Procedural Maneuvers Go Nowhere in Twin Crises

Procedural Politics
Roll Call
Oct. 22, 2013

When asked if I intended to write a column on all the procedural moves and counter-moves during the twin crises of the shutdown and near debt default, I said “no.” I didn’t want to dignify or seem to make sense of such senseless forays into futility.

A procedural flow chart of the moves would probably resemble a wobbly, downward spiral into a sealed cul-de-sac — picture the flight of an inebriated bumble bee in death’s throes.

Aaron Miller on President Obama's Address on Syria

President Barack Obama's speech to the American public Monday night was eloquent and forceful. But given the odds arrayed against him -- some of his own making -- the persuader in chief likely won't make the sale.

Indeed, it's likely that none of the other great communicators and explainers -- Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton -- could have either. And here's why:

Haleh Esfandiari on President Obama's Address on Syria

In a crisp and cogent 15 minute address, President Obama laid out his case for military action against Syria. It was a strong speech—even if not always forcefully delivered—because the president addressed all the thorny issues regarding US military action against Syria raised in the last two weeks; and he did so in language that was simple, clear and honest.

Wilson Center Experts Provide Reaction and Analysis on the President's Address on Syria

A Glimmer of Hope on Syria---Robin Wright

'Challenges to Democracy in the Western Hemisphere': Cynthia Arnson Testifies before House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Western Hemisphere

Cindy Arnson, Director for the Latin American Program, joined a panel of experts in testifying before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on challenges to democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

Watch the live webcast below:


Chairman Salmon on the hearing:

Pakistan's Sectarian Meltdown

Last month, militants murdered [3] nine foreign mountain climbers at a base camp on Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat peak.

Many observers noted that it was the first attack of its kind. But in fact, one aspect of the attack—which received little news coverage—was depressingly familiar.

Congress & the President at War: Checks or Imbalance?

Congress has long been criticized for abdicating its war powers' responsibilities to the president. Is this still the case, and if so, why?  Does Congress tend to push back more after a war has drug on for a long time and does this reflect the war weariness of the public?  These just are some of the questioins this panel will explore.

With This Redo, Do It Right

The celebratory fireworks at Tahrir Square are likely to be short-lived. The next year may well be more turbulent for Egypt than the last one, with greater political tension and economic trauma.

AUMF: Reasserting the Role of Congress

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The law that authorized U.S. forces to act against terrorists after 9/11 is once again up for debate. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is seen by many as no longer applicable to a conflict that has moved beyond those responsible for 9/11. The enemy and the nature of the conflict have changed: is it time for the U.S. to revise or repeal the AUMF?

Going Beyond AGOA: Ideas for a Trans-Atlantic Partnership with Africa

This is an ambitious but realistic & practical way to enhance AGOA by not just ensuring prompt and seamless renewal of U.S. market access provisions for African imports, but also promoting a level playing field for U.S. investment in Africa and encouraging American participation in sub Saharan Africa’s regional infrastructural development.