Josef Stalin is reputed to have said: "The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic." In the hands of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the deaths of thousands can be a partisan bludgeon.
A number of scholars have pondered the recent rise in deaths of despair -- those attributed to alcoholism, suicide and drug ...Read more
People often offer cynical interpretations of American support for Israel. It's the malign influence of the Jewish lobby, or Israel is a colonial outpost of the American hegemon or Israel has brainwashed American policymakers. What these right-wing conspiracists, anti-Semites and committed leftists miss is that there isn't any mystery about the ...Read more
Caitlin Flanagan has written a searing piece for The Atlantic titled "The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate: Why We Need to Face the Best Arguments From the Other Side." Flanagan argues that neither the pro nor the anti side of the abortion debate reckons with the best arguments of the other side. She then takes the reader through some ...Read more
If I were addressing a young audience today, I would face an uphill battle to explain why conservatism so inspired me during my own impressionable years. Today, what has been dubbed "Conservatism, Inc" has become so cynical, so nasty, so truth-challenged, and so dumbed-down that it repels all but one-quarter of people between 18-29. The ...Read more
We don't care. You can check Pew or Gallup or any other polling company. We are running deficits that ought to make us nauseated with worry -- the federal deficit passed $1 trillion in September -- but we're not interested. Well, a majority of us anyway. About 48% of those polled by Pew in January said that reducing the deficit should be a top ...Read more
Here's a parlor trick: How many people can you name who were in favor of impeaching William J. Clinton and also favor impeaching Donald J. Trump? Or flip it: How many opposed Clinton's impeachment at the time and now also oppose Trump's?
Of the 14 House impeachment managers in the Clinton case, most have retired from Congress and one has died. ...Read more
During the last impeachment, the Latin expression coitus interruptus got a workout. This time, it's quid pro quo. Republicans lashed themselves to this mast when the White House's own rough transcript of the Donald Trump/ Volodymyr Zelensky call was disclosed. That document, so damaging that one might think its release was the work of Trump's ...Read more
If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We've been a storytelling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don't cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. Lincoln told stories. FDR told stories. ...Read more
Donald Trump is testing whether he can claim immunity from the rule of law. That's the plain meaning of the announcement that his administration will not cooperate in any way with the House impeachment inquiry.
The letter released by White House counsel Pat Cipollone brands the impeachment inquiry an effort "to overturn the results of the 2016 ...Read more
We're all familiar by now with the reasons advanced for why elected Republicans shrivel like dry houseplants whenever they are asked to distance themselves from the president. They fear primary challengers. They dread his Twitter wrath. They like the judges. All true as far as it goes. And we might add that partisanship has reached radioactive ...Read more
Speaking to the "enemies of the people" at the United Nations this week, President Donald Trump demonstrated that he may not understand what corruption is. Seriously. Trump's favorite gambit is to accuse others of what he himself has done -- self-dealing, lying, sexual misconduct. And he has displayed a flair for jujitsu -- turning a weapon ...Read more
Three Democratic candidates for president, Julian Castro, Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson, have declared support for the idea of slavery reparations. A number of others have said they'd vote for a bill sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee to create a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals For African-Americans Act. Still other ...Read more