Category Archives: National Columnist

Americans need a respite from furiousness

The Republican Party resembles the man who told his psychiatrist, “I have an identity problem, and so do I.” The party’s leader is at best indifferent to, and often is hostile to, much of the party’s recent catechism: limited government, the rule of law, a restrained executive, fiscal probity, entitlement reforms, free trade, the general… Continue Reading

How the new Republican majority can succeed

Donald Trump won fair and square and, as Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, is owed an open mind and a chance to lead. It is therefore incumbent upon conservatives (like me) who have been highly critical of Trump to think through how to make a success of the coming years of Republican rule.… Continue Reading

A disruptive yet ruinous triumph for the GOP

At dawn Tuesday in West Quoddy Head, Maine, America’s easternmost point, it was certain that by midnight in Cape Wrangell, Alaska, America’s westernmost fringe, there would be a loser who deserved to lose and a winner who did not deserve to win. The surprise is that Barack Obama must have immediately seen his legacy, a… Continue Reading

A stunning cake and a stunned nation

Baker Melissa Alt showed up unbidden at Trump Tower on Election Day with a 40-pound cake in the form of a Donald Trump bust, and Trump aides liked the likeness enough to display it in the ballroom at Trump’s election-night party. But there was something wrong with the chocolate confection. Alt was aiming to reproduce… Continue Reading

Painful Choices: Part II

In most Presidential election years, the most important vote is the vote for president of the United States. This year, the most important vote looks like the vote for control of the Senate. Regardless of who wins the White House, the freedom that Americans have taken for granted — taken too much for granted, for… Continue Reading

Column: What to watch for on election night

Tuesday evening, after Election Day’s tranquility, new clamors will erupt as analysts with agendas tickle portents and lessons from the torrent of election returns. Herewith some developments to watch. — In the 17 elections since World War II, the winner has averaged 385.4 electoral votes, the loser 145.1. In six elections (1952, 1956, 1964, 1972,… Continue Reading

Final days before an awful choice

Rule of thumb for a presidential campaign where the two candidates have the highest unfavorable ratings in the history of polling: If you’re the center of attention, you’re losing. As Election Day approaches, Hillary Clinton cannot shake the spotlight. She is still ahead in the polls, but you know she’s slipping when she shows up… Continue Reading

Perverting the presidency

The last place — and I do mean the very last place — any candidate wants to be is in the frame with Anthony Weiner. This is especially true if you’re Hillary Clinton. Even worse than being associated with the infamous sexter this week is being FBI Director James Comey, the least-envied man in America.… Continue Reading

A fitting final chapter to the sleaze sweepstakes

As the presidential campaigns sink to the challenge of demonstrating that there is no such thing as rock bottom, remember this: When the Clintons decamped from Washington in January 2001, they took some White House furnishings that were public property. They also finished accepting more than $190,000 in gifts, including two coffee tables and two… Continue Reading

Baby boomers, you’ve done enough. Time to go.

Take the baby boomers. Please. The idealists of the 1960s have come a long way from Woodstock. After a quarter-century of mismanaging the country, they have produced Donald Trump, who with his narcissistic and uncompromising style is a bright orange symbol of what went wrong with the massive generation. And polls show that boomers are… Continue Reading

As New Hampshire goes, so goes the Senate?

In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt defeated Kansas’ Gov. Alfred Landon in 46 of the 48 states, thereby creating the jest, “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.” Eight decades later, New England has gone from the Republicans’ last redoubt in a bad year to their least receptive region in any year. Its six states have made… Continue Reading

Back to business for Trump

It’s apt that Donald Trump’s new hotel in Washington, which he dedicated at a ribbon-cutting Wednesday, is at the Old Post Office. Just 12 days before the election, Trump is mailing it in. Polls suggest he’s doomed, fellow Republicans are treating him like cholera, and even his allies say it would take a miracle to… Continue Reading

Is Obama preparing a parting shot at Israel?

Last week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never uses that term for Judaism’s holiest shrine. It refers to and treats it as an exclusively Muslim site,… Continue Reading

Republican Party needs to revert to nominating Republicans

When told that the New England transcendentalist Margaret Fuller had grandly declared “I accept the universe,” the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle dryly remarked: “She’d better.” Much ink and indignation has been spilled concerning whether Donald (”I am much more humble than you would understand”) Trump will “accept” the election’s outcome. The nation, like the universe… Continue Reading

The celebrity’s apprentice

The system is rigged and the polls are phony. As E-Day draws nigh, Donald Trump and his spokesvolken have contrived every possible excuse for the Republican candidate’s likely defeat. Unless, of course, lying has caught on “big league” and voters have followed their leaders’ cue and given pollsters’ incorrect answers. Multiple poll results released in… Continue Reading

You can dress him up, but Trump is Trump

If Beltway insiders and other East Coast elites ever wondered why so many Americans prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, all they need do is watch a rerun of Thursday night’s 71st annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. There they were in their finery, A-listers from the once-cherished institutions of church, state and the… Continue Reading

My vote, explained

The case against Hillary Clinton could have been written before the recent WikiLeaks and FBI disclosures. But these documents do provide hard textual backup. The most sensational disclosure was the proposed deal between the State Department and the FBI in which the FBI would declassify a Hillary Clinton email and State would give the FBI… Continue Reading

How Trump could still win

As the final presidential debate looms like a Halloween pinata full of October surprises, voters may be less committed to one or the other candidate than the numbers suggest. And this, my fellow sufferers, could bode better for Donald Trump. Lest you suddenly seek the highest perch from which to hurl yourself, this is strictly… Continue Reading

Arkansas is pleased to forget Hillary Clinton

Forty-one years ago, 14 people gathered in a small room on California Boulevard in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the wedding of an aspiring local politician and his law school sweetheart from up north. The bride was wearing a $53 dress bought at a local mall, the groom the same suit in which he’d been seen in… Continue Reading

Don’t fear Trump’s lawsuits. He’ll lose.

A wash in allegations that he sexually assaulted several women, Donald Trump is reaching into his old playbook and threatening to sue the media for reporting the claims, which he says are false. Although a number of outlets, including People and an NBC affiliate posted stories Wednesday night about Trump’s allegedly forcing himself on women, it… Continue Reading

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