WASHINGTON -- In a world where bullying is interpreted as strength, Donald Trump and Bobby Knight would be kings. One of them is testing the proposition.
Not Knight, though some in Indiana might prefer him. It is the hidden vice of polite, congenial Hoosiers -- like the vicar with a fetish -- that they regard the profane, chair-throwing, player...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Word on the street is that Donald Trump wants to hire a serious campaign team and give some serious policy speeches -- 10 months after his presidential announcement and just as he has nearly secured the Republican nomination.
A consistent plurality of GOP primary voters has found such establishment credentials -- a campaign with ...Read more
LUSAKA, Zambia -- Mary, who is 24 but looks barely 18, has already experienced more than enough betrayal for any lifetime. Shyly but deliberately, she told of feeling sick at 16 and being diagnosed with HIV. After her mother -- her only provider -- was sent to prison, an aunt took Mary in, but forced her to sleep in an open-walled shed behind ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The presidential race recently turned to talk of favorite Bible verses. Mine (for what it is worth) is found in the parable of the prodigal son. After his fit of dissipation in a far country, the boy returns, expecting humiliation. "But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Welcome to Donald Trump's banana republic. "We're going to have protests, demonstrations," says Trump surrogate and confidante Roger Stone. "We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal. If you're from Pennsylvania, we'll tell you who the culprits are. We urge you to ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Some Trump-obsessed, hysterical nitwits have overstated the case that the Republican Party may be on the verge of self-annihilation. "If Trump were the nominee," said one, "the GOP would cease to be."
That quote would be mine. The mood of the moment (not to mention the rhythm of the sentence) was irresistible. But the Republican ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "What we are seeing is post-purchase cognitive dissonance," a well-connected former Democratic official told me. Hillary Clinton has effectively secured her party's nomination, in part through an embrace by superdelegates who demonstrate that the Democratic establishment is far more privileged than its toothless, gouty Republican ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In a campaign that has involved talk of revisiting the Geneva Conventions, rewriting the 14th Amendment and rounding up and expelling 11 million people, failures of politeness, violations of manners, would seem a secondary concern. But in this political cycle, insults, invective and coarseness have been charged with a political ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- This campaign season has offered an unexpected form of reality television entertainment: Watching the light of discovery and calculation in Donald Trump's eyes when he is presented with difficult policy issues, apparently for the very first time.
Abortion is the current case in point. In the late 1990s, Trump supported the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, one of the main reasons will be that many in the conservative movement found him acceptable. And one of the main reasons that many conservatives are finding Trump acceptable is that the most influential political talk radio host in history, Rush Limbaugh, has provided his blessing.
WASHINGTON -- After the Brussels murders, and the Paris murders, and the San Bernardino murders and dozens of previous, tragic iterations of innocent blood on the sidewalk, the two leading Republican candidates for president propose to finally get tough on terrorism.
In Ted Cruz's view, America is "voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In a time of brushfire populism, the problem is not the populace, it is the populists who seek to lead it. The two candidates who call themselves revolutionaries -- Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump -- are, in fact, backward looking, intellectually timid and unresponsive to the real needs of the working and middle classes.
This ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Whatever you think of Donald Trump, his political achievement is enormous, and he deserves the credit.
With no background in elected office, Trump has led the Republican presidential field for eight months. His strong plurality has proven to be demographically and geographically diverse. He has soundly beaten a series of talented,...Read more
"The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations." -- Edmund Burke
WASHINGTON -- As the unthinkable becomes likely, the question arises: Who is really to blame for Donald Trump?
The proximate answer is a durable plurality in the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The GOP is not facing a debate over policy, but rather a hostile takeover by a pernicious force. Traditional Republicans are now presented with a series of deeply flawed options. And serving the party's ideals may eventually require leaving it, at least for a season.
Donald Trump is winning the Republican nomination but not ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It is the great, democratic virtue of presidential campaigns that they subject candidates to every kind of stress, eventually revealing their core, their character. For Donald Trump, the test has been political success. After leading the Republican field for six months, and in some quarters receiving adulation nearly equal to his ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The main focus of Donald Trump's media coverage has been his populist disdain for elites. But his main focus has often been a strident version of American nationalism.
Trump has offered this explanation of his own ambitions: "The reason I'm thinking about [running for office]," he told the Conservative Political Action Conference ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- At a time when politics has veered toward division and exclusion, it is somehow fitting that Harper Lee, the apostle of empathy, made her exit.
After the success of her first novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," Lee chose to live a quiet life in a quiet South Alabama town, involved in the local Methodist Church, doing laundry at the XL...Read more
WASHINGTON -- At first, in the summer of 2015, it seemed like a joke. Then a novelty. Then a bubble that must surely burst. Then a spectacle, overshadowing all the earnestness and experience of the Republican presidential field.
Now Donald Trump seems on the verge of primary victories concentrated in the South that would establish him as a ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A public official can fight to expand the power and prerogatives of his office with skill and cunning. Defending the prerogatives of other officials, in another branch of government, is done only out of principle. Justice Antonin Scalia spent a career in America's judicial aristocracy defending representative democracy. He wanted ...Read more