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Politics

The Earthquake and the Aftermath

WASHINGTON -- What lies behind Donald Trump's nomination victory? Received wisdom among conservatives is that he, the outsider, sensed, marshaled and came to represent a massive revolt of the Republican rank and file against the "establishment."

This is the narrative: GOP political leaders made promises of all kinds and received in return, ...Read more

The World According to Trump

WASHINGTON -- Foreign policy does not determine American elections. Indeed, of all Western countries, we are the least interested in the subject. The reason is simple: We haven't had to be. Our instinctive isolationism derives from our geographic exceptionalism. As Bismarck once explained (it is said), the United States is the most fortunate of ...Read more

Our Own Mickey Mantle

WASHINGTON -- We all have our ways of marking the seasons. I know it's spring when in early April I start my morning by skipping The Washington Post front page and going right to the sports section. It's not until I've fully savored the baseball box scores that I resignedly turn to politics.

My non-baseball friends are forever puzzled by my ...Read more

Clintonism, RIP

WASHINGTON -- How far they've come. And I'm not talking about the GOP, whose front-runner representing 37 percent of the Republican electorate has repudiated post-Reagan orthodoxy on trade, entitlement reform, limited government and Pax Americana (and possibly abortion, but who knows?). I'm talking about the Democrats.

The center-left, ...Read more

The Coming Train Wreck

WASHINGTON -- Yes, the big Wisconsin story is Ted Cruz's crushing 13-point victory. And yes, it greatly improves his chances of denying Donald Trump a first-ballot convention victory, which may turn out to be Trump's only path to the nomination.

Nonetheless, the most stunning result of Wisconsin is the solidity of Trump's core constituency. ...Read more

The Four Foreign Policies

WASHINGTON -- After dozens of contests featuring cliffhangers, buzzer- beaters and a ton of flagrant fouls, we're down to the Final Four: Sanders, Clinton, Cruz and Trump. (If Kasich pulls a miracle, he'll get his own column.) The world wants to know: What are their foreign policies?

Herewith, four candidates and four schools: pacifist, ...Read more

Obama's Ideological Holiday in Havana.

WASHINGTON -- The split-screen told the story: on one side, images of the terror bombing in Brussels; on the other, Barack Obama doing the wave with Raul Castro at a baseball game in Havana.

On one side, the real world of rising global terrorism. On the other, the Obama fantasy world in which romancing a geopolitically insignificant Cuba -- ...Read more

There's An Air of Menace About This Campaign

WASHINGTON -- By international and historical standards, political violence is exceedingly rare in the United States. The last serious outburst was 1968 with its bloody Democratic-convention riots. By that standard, 2016 is, as yet, tame. It may not remain so.

The political thuggery that shut down a Donald Trump rally in Chicago last week may ...Read more

The Holocaust and the Jewish Identity

WASHINGTON -- Bernie Sanders is the most successful Jewish candidate for the presidency ever. It's a rare sign of the health of our republic that no one seems to much care or even notice. Least of all, Sanders himself. Which prompted Anderson Cooper in a recent Democratic debate to ask Sanders whether he was intentionally keeping his Judaism ...Read more

Donald Trump: Defender of the Faith

WASHINGTON -- What happened to the evangelicals? They were supposed to be the bedrock of the Ted Cruz candidacy. Yet on Super Tuesday he lost them to Donald Trump.

Cruz still did make a reasonably good showing, winning Alaska, Oklahoma and Texas, the latter by an impressive 17 points. But he didn't have the great night he needed to put away ...Read more

Win One for Nino

WASHINGTON -- Let's understand something about the fight to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin ("Nino") Scalia. This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony -- brazenly, embarrassingly so.

In Year Seven of the George W. Bush administration, Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly opposed filling any Supreme Court ...Read more

Sanders and Trump: Magic Sells

WASHINGTON -- The New Hampshire results have solidified the reigning cliche that the 2016 campaign is an anti-establishment revolt of both the left and the right. Largely overlooked, however, is the role played in setting the national mood by the seven-year legacy of the Obama presidency.

Yes, you hear constant denunciations of institutions, ...Read more

The 'Establishment' Nonsense

WASHINGTON -- The reigning idiocy of the current political season is the incessant tossing around of "establishment," an epithet now descending into meaninglessness. Its most recent abuse is by Donald Trump supporters rationalizing his Iowa defeat with the following consolation: If you tally up Trump and Ted Cruz (and throw in Ben Carson), a ...Read more

The Three-Cornered Fight For the Soul of the GOP

WASHINGTON -- It's hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its intellectual demise. Indeed, the prospect of socialist Bernie Sanders, whatever his current momentum, ...Read more

The GOP gets the Iran Prisoner Swap Wrong

WASHINGTON -- Give President Obama credit. His Iran nuclear deal may be disastrous but the packaging was brilliant. The near-simultaneous prisoner exchange was meant to distract from last Saturday's official implementation of the sanctions-lifting deal. And it did. The Republicans concentrated almost all their fire on the swap sideshow.

And in ...Read more

The State of the Presidency: Spent

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's Tuesday night address to Congress was less about the state of the union than the state of the presidency. And the state of this presidency is spent.

The signs of intellectual exhaustion were everywhere. Consider just three. After taking credit for success in Syria, raising American stature abroad and prevailing ...Read more

Defy America, Pay No Price

WASHINGTON -- If you're going to engage in a foreign policy capitulation, might as well do it when everyone is getting tanked and otherwise occupied. Say, New Year's Eve.

Here's the story. In October, Iran test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in brazen violation of Security Council resolutions prohibiting such launches. President ...Read more

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Mike Lester Gary Varvel Lisa Benson Chip Bok Michael Ramirez Darrin Bell