WASHINGTON -- If you are the status quo candidate in a change election in which the national mood is sour and two-thirds of the electorate think the country is on the wrong track, what do you do? Attack. Relentlessly. Paint your opponent as extremist, volatile, clueless, unfit, dangerous. Indeed, Hillary Clinton's latest national ad, featuring ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The president of the United States lands with all the majesty of Air Force One, waiting to exit the front door and stride down the rolling staircase to the red-carpeted tarmac. Except that there is no rolling staircase. He is forced to exit -- as one China expert put it rather undiplomatically -- through "the ass" of the plane.
WASHINGTON -- The one great service of Donald Trump's extended peregrinations on immigration policy is to have demonstrated how, in the end, there's only one place to go.
You can rail for a year about the squishy soft, weak-kneed and stupid politicians who have opened our borders to the wretched refuse of Mexico. You can promise to round them ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Bernie Sanders never understood the epic quality of the Clinton scandals. In his first debate, he famously dismissed the email issue, it being beneath the dignity of a great revolutionary to deal in things so tawdry and straightforward.
Sanders failed to understand that Clinton scandals are sprawling, multilayered, complex things....Read more
WASHINGTON -- This week Russian bombers flew out of Iranian air bases to attack rebel positions in Syria. The State Department pretended not to be surprised. It should be. It should be alarmed. Iran's intensely nationalistic revolutionary regime had never permitted foreign forces to operate from its soil. Until now.
The reordering of the Middle...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You may be thrilled by the feats of Katie Ledecky, mesmerized by the grace of the women gymnasts, startled by Rio spectators mocking U.S. soccer star Hope Solo with chants of "Zika! Zika!" (the first recorded instance, noted one wit, of a stadium rocking to the invocation of a virus). Allow me, however, to interrupt the prepackaged...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump, the man who defied every political rule and prevailed to win his party's nomination, last week took on perhaps the most sacred political rule of all: Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it alienates a vital constituency but because it reveals a shocking absence of elementary decency and of natural ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "The best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life." So said Bill Clinton in making the case for his wife at the Democratic National Convention. Considering that Bernie Sanders ran as the author of a political revolution and Donald Trump as the man who would "kick over the table" (to quote Newt Gingrich) in Washington, "...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The main purpose of the modern political convention is to produce four days of televised propaganda. The subsidiary function, now that nominees are invariably chosen in advance, is structural: Unify the party before the final battle. In Cleveland, the Republicans achieved not unity, but only a rough facsimile.
The internal ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "The most significant reinforcement of our collective defense any time since the Cold War," President Obama called it. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but it was still an achievement: Last week's NATO summit in Warsaw ordered the deployment of troops to Eastern Europe, the alliance's most serious response yet to Russia's ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Why did he do it? FBI director James Comey spent 14 minutes laying out an unassailable case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton for the mishandling of classified material. Then at literally the last minute, he recommended against prosecution.
This is baffling. Under the statute (18 U.S.C. section 793(f)), it's a felony to mishandle ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Given their arrogance, pomposity and habitual absurdities, it is hard not to feel a certain satisfaction with the comeuppance that Brexit has delivered to the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats in Brussels.
Nonetheless, we would do well to refrain from smug condescension. Unity is not easy. What began in 1951 as a six-member...Read more
"I believe in an America always moving toward the future."
-- Hillary Clinton, June 21
WASHINGTON -- This was not the most important line in Clinton's Ohio economic policy speech, only the most amazing. Surely there cannot be a more vacuous, meaningless piece of political rhetoric. Every terrestrial entity from nematode to the United ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When in his 1964 GOP acceptance speech Barry Goldwater declared that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," a reporter sitting near journalist/historian Theodore White famously exclaimed: "My God, he's going to run as Barry Goldwater!"
Six weeks into Donald Trump's general election campaign, Republicans are discovering ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The morning after, the nation awakes asking: What have we done?
Both parties seem intent on throwing the election away. The Democrats, running against a man with highest-ever negatives, are poised to nominate a candidate with the second-highest-ever negatives. Hillary Clinton started with every possible advantage -- money, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Part of Bernie Sanders' charm is that for all of his arm-waving jeremiads, he appears unthreatening. He's the weird old uncle in the attic, Larry David's crazy Bernie. It's almost a matter of style. Who can be afraid of a candidate so irascible, grumpy, old-fashioned and unfashionable?
After all, he's not going to win the ...Read more