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Desperately seeking a legacy

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- "I have never seen anything like it."

So I was told by a former U.S. official, who had seen much as a senior diplomat. It has become hard to deny that the rollout of the Lausanne framework is a first-rate debacle -- a dazzling display of self-destructive incompetence.

Who proposed that the State Department issue an interpretive ...Read more

Enter the Reform Conservatives

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The juxtaposition of Hillary Clinton's and Marco Rubio's announcements for president illustrates a serious problem for American progressivism: Its political bench looks as spry and novel as the old Soviet Politburo. Joe Biden? Jerry Brown? Elizabeth Warren? All fight for Social Security while qualifying for their full check.

...Read more

Rand Paul's Grand Deception

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- In March of 2013, Rand Paul occupied the Senate floor for a 13-hour filibuster, promising to "speak until I can no longer speak" in the cause that "no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime." Enthused Ted Cruz: "You're standing here today like a modern 'Mr. Smith Goes to ...Read more

If Our Heroism is Hopeless

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The apocalypse has been much on my mind.

This is not only because Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is now more or less officially in charge of a nuclear threshold state, or because a dictator with the mentality of a spiteful teenager controls North Korea's dozen or so atom bombs, or because a nuclear Pakistan was recently named the world's ...Read more

Iran's Remarkable Achievement

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Whatever else the Obama administration accomplished in the Iran nuclear framework, it did a good job keeping the bar of expectations low and then clearing it.

Many assumed various provisions would last 10 years or less; most are for 15 years or more. Many expected the number of operating centrifuges to exceed 6,000; the target is ...Read more

The Virtues of the Smoke-Filled Room

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The John Boehner/Nancy Pelosi agreement on Medicare doctors' payments -- permanently easing up on scheduled cuts, funded (partially) by means testing -- has been praised as an incremental gain and criticized as a small backward step. In either case, it is a rare bird: the result of a March 4 meeting between leaders in a ...Read more

The Next Epidemic

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- "Of all the things that could kill more than 10 million people around the world," writes philanthropist Bill Gates in The New England Journal of Medicine, "the most likely is an epidemic stemming from either natural causes or bioterrorism."

Beginning with this blunt and clinical assessment, we are given a detailed picture of the ...Read more

How to Block a Bad Deal With Iran

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is the common temptation of Republicans and Democrats to support a strong executive when it does things they like, and to condemn it when it does things they don't. There is, however, a group of committed institutionalists that has gathered around the Bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, now scheduled for a vote of the ...Read more

Hillary's Nixonian Path to Office

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The effective kickoff of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was an act of deck clearing so breathtaking, so brazen, that it remains difficult to process.

A former secretary of state summoned reporters to the United Nations, made a statement on Iran nuclear negotiations, then admitted deleting more than 30,000 emails she ...Read more

Inequality's Effects on Kids

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is rare for a work of sociology to leave readers choking back emotion. Max Weber and Emile Durkheim were not known for writing tearjerkers. But Robert Putnam's "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis" is sociology as story, as tragedy and as an act of social solidarity. It is the culminating work of an academic career ...Read more

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