Ari Berman is a senior contributing writer for The Nation magazine and a Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Ports Bishop)
Though short on specifics, President Obama's speech on the deficit today defended progressive governance and blasted the GOP's plan to gut the country's social safety net.
If House Republicans force a government shutdown for ideological reasons, they will deservedly get the bulk of the blame for the current budget morass.
A mixture of Republican heartlessness and Democratic cowardice has brought us to the brink of a government shutdown.