For the past four years, Donald Trump has regularly flouted the Constitution, laws and basic norms of presidential behavior, and he has gotten away with it. He has acted in faithful conformity to an inviolable principle: Anything he does is fine. As he said last year, "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total."
After three years and 50 weeks of meekly deferring to Donald Trump, Mike Pence finally ran out of patience Tuesday. Trump demanded that the vice president block Congress' certification of Joe Biden's election victory, and Pence gave his answer: No.
That refusal so infuriated Trump that he appeared at a rally in Washington, castigated his long-...Read more
In recent years, the American political system has featured a clash of extremes. Republicans moved so sharply to the right that even past presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain no longer fit in, and Donald Trump stoked the ire of the sort of people who stormed the Capitol building yesterday. Meanwhile, leftists such as Bernie Sanders ...Read more
Over the past century, there have been times when Americans showed they can unite to overcome formidable challenges: winning World II, sending men to the moon, bringing down Soviet communism. The coronavirus pandemic will not be remembered as one of them.
It's fair to say that we have done many things right, individually and collectively. Most ...Read more
In 2001, two U.S. senators introduced the DREAM Act, to let immigrants brought here without authorization as children remain in the country. Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah didn't know how fitting the name would be. Today, the idea of granting legal status to these innocents is just that -- a dream.
This is ...Read more
With its gaudy displays, rampant excess, celebratory spirit and high price tag, Christmas is a thoroughly American holiday. But it could also be called an un-American holiday that thoroughly infiltrated our culture - and transformed it.
This year, because of the pandemic, most Americans have had to change how they observe the season. Holiday ...Read more
In 1980, a presidential candidate pledged to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court. "It is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists," said Ronald Reagan, and in 1981, he kept his promise by nominating Sandra Day O'Connor.
In 2008, John McCain made history by choosing the party's first female vice presidential candidate. ...Read more
The advantage of living under the First Amendment is that it allows you to speak, write and worship as you please. But there's also a problem with living under the First Amendment: Sooner or later, it's going to protect someone you detest.
Some conservative Christian towns don't want mosques. Some liberals wouldn't mind blocking the Westboro ...Read more
The collapse of the Soviet Union, one of the most momentous events of the 20th century, contributed to a historic flowering of democracy. People who had been in the suffocating grip of communism for decades leapt at the chance to join the community of free, self-governing nations.
Much of the rest of the world followed suit, with democracy ...Read more
In the aftermath of the November election, public attention focused on the sudden termination of Donald Trump's presidency. Largely overlooked was a development that could begin to shut down another destructive phenomenon. The people of Oregon voted to remove criminal penalties for possession of any illicit drugs.
Heroin? Meth? Cocaine? They ...Read more
College-educated voters have shifted to the Democratic Party in recent years, and Democratic leaders think it would be ungenerous not to reward their change of heart. Joe Biden wants to help people with student loan debts by forgiving up to $10,000 per borrower. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wants to go big, setting the amount at $50,...Read more
Shortly before becoming vice president, Joe Biden traveled to Afghanistan in his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. When he returned, he had a succinct assessment of the situation there: "a real mess."
When he takes the presidential oath on Jan. 20, Biden will find not much has changed. He will find himself saddled with...Read more
The book of Ecclesiastes advises that the Almighty sends rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. American incarceration policy follows the same pattern. We've always locked up people who have been convicted of crimes. But in recent decades, we've made a practice of also jailing people who have not been convicted of crimes.
On any given ...Read more
In the minds of many Americans, the coronavirus pandemic creates a huge danger to constitutional rights and personal freedom. These unhappy souls regard stay-at-home orders, business closures and even mask mandates as unprecedented, intolerable assertions of government power. They want to go back to the old days when people were free to make ...Read more
The Republican Party has lost in the popular vote for president in seven of the last eight elections, and that dismal record has some Republicans doing some serious rethinking. Not about how to broaden the GOP's appeal to voters, but about how to take voters out of the equation.
Republicans have an advantage in the Electoral College, which ...Read more
When he first ran for president, Barack Obama evoked fervent loyalty and extravagant dreams in many people. As the first black president, with a rare gift for oratory, he was supposed to inspire us to new heights, end our racial divisions and make America beloved around the world. Campaigning for him, his wife, Michelle, said, "We need a leader ...Read more
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, The Onion, a satirical newspaper, had this headline: "Black man given nation's worst job."
Joe Biden, who appears likely to be declared the winner of this year's election, knew what he was getting into when he decided to try to unseat Donald Trump. But Obama is probably telling his vice president...Read more
This looks to be the election that meant everything and resolved nothing. Donald Trump defied the polls to come close to winning -- and could yet win. Joe Biden may win, but by such a narrow margin that he can't claim a convincing mandate -- and it appears he will confront a Republican-controlled Senate that can block almost anything he wants to...Read more
There may a rational, evidence-based case for allowing all high school sports to be played during the coronavirus pandemic. But that is not what you can expect from Mark Curran, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, who prefers that you trust the dictates of his religion rather than the counsel of the Centers for Disease ...Read more
A fanatic has been defined as someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. It's a good description of Donald Trump, who began his quest for the presidency stoking fear of foreigners and used this year's final debate to keep doing it, as he has throughout his presidency.
Foreigners who come to America -- with or without ...Read more