WASHINGTON -- Politics is an odd profession. Usually it involves the posturing inherent to partisanship and the self-abasement of endless fundraising. But occasionally it entails the most solemn duties of self-government -- decisions that echo across the decades.
Members of the House of Representatives now face this kind of resonant choice.
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's claim of vindication by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report depends on some creative thinking. The president, it seems, is not guilty of conspiracy with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. He is only guilty of wishing really, really hard for Russian help and having his fondest desire miraculously granted...Read more
WASHINGTON -- So another norm of public decency falls, like a historical building demolished to make way for one of Donald Trump's tasteless towers.
When the president of the United States goes after an American Muslim -- in this case Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee -- using images of the 9/11 attacks, it is ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There not being nearly enough discussion of chariot racing in American politics, it is worth recalling the story of the Greens and the Blues. These were the two main racing teams of the Byzantine Empire, and they generated considerable sporting enthusiasm. A clash of their fans in the riots of the year 501 took perhaps 3,000 lives...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The ouster of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen -- the implementer of some of the most unjust immigration policies since the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II -- is another proof of Donald Trump's ratchet-wrench theory of loyalty. It goes only in his direction.
In the end, the burnt ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The national debate on race -- which the president has made more angry and urgent with his racial demagoguery -- is hindered by imprecise language.
Most whites do not feel personally guilty for America's long history of imposed white supremacy. A white man who has lost his job at the coal mine, or the daughter of a recent ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There are times when Donald Trump manages to be so wrong -- so empirically groundless, so logically fallacious, so stridently uninformed -- that it seems like a form of parody. But more often than not, this reflects an authentic and alarming ignorance. The mask of a barroom political crank turns out to be the face of the president ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A thought experiment. Suppose that on March 24 -- the day Attorney General William Barr publicly summarized the Mueller report -- all of the results of the special counsel's probe that have dribbled out over the last two years had been revealed at once.
Americans would have discovered that a hostile foreign power had ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A friend -- reacting to the apparent thinness of Robert Mueller's case against the president -- told me: "This year, I'm giving up hope for Lent." I, in turn, am giving up commenting on documents I have never seen. And so it might be more productive to focus on Lent itself -- the yearly festival of self-examination, denial and ...Read more