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
If you listened long enough to Donald Trump during his first presidential campaign, you could find grounds to hope that he would make some badly needed changes in American foreign policy. After the catastrophe of the Iraq War and the dismal slog of Afghanistan, Trump promised a different approach.
"We're getting out of the nation-building ...Read more
Joe Biden and the Democratic Party believe they are on their way to a decisive victory on Nov. 3, and they may be right. He could find himself in the presidency with his party in control of Congress. But they should beware the pitfall of hubris. The fatal temptation in a moment of triumph is to overreach, and Democrats are already at risk of ...Read more
In the coming weeks, leaves will fall, plants will shrivel, temperatures will sink and Americans will experience growing dread over the unpleasant experience that awaits us in November. No, not the presidential election -- the end of daylight saving time.
Early on the day after Halloween, the nation will shift to what is inaccurately known as ...Read more
Donald Trump is likely to survive his infection with the coronavirus. But it's hard to imagine how his reelection campaign can. The president has trailed Joe Biden in national polls for a year, and his performance in the first debate did nothing to close the gap. The news that he has a virus that can be debilitating and even deadly can only give...Read more
One of the chief dividing lines in American politics is how Supreme Court justices interpret the Constitution. Rarely has that line been brighter than today. The enthusiasm for Amy Coney Barrett grows from a belief among conservatives that the court has been too creative in reading the Constitution and that her arrival will put a stop to such ...Read more
The first debate is typically the most dramatic occasion of every general election presidential campaign. Two (or three) rivals who have been contending with each other from a distance finally have to confront each other face to face, with the nation watching raptly and the election hanging in the balance.
It's great theater, particularly ...Read more
Among Americans who are not politically conservative, the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her pending replacement evoke anger and despair. A court with an impregnable 6-3 conservative majority is likely to roll back all sorts of rights and protections, leaving many people at risk.
The most obvious likely casualty is the ...Read more
At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a little-known state senator from Illinois electrified the crowd with a speech proclaiming our fundamental unity. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America," Barack Obama declared.
Four years later, he campaigned for president promising that we ...Read more
President John F. Kennedy once noted, "There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan." But in the case of free trade, the opposite is true. It's been a great success as a policy, but one neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden is willing to claim ownership.
Trump is an outspoken protectionist, regarding imports as ...Read more