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Governing By Crisis Isn’t Governing At All

by Lee H. Hamilton

After Congress came a hair’s breadth from shutting down the Department of Homeland Security a few weeks ago, members of the leadership tried to reassure the American people. “We’re certainly not going to shut down the government or default on the national debt,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Congress, he said, would not lurch from crisis to crisis.

I wish

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Looking Forward by Looking Back

by Lee H. Hamilton

With the 114th Congress just underway, the political world is focused intently on the road ahead. Taxes, trade, immigration, climate change, job creation, the Affordable Care Act — there’s a long list of issues and one burning question: whether a Republican Congress and a Democratic President can find common ground.

Yet before we get worked up about what’s to come, we need to take a hard

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A Debate We Can Never Resolve

by Lee H. Hamilton

A few weeks ago, in his second inaugural speech, President Obama waded into the longest-running argument our history offers. “Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time,” he said, “but it does require us to act in our time.”

He had just laid out a rationale for government action on infrastructure, protecting the security and dignity of

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