Politics, Moderate



In his own words

WASHINGTON -- One of the most effective political ads of the season features women repeating the many derogatory statements Donald Trump has made about the fairer sex.

No editorial comment is needed when a candidate's own words stand alone to expose his flaws, and thus to condemn him.

Just ask Mitt Romney, whose 47 percent remark effectively ...Read more

Plato, Aristotle and, Oh Dear, Trump

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- When it comes to rhetoric, Plato was right and Aristotle -- not so much.

Distilled, Aristotle thought rhetoric good for democracy, though his definition of "by the people" was closer to our Founding Fathers' intent of only certain people than to today's more-the-merrier model. Given this assumption of a narrow, educated,...Read more

Black Votes Matter

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- African-Americans in the South can't get a break when it comes to voting, as history can't deny.

After all they've endured through slavery, Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, their voices are still treated dismissively by tone-deaf politicians who would ask for their votes.

If you're thinking Bernie Sanders, you're ...Read more

A Trans-ient Dilemma

WASHINGTON -- As Archie Bunker might say, the world is going down the terlet.

And how.

Who could have predicted that politics would require serious discussion of who uses what restroom? Or, personally speaking, a second column?

Alas, it seems that yet greater clarity is needed regarding this terribly serious, faux dilemma of proper bathroom ...Read more

Karma Tastes Rich in New, Humane Economy

WASHINGTON -- As the human circus of presidential politics has plodded along for what seems a decade now, a revolution has been taking place in the ever-more-dignified animal kingdom.

Several victories in just the past few weeks have raised cheers, or their equivalent, in aquariums, barnyards and board rooms across the country as three giants ...Read more

Fashion-Backward in North Carolina

EASTON, Md. -- It's been a long while since South Carolina could look down upon its neighbor to the North.

Thanks to North Carolina's anti-LGBT legislation (HB2), also referred to as the "bathroom bill," the state effectively has begun redefining itself from its long-popular characterization as a "valley of humility between two mountains of ...Read more

Pope Bernie

WASHINGTON -- Imagine emerging from a rocky political week only to announce, as Bernie Sanders did, that, oh, by the way, the Vatican called. Actually, it was the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, but close enough, I suppose.

Hillary Clinton thought bubble: He's Jewish for crying out loud. What am I, chopped liver? No, I'm Methodist! ...Read more

The People's Race

WASHINGTON -- The spectacular strangeness of this presidential election may require a new display in Ripley's Odditorium of believe-it-or-nots.

Among the exhibits, curators might place the History of Conventional Wisdom, wherein the page titled "Populists Never Win in America" has a large, red X drawn through the word "never."

Like all things ...Read more

Trump Learns That Thinking is Hard

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump is learning how hard it is to pretend to be something he's not.

Case in point: Since deciding to run for president -- and maybe before, but who knows? -- Trump has insisted he is pro-life. America learned otherwise with his recent remarks that a woman should be punished were she to have an illegal abortion. Since ...Read more

What Now?

WASHINGTON -- So what are we to do?

This is a familiar question to opinion writers. Translation: You've told us what's wrong with everything -- and we agree. But, what's the action plan?

Ah. The action plan. I hoped you'd never ask.

A reader recently wrote three of us Washington Post columnists along these lines: "I feel your frustration and...Read more

Sinking to Old Lows

WASHINGTON -- When a presidential election devolves into a hydrant-watering contest between leading contenders about the relative attractiveness of their respective wives, not only does America look ridiculous but we diminish our moral standing to denounce other cultures' marginalization of women.

It's that bad.

This latest tantrum-a-deux ...Read more

What Did You Do To Stop Him, Daddy?

WASHINGTON -- Now that Donald Trump has spoken before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group, Americans have learned the following:

Trump can read a teleprompter; he finally got someone to write him a decent speech, which he was able to deliver without resorting to vulgarities; and he has provided ...Read more

Understanding the Islamic State

MIAMI BEACH -- One wouldn't call them bedfellows, strange or otherwise, but President Obama and Donald Trump are bothinadvertently helping the Islamic State through rhetoric that is either too cautious or too rash.

It shouldn't be difficult to discern which is which.

Obama, through his studious avoidance of explicitly calling terrorists...Read more

Shame, Shame, Shame

WASHINGTON -- As Donald Trump continues to surge forward as the most-likely Republican nominee, perfectly sane people are beginning to wonder: "Was there something we missed? Maybe he's not really so bad?"

Shed that self-doubt and purge the thought. You're not wrong -- and he's that bad. Just ask the Breitbart reporter who was roughed up at a ...Read more

Farewell, Prince of Tides

WASHINGTON -- Soon after "The Prince of Tides" became a blockbuster movie in 1991, People magazine put the film's leading man, Nick Nolte, on its cover as the "Sexiest Man Alive."

This couldn't possibly be true, I thought (and wrote) at the time. Nolte, who played protagonist Tom Wingo, was a good-looking actor who did well by his role. But ...Read more

The Party's (Almost) Over

WASHINGTON -- So it has come to this: A brokered convention or President Hillary Clinton.

These options seem to be what's left to Republicans of conscience, who are, let's face it, rather Romney-come-latelys to the pyre. They're based on the following evidence: It is highly unlikely that Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich can wrest the ...Read more

Inoculated Against Truth

WASHINGTON -- By now it's obvious that lecturing Donald Trump supporters about why they shouldn't vote for him only confirms their convictions.

If you're part of the "establishment," which approximately means anyone who has served in government or, grab your garlic garland, a member of the media, your opinion matters less than whatever you ...Read more

The Black and White of Politics

FLORENCE, S.C. -- If Donald Trump speaks for disenfranchised whites, Hillary Clinton speaks mostly to blacks who feel the same.

But the differences in how people, left and right, perceive the world's injustices -- and the various approaches today's presidential front-runners are bringing to Super Tuesday -- suggest that we dwell in worlds apart...Read more

The Global Allure of Palmetto Politics

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Americans aren't the only people who are fascinated by South Carolina politics and the presidential primary process.

During the past several days, including Saturday's Republican primary and Tuesday night's Democratic town hall, a variety of foreign dignitaries have visited the state to catch the spectacle. Ahem, I mean to ...Read more

Clash of Titans: Pope vs. Trump

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The popular wisdom that opposites attract is true in both romance and politics.

But rarely do adages prove so profoundly -- and absurdly -- true as during the recent, media-created dialogue between Pope Francis and Donald Trump.

Set aside for a moment that this mini-uproar, spawned by a reporter's question and poached by ...Read more

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