The Internal Revenue Service’s actions are a political Rorschach test, with Republicans seeing an effort to intimidate their allies and Democrats citing a mismanaged agency’s interpretation of flawed laws.
The patchwork quilt of U.S. state laws on same-sex marriage, which Washington is now poised to legalize, leaves gay and lesbian Americans with different rights depending on geography. To opponents, that’s just the way things work in a union of self-governing states.
As I struggled to navigate a roundabout at London’s Heathrow Airport recently, I wondered why the Brits don’t switch to driving on the right side of the road. The main obstacle, of course, is the difficulty of ensuring that all vehicles make the change at the same time. Just a few holdouts, particularly trucks, could cause major problems.
Newt Gingrich never saw it ending this way. The former House speaker, who has long thought of himself as a historic figure, envisioned he would be the candidate of innovative “big ideas” and the agenda-setter for the 2012 U.S. election.