WASHINGTON -- Republicans who are thinking about opposing President Trump in the 2020 primaries are facing the hardest of political choices.
Toppling a sitting president of your own party is a maneuver with the highest degree of difficulty. The most relevant historical model is probably Eugene McCarthy's race against Lyndon Johnson in 1968, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Those of us who participated in the 2000 presidential election are getting political PTSD from the current gubernatorial and senatorial recounts in Florida. President George W. Bush was eventually declared winner in the Sunshine State (and thus the election) by 537 votes out of about 6 million cast. But for 35 long days of counting...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In the spirit of the political season, I want to claim credit for the most STUPENDOUS, INSIGHTFUL and POWERFUL political strategy since Pericles bound the DELIAN LEAGUE into an empire to resist THE PERSIANS. I urged voters to support reasonable Republican candidates in the Senate, and to vote for every Democrat in House races. And ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In Donald Trump's closing argument of the midterm elections -- an attack on birthright citizenship -- he has again targeted the children of migrants.
I say "again" because it is something of a theme. There was the use of family separation as a punishment for illegal immigration -- effectively using the traumatization of children ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Americans like to think of the military defeat of Nazi Germany and the liberation of death camps as their answer to the most murderous outbreak of anti-Semitism in history. It has become part of our national lore: American soldiers escorting German locals to visit Buchenwald, forcing them to see the faces of those killed with their...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The most fundamental moral principle in the universe may well be: "You break it, you buy it." But a close second is: You can't call women by cruel and misogynist names, defame ethnic groups, discriminate based on religion, accuse opponents of being "un-American" and "treasonous," excuse and encourage violence by your supporters, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Afghan War -- really, the war against terrorists and their allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- has elements of a Greek tragedy. It was unavoidable, but seemingly unwinnable.
Following the murder of nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, al-Qaida's gracious hosts, the Taliban, could not be allowed to remain in power. But ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It is a sign of the times -- the kind involving the seven-horned beast, and the rain of fire, and the end of days -- that recent news has been dominated by Kanye, Stormy and the misogynist boor who is president of these United States. It would be a circus if it were not a crime scene, complete with credible accusations of financial...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Whatever the eventual consequences of the Saudi Arabian regime's suspected murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump's initial response indicated much about the priorities of America First foreign policy. His instincts were commercial and transactional -- a concern that America might lose defense ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One measure of the effectiveness of a political movement is how it changes its opposition. And Donald Trump is in the process of driving portions of his Democratic opposition insane.
Hillary Clinton -- whose warmth, integrity and down-to-earth style were the largest reasons for Trump's election -- has now publicly turned against ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In the recent Supreme Court nomination showdown, American institutions underwent a stress test. And we saw the political equivalent of the collapse of Lehman Bros.
The Senate Judiciary Committee -- which must work properly for the legal system to work properly -- quickly became a writhing heap of serpentine partisanship. The ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The internal dialogue of the last (and fictional) undecided Republican senator:
The FBI was never going to decide this for us. Unless someone changed his or her story, there would be no certainty. That is a part of the job no one tells you about: Decisions for the highest stakes based on partial and disputed information.
WASHINGTON -- Baptists tend to be teetotalers, but some obviously make an exception for the potent Kool-Aid they serve at the White House. It has produced (metaphorically) a different kind of belligerent intoxication.
Consider a recent tweet by Jerry Falwell Jr.: "Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing 'nice guys'. They might make ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In the end, everything -- every blasted thing -- gets sucked into the polarization black hole, never to emerge again.
That now includes the Supreme Court. It is not, of course, that this process has never been political before. But it has never been more clearly a function of contending culture war narratives.
Progressives saw ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the dubious advantages of a Supreme Court nomination battle is how it brings into the open some of the vicious, ideological arguments that are normally hidden by shame and discretion. That has certainly been true on the right, with some figures demonstrating a callousness toward the charge of attempted rape that would ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- This is the cost when institutions have lost public trust.
The United States Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body, protected by extended terms from contracting the political fevers of the day. This role assumes a certain level of competence, collegiality and goodwill among its members.
None of which has been ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It is difficult to comment on an unfolding news story, but this one demands it. It is hard to write about someone you know and like, especially concerning matters of character. But sometimes there is little choice.
In the case of Brett Kavanaugh vs. Christine Blasey Ford, the moral issues are not fuzzy or unclear. It is seriously ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A surefire ideological Kool-Aid test? Those who think Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was wounded during his hearings have heavily imbibed.
Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee set out to prove that Kavanaugh is a mendacious political hack with the strategy of acting like mendacious political hacks. Sen. Cory ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Since the Council of Nicaea, Christians have been prone to issue joint statements that are designed to draw the boundaries of orthodoxy -- and cast their rivals beyond them. Another one, not quite in the same league, was recently issued by a group including John MacArthur, a prominent (and very conservative) evangelical pastor and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the major problems with President Trump's impulsivity is its utter predictability.
A recent op-ed in The New York Times by an anonymous administration official accused the president of impetuous, reckless rants, and Trump responded with impetuous, reckless rants ("Treason?"). Bob Woodward's new book "Fear" recounts a ...Read more