Category Archives: National Columnist

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

Trump disaster allows GOP to slide on tax policy

In a kinder, gentler, alternate universe, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the Republican nominee for president. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is out stumping for Kasich and plotting the education and immigration policies that he’ll pursue in the vice president’s office. (Substitute Sen. Marco Rubio in the veep slot if you prefer; I went with… Continue Reading

Column: Who’s the worst person in the world?

It should surprise no one that this presidential election — the first ever to involve a female nominee from a major party in the top spot — has devolved into a contest of man’s ultimate metaphor. I’m not referring to a spitting competition, if you’re struggling here. Rather, the race apparently is to determine which… Continue Reading

Column: Trump’s vile candidacy is chemotherapy for the GOP

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” — “Me and Bobby McGee” What did Donald Trump have left to lose Sunday night? His dignity? Please. His campaign’s theme? His Cleveland convention was a mini-Nuremberg rally for Republicans whose three-word recipe for making America great again was the shriek “Lock her up!” This presaged… Continue Reading

Column: At second debate, Trump at odds with everyone

About 90 days ago, when Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, he had a moment of equanimity. As convention delegates chanted “Lock her up!” Trump shook his head no. “Let’s defeat her in November,” he counter-proposed. It was a very different Trump who appeared at Sunday night’s second presidential debate: on his heels, facing… Continue Reading

Column: Thinking dangerously

When I first heard that some Elon University students were protesting my invitation to speak on campus and saying my thoughts were “dangerous,” I was, of course, thrilled and immediately amended my bio. No one has ever considered me dangerous that I know of, other than a couple of dozen ungrateful birds I mysteriously collected… Continue Reading

Column: The vice-presidential debate left me wanting less

Tuesday’s encounter between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence was substantive at times and contentious throughout. But the eminences who run the Commission on Presidential Debates should ask themselves this question: Why have a vice-presidential debate at all? Of course there should be some sort of public forum for voters to get to know the individuals… Continue Reading

Column: Vladimir Putin is bringing back the 1930s

Vladimir Putin’s serial humiliations of America’s bewildered secretary of state regarding Syria indicate Putin’s determination to destabilize the world. Here is an even more ominous indication of events moving his way: On just one day last week, Italian ships plucked 6,055 migrants from the Mediterranean. What has this to do with Putin? It portends fulfillment… Continue Reading

The stillborn legacy of Barack Obama

Only amid the most bizarre, most tawdry, most addictive election campaign in memory could the real story of 2016 be so effectively obliterated, namely, that with just four months left in the Obama presidency, its two central pillars are collapsing before our eyes: domestically, its radical reform of American health care, aka Obamacare; and abroad,… Continue Reading

The de-Reaganization of the Republican Party

Now that the GOP is the Party of Trump, could Democrats become the party of … Reagan? That’s a stretch. But Democrats are making a bid for the title. At Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, the 40th president was name-checked twice — both times by the Democrat, Tim Kaine. “Our plan is like Ronald Reagan’s… Continue Reading

Only you can prevent a Trump presidency

I know, I know, the point I’m about to make is painfully obvious. But it is not in any sense trivial: If you care who wins the election next month, get off the couch, go down to your polling place and vote. National polls taken since last week’s debate show Hillary Clinton with a solid lead… Continue Reading

Whither, comma?

My favorite bumper sticker I’ve never seen: Commas matter. So I’ve always thought, and do still believe with the passion of one whose knuckles were rapped for grammatical errors. I mean this only metaphorically — no bloody fingers — but using incorrect grammar was the Eighth Deadly Sin in my childhood home. How grateful I… Continue Reading

The academic curtain

Back in the days of the Cold War between the Communist bloc of nations and the Western democracies, the Communists maintained pervasive restrictions around Eastern Europe that were aptly called an “iron curtain,” isolating the people in its bloc from the ideas of the West and physically obstructing their escape. One of the few things… Continue Reading

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