In 1980, because I was an idealistic conservative eager to do my bit for democracy, I volunteered for my local Republican Party as a poll watcher. When polls closed, election officials asked us to gather around as they opened the backs of the machines one by one and tallied the votes. We could all see what was happening, and we all gave our ...Read more
For nearly half a century, the Supreme Court freed Americans from thinking hard about abortion. Its decisions in Roe v. Wade and later cases removed the matter from legislative consideration. That liberated voters from the responsibility to consider the competing values at issue. Whatever you think of those rulings -- and in my judgment, they ...Read more
The Supreme Court building is currently surrounded by crowd-control barricades after the leak of a draft decision in the Dobbs case. The plaza was clear, however, on April 22, Earth Day, when Wynn Bruce of Boulder, Colorado, set himself aflame to protest climate change.
Bruce's extreme deed, an echo of the Buddhist monks who self-immolated in ...Read more
Fighting Republican authoritarianism means sometimes delaying political gratification.
The Utah Democratic Party did something extraordinary last week: They threw their support behind a Republican. Well, a former Republican, anyway. Evan McMullin, who ran for president as an independent in 2016, is now seeking to unseat Sen. Mike Lee.
At the ...Read more
Tucker Carlson's foray into testicle toasting is only the latest (and possibly most amusing) example of the right wing's masculinity obsession. The manliness theme keeps reappearing. Trump's strutting tough talk was imbibed greedily by fans eager for affirmation of the manly virtues.
Trump and his acolytes didn't invent this; insecure ...Read more
There is probably no easy cure for the Marjorie Taylor Greene phenomenon. She's a repellent clown whose presence on the national stage has yielded nothing but degradation -- except for the guffaw she afforded us when denouncing Nancy Pelosi's "Gazpacho police."
And she has lots of company. Her colleagues in the House include Paul Gosar and ...Read more
When voters are dissatisfied with the state of things, they punish the party in power, and Democrats seem poised for a thumping. This may be bad news for the health of democracy, but it is understandable as a matter of electoral politics because Democrats have forgotten what they grasped in 2020 when they united behind Joe Biden: the overriding ...Read more
"Many in Mideast See Hypocrisy in Western Embrace of Ukraine," read an Associated Press headline this week. Salon asked: "Whose Lives Really Matter?" and answered its own question in the next breath -- "How Racism Colors Coverage of the Crisis in Ukraine."
On social media, a tweet by Ayo Sogunro, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, has been shared ...Read more
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas recently used his executive authority to declare that puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for those under 18 meet the legal standard for child abuse in Texas, a ruling that authorized the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents who had sought such treatment for their children. ...Read more
President Joe Biden should deliver an Oval Office address. Here is a suggestion:
My fellow Americans, our country has been through several tough years. The pandemic was a severe blow. But even more serious than the disease was the fraying of our national spirit. We've been so polarized that we've forgotten our core identity as a country -- that...Read more
President Joe Biden is not very good at his job, and yet, I thank God every day that Biden is president. In the Ukraine crisis, he has redeemed the hopes of those who voted for competence. The administration's warnings to Moscow were unambiguous without being hysterical. Our revelations of intelligence unmasking Russian disinformation and false ...Read more
Imagine for a moment that Russian President Vladimir Putin had used different tactics. Imagine that Putin had just been a little less nakedly aggressive; if he had worked to undermine democracy and dismantle the post-Cold War architecture with a bit more subtlety; if he had stuck with the tactics he employed in Georgia and Crimea and in American...Read more
In a few days, President Joe Biden will deliver his first State of the Union speech. He might want to consider some advice from two political analysts who have a track record of success.
In 1989, William Galston (my esteemed colleague on the "Beg to Differ" podcast) and Elaine Kamarck, both of the Brookings Institution, looked at the state of ...Read more