is an irony, but not a coincidence, that Barack Obama's post-partisan era has seen the rise of the tea party movement and Occupy Wall Street. Certainly, the momentum of polarization was strong before Obama arrived in Washington.
It is an ideological milestone that the emerging Republican front-runner is as skeptical of the New Deal as anyone in his position since the New Deal. During the 1936 election, Republican nominee Alf Landon called Social Security "unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted and wastefully financed."
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