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Jonah Goldberg is one of the most prominent conservative journalists today. His column, syndicated by Tribune Content Agency, offers shrewd ...

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg

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What principles rule the GOP?

April 9, 2014

For years, Republicans benefited from economic growth. So did pretty much everyone else, of course. But I have something specific in mind. Politically, when the economy is booming -- or merely improving at a satisfactory clip -- the distinction between being pro-business and pro-market is blurry. The distinction is also fuzzy when the economy is shrinking or imploding.

  • Obama's stand-up routine is laughable indeed

    April 4, 2014

    President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.

  • Climate activists uncaged

    April 3, 2014

    Finally, someone has come up with a way to settle the debate over climate change: Put the people on the wrong side of the argument in cages.

  • Jeb, Hillary and the case of tarnished political brands

    April 2, 2014

    Some Republican fat cats are trying to coax former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- brother and son to two former presidents -- into making a bid for the White House. Democrats have been less subtle. They've created a super PAC called Ready for Hillary, which is only slightly less obvious a gesture than constructing a giant neon sign reading "Run, Hillary, Run."

  • Don't assume liberals always put principles before profits

    March 28, 2014

    Leland Yee, a Democratic state senator and candidate for secretary of state in California, has been a longtime champion of gun control. This week he was arrested on numerous charges, including conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and conspiracy to illegally transport firearms. Yee, a prominent foe of assault weapons, allegedly took bribes to set up a meeting between an undercover agent and an international arms dealer to broker the sale of automatic weapons and shoulder-fired missiles. A lengthy FBI affidavit also describes Yee's ties to a Chinese triad and his desire to help out Islamist militants.

  • The emptiness of the right side of history

    March 21, 2014

    The right side of history is bunk.

  • Not your father's Cold War

    March 19, 2014

    Will everyone please stop talking about a new Cold War?

  • Obama deserves share of blame for millennial cynicism

    March 14, 2014

    In case you hadn't heard, young people these days -- aka "the millennials" -- are the most cynical and distrusting generation ever recorded. Only 19 percent think most people can be trusted. According to a big study from the Pew Research Center, they are less attached to marriage, religion and political institutions than Gen Xers, baby boomers and the other demographic flavors journalists love to use. They like their friends, their digital "social networks" and their toys, and that's about it. Not even a majority will call themselves "patriotic." Probably more dismaying for liberals: Of any living generation, they are the least likely to call themselves environmentalists.

  • Channeling Ronald Reagan in 2016

    March 12, 2014

    It's on! Ostensible allies for the last couple years, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have commenced the battle for the unofficial title of conservative front-runner. That's no surprise, but what is remarkable is their choice of weapons: foreign policy. For the last several years, there has been a lot of overblown hype about how the GOP, particularly the party base, is becoming isolationist. So it's interesting that Cruz would seek to get to Paul's right on the issue.

  • Obama in denial on Russia

    March 6, 2014

    Things are moving far too fast in Kiev, Moscow and Crimea to write about events there. But the past isn't going anywhere. Though you wouldn't know that from the way the Obama administration talks about it.

  • In the case of My Brother's Keeper, race does -- and should -- matter

    March 5, 2014

    President Obama announced last week a new race-based initiative, My Brother's Keeper.

  • Let authority of 'hidden law' rule in Arizona

    February 28, 2014

    Future historians will likely be flummoxed by the moment we're living in. In what amounts to less than a blink of an eye in the history of Western civilization, homosexuality has gone from a diagnosed mental disorder to something to be celebrated -- or else.

  • Want an America that works? Innovate, don't regulate

    February 26, 2014

    Down with stakeholders.

  • Want an America that works? Innovate, don't regulate

    February 26, 2014

    Down with stakeholders.

  • Liberal students have a funny definition of 'diversity'

    February 21, 2014

    Cancel the philosophy courses, people. Oh, and we're going to be shuttering the political science, religion and pre-law departments too. We'll keep some of the English and history folks on for a while longer, but they should probably keep their résumés handy.

  • Obama, the shrinking imperialist president

    February 19, 2014

    Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents -- by "we" I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum -- two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it's one or the other.

  • Olympic coverage sweeps Soviet horrors under the rug

    February 14, 2014

    Hannah Arendt coined the term "the banality of evil" to describe the galling normalcy of Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann. Covering his trial in Jerusalem, she described Eichmann as less a cartoonish villain than a dull, remorseless, paper-pushing functionary just "doing his job."

  • A too-early look at the 2016 presidential race: Bet on a dark horse

    February 12, 2014

    Of course it's too early to talk about 2016. Now that we've gotten that out of the way ...

  • Free the job-locked poets!

    February 7, 2014

    (C) 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC

  • Think power inequality

    February 6, 2014

    On my wife's side, I have a very large family in Fairbanks, Alaska. Culturally, Fairbanks is a lot further from New York City (where I grew up) or Washington, D.C. (where I live now), than the several thousand miles on the map might suggest. Alaska wins a lot of comparisons, and not just the obvious ones such as physical beauty or salmon fishing. For instance, Alaska ranks second best in terms of economic equality (just behind Wyoming) while New York and the District of Columbia compete for dead last.

  • Free the Keystone XL pipeline, Mr. President

    February 5, 2014

    Welcome to the "year of action." In last week's State of the Union address, the president vowed to do whatever he must to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: "What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."

  • Davis, Democrats sneak past inconvenient realities of abortion

    January 31, 2014

    Wendy Davis, a Democratic state senator running to replace Rick Perry as governor of Texas, owes her political stardom to two things: a pair of pink sneakers and her unstinting support for a woman's right to terminate a late-term pregnancy in a substandard clinic. Yay Feminism!

  • Hollywood, propaganda and liberal politics

    January 29, 2014

    The legendary media tycoon William Randolph Hearst believed America needed a strongman and that Franklin D. Roosevelt would fit the bill. He ordered his newspapers to support FDR and the New Deal. At his direction, Hearst's political allies rallied around Roosevelt at the Democratic convention, which some believe sealed the deal for Roosevelt's nomination.

  • Government overreliance: The devil is in the details

    January 24, 2014

    The Constitution is powerless against Satan.

  • A New York state of mind: Illiberal liberal values

    January 22, 2014

    On paper, "liberal intolerance" is something of an oxymoron, like "jumbo shrimp," "loyal opposition" or "conspicuous absence." But what makes oxymorons funny is that they are real things. There are jumbo shrimp. Absences can be conspicuous, opponents can be loyal, and liberals can be staggeringly and myopically intolerant.

  • President's poll numbers give Dems the midterm blues

    January 17, 2014

    It wasn't supposed to be like this.

  • The media and Chris Christie: Going overboard in New Jersey

    January 15, 2014

    What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren't there or didn't get it.

  • Escaping the rat maze of the welfare state

    January 10, 2014

    This week marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty," and as the joke goes, "Poverty won." Five decades after a blizzard of programs began descending on the American people, the poverty rate remains essentially unchanged.

  • Define income inequality

    January 9, 2014

    Democrats are revving up for a huge national "conversation" on income inequality. This is in no small part because the Obama administration and congressional Democrats would rather talk about anything other than Obamacare.

  • A millennial's Rolling Stone rant offers up some tired old 'solutions'

    January 8, 2014

    "In America," Oscar Wilde quipped, "the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience." And they often do it in the pages of Rolling Stone.

  • Will states' rights go to pot?

    January 3, 2014

    On Jan. 1, the Centennial State (it hasn't yet changed its nickname to "The Rocky Mountain High State") became the first place in the country to legalize marijuana sales for recreational purposes.

  • Myths to ditch in 2014

    January 1, 2014

    The Beltway consensus seems to be that 2013 was a bad year for the same reason nearly every other recent year was bad: polarization and partisanship. Personally, I can think of plenty of more important things to worry about than partisanship. Democracy is about disagreements, and partisanship is often a sign of healthy disagreement.

  • 'Duck Dynasty' and a free society

    December 25, 2013

    Normally at this time of year, the culture-war fight is over a guy with a white beard. That's true again this year. What's different is that Phil Robertson has taken Santa's place, and instead of a war on Christmas, we have a war on "Duck Dynasty."

  • Outrage over 'reality' star's comment smacks of artificiality

    December 20, 2013

    So rednecks need to be politically correct now?

  • Obamacare: Silence of the insurers

    December 18, 2013

    When will the insurers revolt?

  • Disinformation behind Obamacare runs deep

    December 13, 2013

    "Obamacare was sold on a trinity of lies."

  • Disinformation behind Obamacare runs deep

    December 13, 2013

    "Obamacare was sold on a trinity of lies."

  • Triumph of the vulgarians

    December 11, 2013

    Newspapers are among the last places in America that have close to zero tolerance for [expletive deleted].

  • Coming to grips with rise of the machines

    December 6, 2013

    After you heard President Obama's call for a hike in the minimum wage, you probably wondered the same thing I did: Was Obama sent from the future by Skynet to prepare humanity for its ultimate dominion by robots?

  • Liberals are culture war aggressors

    December 5, 2013

    Maybe someone can explain to me how, exactly, conservatives are the aggressors in the culture war? In the conventional narrative of American politics, conservatives are obsessed with social issues. They want to impose their values on everyone else. They want the government involved in your bedroom. Those mean right-wingers want to make "health care choices" for women.

  • Not a good enough Obamacare fix

    December 4, 2013

    Success! The Obama administration announced over the weekend that it had hit its deadline of Nov. 30 for HealthCare.gov.

  • Hail to the panderer in chief

    November 27, 2013

    "I'm not a particularly ideological person," President Obama told an audience of donors in Seattle over the weekend. He added (in Reuters' words) that "pragmatism was necessary to advance the values that were important to him."

  • Democrats, Republicans failing to live up to brands

    November 22, 2013

    If the Republicans can't fight wars and the Democrats stink at socializing medicine, what good are they?

  • Oprah, Obama and the racism dodge

    November 20, 2013

    In Britain to promote her film "The Butler," Oprah Winfrey gave an interview to the BBC last week. Not surprisingly, she promoted her movie about race relations in the White House with comments about race relations and the White House.

  • Obama in the dark on healthcare.gov

    November 15, 2013

    Watching President Obama's press conference Thursday, I almost started humming the old ditty the "Farmer in the Dell" because all I could think was: "The cheese stands alone."

  • Watch out, your character is showing

    November 13, 2013

    "Character is what you do when no one is watching."

  • Trust us: This will be good for you

    November 8, 2013

    The government thinks you're stupid, or at least ignorant.

  • Obama health lie freaks Dems

    November 7, 2013

    Many of the president's supporters are in barely concealed panic over the fact that he didn't tell the truth when he was selling the Affordable Care Act.

  • The Big Apple's turn left

    November 6, 2013

    The new mayor of New York City is a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I'd expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar's to close due to a locust infestation before that happened.

  • The Big Apple's turn left

    November 6, 2013

    I am writing this before the election returns in New York City come in. Assuming that Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio's near-50-point lead in the polls doesn't miraculously evaporate, it looks like the next mayor will be a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I'd expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar's to close due to a locust infestation before that happened.

  • Obamacare fiasco proves president is no chess master

    October 31, 2013

    Often in error but never in doubt, Barack Obama could walk into the Rose Garden and step on a half-dozen rakes like Foghorn Leghorn in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, and the official line would be, "He meant to do that."

  • Obama's big lie

    October 30, 2013

    "All we've been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it. ... I'm infuriated because I was lied to," one woman told the Los Angeles Times, as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of Obamacare.

  • Obamacare's square-wheeled rollout has Democrats on the hot seat

    October 25, 2013

    Earlier this week, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski tried to call the HealthCare.gov helpline and got an operator. That's right: an operator! The call went through! MSNBC, the unofficial AV department of the Democratic Party, had a scoop. The network tweeted out the big news along with a link to the video: "Mika called the Obamacare hotline and got through with no problems -- right on air. WATCH."

  • GOP: Grand old potshots

    October 23, 2013

    Conservatives with long memories had to laugh at the recent New York Times front-page headline: "Fiscal Crisis Sounds the Charge in GOP's 'Civil War.'"

  • Tea Party wasting energy hunting an extinct species

    October 18, 2013

    "We've got to get the Rockefeller Republicans out of the party," a fellow told me in Minnesota recently. Or was it Arizona? Or Wilkes-Barre, Pa.? Actually, I think it was all three. I hear it all the time as I travel around the country speaking to conservative groups.

  • Redskins: No harm, no foul, Mr. Costas

    October 16, 2013

    "Think for a moment about the term 'Redskins,'" NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas exhorted viewers in his halftime tirade during Sunday's Cowboys-Redskins game. "Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed [at] African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, 'Redskins' can't possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term.

  • Obama's confession of indifference

    October 11, 2013

    Last week I wrote a column accusing the president of having a vindictive streak -- of deliberately trying to make the lives of average Americans worse just so he could score ideological and political points.

  • Obamacare's next round

    October 9, 2013

    For all the acrimony in Washington over Obamacare, there's an intriguing consensus around one issue: the ratchet effect. Neither side uses the term, but both the right and left treat it as an article of faith.

  • Obama showing his vindictive streak

    October 4, 2013

    Shutting down the government in an effort to use a budget fight to get rid of Obamacare is not the strategy I would have recommended for the GOP. And while Republicans can be blamed for starting the shutdown, it's increasingly apparent that President Obama and the Democrats deserve the lion's share of blame for not only prolonging it, but for making it as painful as possible.

  • The irony of Michelle Obama's water campaign

    October 2, 2013

    Michelle Obama wants you to drink more water, at least one more glass a day. Frankly, I think it's great. Sure, the science behind some of her claims is somewhere between iffy and debatable. If you're not dehydrated, drinking more water won't give you more energy or cure your headaches, as her office vaguely claims. But it might take up belly space that otherwise would have gone to grape soda, Red Bull or some other sugary concoction.

  • 'We don't live in that world anymore'

    September 30, 2013

    Harry Anderson, a magician and comic (made famous by his stint as the judge on the old sitcom "Night Court"), used to have a routine where he'd promise to juggle George Washington's ax. I'm quoting from memory here, but he'd say something like: "I have here George Washington's original ax -- the one he used to chop down the cherry tree." He'd wait a beat, and then add: "Of course, a few years ago the blade broke and had to be replaced. And about a decade before that it got a new handle. But in spirit this is George's ax."

  • A vote for Election Day

    September 30, 2013

    I suspect most voters watching Monday night's debate found it pretty boring. President Obama wanted to force Mitt Romney into saying something stupid. Romney didn't take the bait. So pretty much nothing changed the dynamics of the race.

  • Kermit Gosnell and abortion's darkest side

    September 30, 2013

    If abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is found guilty of homicide, he will be unique among murderers-for-hire: He set his fees based on weight. "The bigger the baby, the more he charged," a grand jury explained. It recommended he be charged with eight counts of murder -- one patient, seven babies.

  • Fusion power on the right

    September 30, 2013

    "At CPAC, the Future Looks Libertarian," read a dispatch on Time magazine's website. "CPAC: Rand Paul's Big Moment," proclaimed The Week magazine. Meanwhile, the New York Times headlined its story about the annual conservative political action conference "GOP divisions fester at conservative retreat."

  • 'Right wing' doesn't equal 'terrorist'

    September 30, 2013

    "If history were to repeat itself," warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1944 State of the Union address, "and we were to return to the so-called normalcy of the 1920s, then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of fascism here at home."

  • Obama's economic spin: a new pony or manure?

    September 30, 2013

    It was arguably Ronald Reagan's favorite joke. In one version, two kids -- one an optimist, the other a pessimist -- rush downstairs on Christmas morning. The pessimistic kid gets a new bike and weeps that he'll probably break it soon. The optimistic kid is presented with an enormous pile of manure and squeals with delight: "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

  • Hillary just isn't all that interesting

    September 30, 2013

    "I think she's one of the most fascinating women of our time and this world," confessed Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC, as part of his announcement that his network is making a miniseries about Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with Diane Lane in the starring role.

  • A message to Obama, served cold

    September 30, 2013

    In an earlier era, Dr. Benjamin Carson's speech before the National Prayer Breakfast last week would have been a really big deal rather than mere fodder for a brief squall on Twitter and cable news.

  • A message to Obama, served cold

    September 30, 2013

    In an earlier era, Dr. Benjamin Carson's speech before the National Prayer Breakfast last week would have been a really big deal rather than mere fodder for a brief squall on Twitter and cable news.

  • IRS follows Obama's lead

    September 30, 2013

    Of course the president deserves some of the blame.

  • Cynic-in-Chief

    September 30, 2013

    "My rival in this race," President Obama announced early in 2007, "is not other candidates. It's cynicism." Sadly, it's now evident cynicism won.

  • Snowden a fool, not a spy

    September 30, 2013

    It would make things so much easier for everyone if Edward Snowden were working for China.

  • After repeated controversies, Sharpton is still smokin'

    September 30, 2013

    If Tom Wolfe were writing "The Bonfire of the Vanities" today, he'd need a scene in the Grand Havana Room in New York City. It's an Olympian den fit for what Wolfe called "Masters of the Universe" -- the super-rich gods of finance who today go by "the one percent." Taking up the penthouse floor of 666 Fifth Ave., the Grand Havana Room is a private, by-invitation-only cigar club and four-star restaurant. Through its windows, you can see the toiling salary men 39 floors below as they scurry about like ants, some furtively smoking in doorways, ever fearful of Nanny Bloomberg's All-Seeing Eye.

  • The AP's complicated word-association test

    September 30, 2013

    In what may be the greatest victory to date for the sophisticatedly asinine organization "No Labels," the Associated Press has embraced a new policy against "labeling people." For instance, its widely used and influential style guide is being purged of such terms as "schizophrenic" in favor of "diagnosed with schizophrenia."

  • Who would follow our example on Keystone?

    September 30, 2013

    While many have long seen America as the global bad boy, everybody likes Canada. If Uncle Sam tucks his pack of Marlboros under his T-shirt sleeve and plays by his own rules, the Canadian moose -- or whatever their Uncle Sam equivalent is -- always wears his blue blazer and school tie and does his chores without being asked. Canada is a global citizen, a good neighbor, a northern Puerto Rico with an EU sensibility that earns its gold stars from the United Nations every day.

  • Egypt's 'moderate' despot

    September 30, 2013

    What do you call a leader of a theocratic and cultish movement with a deep and clear disdain for democracy who suddenly assumes dictatorial powers?

  • Ted Cruz, the GOP's Obama

    September 30, 2013

    Ted Cruz is no Joe McCarthy, as so many liberals bizarrely claim. But he might be the conservative Barack Obama.

  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s real message

    September 30, 2013

    Amid the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, one complaint became almost a refrain: What about economic justice?

  • Federalism could be the solution to GOP branding problem

    September 30, 2013

    To understand why Republicans have a "branding problem," you first need to understand how the system is rigged against conservatives.

  • Biden's faulty lifeguard logic

    September 30, 2013

    "As the president said, if your actions result in only saving one life, they're worth taking," Vice President Joe Biden declared on Wednesday as he previewed what his commission on gun violence might actually do.

  • Run, Joe Biden run!

    September 30, 2013

    Not counting rumors that Anthony Weiner's marriage has hit a rocky patch, it may be the worst-kept secret in politics: Joe Biden wants to be president.

  • Obama's bait-and-switch on Syria

    September 30, 2013

    Chemical weapons are evil, but you could also say they're a curse. They have a talismanic power to bend and distort U.S. foreign policy. You can ask George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

  • A challenge to young Obama supporters

    September 30, 2013

    OK, young'ns, here's your chance.

  • MSNBC has full deck of race cards

    September 30, 2013

    "Why do they seem so determined to also make it racial?"

  • The Stone truth: Left-wingers are boring

    September 30, 2013

    When, at long last, will people understand that the left is boring?

  • The GOP -- not a club for Christians

    September 30, 2013

    In the scramble to make the GOP more diverse, a lot of people are looking at Asian Americans, whom many believe are a natural constituency for the party. I would love it if Asian Americans converted en masse to the Republican Party, but the challenge for Republicans is harder than many appreciate.

  • Press shield has holes

    September 30, 2013

    In response to the acknowledged abuses of his own Justice Department, President Obama has urged Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to reintroduce legislation for a "journalist shield law." And in typical Washington fashion, the proposed act would do nothing to prevent the abuses that supposedly make the law so necessary.

  • A petty decision by Obama

    September 30, 2013

    It's official. President Obama has named former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as his nominee for secretary of defense. Hence, we may be in store for the worst defense secretary nomination fight since George H.W. Bush's failed appointment of Sen. John Tower (R-Texas) more than 20 years ago.

  • To appeal to black voters, GOP must run gauntlet of racism accusations

    September 30, 2013

    If the GOP wants to win more black votes, it will need to get a lot more "racist."

  • What Rand Paul got right

    September 30, 2013

    I hope I'm not too late to the fight.

  • Freedom: The unfolding revolution

    September 30, 2013

    "Why are there no libertarian countries?"

  • America's just not that into Obama

    September 30, 2013

    "You know, I actually believe my own bull----."

  • The GOP's immigration tussle

    September 30, 2013

    I don't know how Democrats do it.

  • The GOP isolationist myth

    September 30, 2013

    They're back! The isolationist poltergeists that forever haunt the Republican Party. Or so we're told.

  • Conversation starters Paisley, Paul are taking their lumps

    September 30, 2013

    Are Brad Paisley and Rand Paul the bravest men in America?

  • Leave liberal Hollywood to the liberals

    September 30, 2013

    "We need to buy a movie studio."

  • For a better GOP, start with better storytellers

    September 30, 2013

    It's no secret that the right is going through what some call a healthy debate and what others see as an identity crisis.

  • Obama needs a family plan

    September 30, 2013

    President Obama has several stated ambitions for his presidency. He wants it to be "transformative." He wants to unite Americans of all parties. He wants to build an economy from the middle class out (whatever that means), and he wants to help what you might call the domestic refugees of America's economic transformation.

  • Bad faith and Benghazi

    September 30, 2013

    "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference -- at this point, what difference does it make?"

  • Bending the Trayvon Martin tragedy to fit

    September 30, 2013

    I never thought the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case deserved nearly the attention it got. But reasonable people can disagree about that. What strikes me as unconscionable, however, is the way the supposedly objective media have not only sensationalized a tragedy but at times appear to deliberately bend the facts to fit a desired story line. Maybe it started with the use of pictures of a younger Martin or with the sudden embrace of the term "white Hispanic" to describe Zimmerman in order to more easily paint him as a racist.

  • The real Helen Thomas

    September 30, 2013

    In the movie "Animal House," the Deltas are put on trial for their antics. When offered a chance to defend themselves, the best argument the fraternity's president can come up with is, "But sir, Delta Tau Chi has a long tradition of existence to its members and to the community at large."

  • Liberal obsession with race is growing old

    September 30, 2013

    When will liberals stop living in the past? Specifically, when will they accept that they aren't all that stands between a wonderful, tolerant America and Jim Crow?

  • Sci-fi worthy of Malthus

    September 30, 2013

    In the new sci-fi movie "Oblivion," Earth's most precious resource is Tom Cruise. But running a close second (spoiler alert) is water. Aliens want it. All of it.

  • First Amendment clause-trophobia

    September 30, 2013

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

  • The grand myth of live-and-let-live liberalism

    September 30, 2013

    In Washington, D.C., the city's department of health wants to subject people seeking a tattoo or body piercing to a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before they can go through with it. That's just one of the regulations in a 66-page proposal of new rules for the tattoo and piercing industry.

  • What 'the Iron Lady' forged

    September 30, 2013

    In 1975, when asked to explain why Margaret Thatcher was poised to take over the Tory Party, the irascible British satirist Malcolm Muggeridge replied that it was all due to television -- and the fact that the telegenic Thatcher had a "certain imbecile charm."

  • Torture helped get bin Laden?

    September 30, 2013

    "Zero Dark Thirty," the film about the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, got a fresh infusion of buzz over the weekend when outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed again that enhanced interrogation techniques aided the effort to find bin Laden.

  • The 'to hell with them' doctrine

    September 30, 2013

    Maybe everyone is misreading America's views on foreign policy?

  • Compassionate conservatism redux

    September 30, 2013

    I think I owe an apology to George W. Bush.

  • Let the taxi app roll

    September 30, 2013

    If Hollywood remade "The Graduate" and set it in 1980, the one word the businessman would have for Dustin Hoffman's character wouldn't be "plastics." It'd be "medallions."

  • Two cheers for rebranding

    September 30, 2013

    Ever since Mitt Romney lost the presidential election, there's been a lot of talk about how the Republican Party needs to "rebrand" itself.

  • Why Obama's smart-government initiative is dumb

    September 30, 2013

    President Obama wants to make government "smarter." Who could disagree with that? After all, it's unlikely that even the biggest fans of big government believe the way government does what it does is the very best, very smartest way imaginable. Whether you're an anarchist, a Leninist or somewhere in between, everyone can agree that Uncle Sam could afford a few more IQ points.

  • Winning ugly: Obama and the fiscal cliff

    September 30, 2013

    By all accounts, President Obama won the fiscal cliff showdown. Why anyone would take much pride in this kind of "win" is beyond me. It's a bit like being the least filthy toddler in the mud pit.

  • Civil libertarians' hypocrisy

    September 30, 2013

    Self-proclaimed civil libertarians are up in arms over the National Security Agency's massive database containing information about whom we call and what we do on the Web. Defenders of the program say, "So what?" Unless you're a terrorist, no one in the government will ever bother to access that information.

  • Inhospitable Earth -- compared to what?

    September 30, 2013

    You just can't out-gloom an environmentalist. The Atlantic invited some luminaries to answer the question "How and when will the world end?" Some contributions were funny. Others simply plausible -- a volcanic eruption from underneath Yellowstone National Park is frightfully overdue. But only an environmentalist like Bill McKibben could be a killjoy about the apocalypse itself.

  • Storm saves Obama from himself

    September 30, 2013

    If President Obama had the time for some introspection on the campaign trail, he might take offense at all the media speculation (and in many cases wishful thinking gussied up as speculation) that his response to Hurricane Sandy will give him the edge going into Election Day.

  • Brain-lock inside the Beltway

    September 30, 2013

    It's at times like this I'm ashamed to admit I live inside the Beltway.

  • Greatest generation the most entitled

    September 30, 2013

    One thing nearly everybody agrees upon is that the "sequester" is a silly sideshow to the real challenge facing America: unsustainable spending on entitlements. Ironies abound. Democrats, with large support from young people, tend to believe that we must build on the legacy bequeathed to us by the New Deal and the Great Society. Republicans, who marshaled considerable support from older voters in their so-far losing battle against Obamacare, argue that we need to start fresh.

  • Niall Ferguson's blooper

    September 30, 2013

    At an investment conference last week, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson created a huge mess for himself. He glibly speculated that maybe because economist John Maynard Keynes was a childless, "effete" homosexual, he embraced a doctrine that favored immediate economic gratification. Keynes' bon mot "in the long run, we are all dead" takes on new meaning when you realize he didn't have kids to worry about.

  • 'One of these things is not like the other'

    September 30, 2013

    Just because things can be put on the same list doesn't mean they are necessarily similar. My attic contains within it thousands of comic books, an inflatable bed, some jigsaw puzzles, some family pictures and a "Frampton Comes Alive!" album. These things are, roughly speaking, in the same location, but they're hardly of equal value, importance or function.

  • On Newtown, mourn first, then act

    September 30, 2013

    On Friday, in his moving and heartfelt statement in response to the horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama said, "As a country, we have been through this too many times. ... And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

  • Is disability the new welfare?

    September 30, 2013

    The government in Britain recently did something interesting.

  • Abortion rights not synonymous with women's health

    September 30, 2013

    When your grandmother gets some bad news, do you tell her: "Well, at least you have your abortion rights"?

  • Can GOP's local success translate to federal level?

    September 30, 2013

    The Republicans are doomed. Conservatism is over. President Obama is conducting a mop-up operation at this point.

  • A victory for creatures of the state

    September 30, 2013

    The Progressives won on Tuesday.

  • Wake up, socially liberal fiscal conservatives

    September 30, 2013

    Dear Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservative Friend,

  • A funny definition of anarchy

    September 30, 2013

    "It's the law of the land."

  • Good sense and gun control

    September 30, 2013

    In the early 1980s, transit officials in Washington couldn't figure out why traffic on the Beltway would grind to a near halt every day around the exact same time. The usual explanations didn't fit.

  • Benghazi -- no mere 'October surprise'

    September 30, 2013

    If you want to understand why conservatives have lost faith in the so-called mainstream media, you need to ponder the question: Where is the Benghazi feeding frenzy?

  • Excuse me? GOP to blame for ObamaCare?

    September 30, 2013

    The Affordable Care Act -- aka ObamaCare -- is off to a very rocky start, and according to the law's biggest defenders, the blame falls squarely at the feet of Republicans.

  • Sanitized society puts hygiene hypothesis to the test

    September 30, 2013

    Is the American body politic suffering from an autoimmune disease?

  • CPAC unwise to snub Christie, gays

    September 30, 2013

    What can you do with a man like Chris Christie?

  • The wisdom of Dan Quayle

    September 30, 2013

    Almost exactly 20 years ago, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead wrote a controversial essay for The Atlantic titled "Dan Quayle Was Right."

  • It's 'I told you so' on Obamacare

    September 30, 2013

    "What we've learned through the course of this program is that this is really not a sensible way for the health care system to be run."

  • A funny definition of anarchy

    September 30, 2013

    "It's the law of the land."

  • We can't trust Obama

    September 30, 2013

    The contradictions at the heart of the Obama presidency are finally out in the open. As a result, a man who came into office hell-bent on restoring faith in government is on the verge of inspiring a libertarian revival.

  • Obama's 'idiot' defense

    September 30, 2013

    Although there's still a great deal to be learned about the scandals and controversies swirling around the White House like so many ominous dorsal fins in the surf, the nature of President Obama's bind is becoming clear. The best defenses of his administration require undermining the rationale for his presidency.

  • Rand Paul's paleo problem

    September 30, 2013

    Rand Paul is the most interesting contender for the Republican nomination. And when I say interesting, I mean that in the broadest sense.

  • Syria's religious war

    September 30, 2013

    If there was a moment when the United States could have productively intervened in Syria, it looks like that moment has passed.

  • Soldier girl blues

    September 30, 2013

    What if, during the presidential campaign, Mitt Romney had accused President Obama of wanting to let servicewomen serve in combat? After all, Obama had hinted as much in 2008. What would Obama's response have been?

  • Nate Silver's numbers racket

    September 30, 2013

    In the last week or so, an intense kerfuffle broke out over the poll-prognosticator Nate Silver and his blog at the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight. Silver, a statistician, has been predicting a decisive Obama victory for a very long time, based on his very complicated statistical model, which very, very few of his fans or detractors understand.

  • Can GOP reverse the damage done by Iraq?

    September 30, 2013

    Is the Iraq war to blame for the mess we are in?

  • Is there more than madness to Obama's methods?

    September 30, 2013

    "The genius of you Americans," the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, "is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing."

  • Obama's 'Battleship' argument has holes in its hull

    September 30, 2013

    In the third and final debate, Barack Obama scored huge points with the media, college kids and die-hard liberals -- in other words, his base -- when he mocked Mitt Romney's concern about our historically small Navy.

  • Time to grow up, GOP

    September 30, 2013

    It's hard for a lot of people, particularly on the right, to recognize that the conservative movement's problems are mostly problems of success. The Republican Party's problems are much more recognizable as the problems of failure, including the failure to recognize the limits of that movement's success.

  • Dole takes his turn in political parlor game

    September 30, 2013

    "Could people like Bob Dole, even Ronald Reagan -- could you make it in today's Republican Party?" Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday" asked former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole.

  • The right isn't waving a white flag

    September 30, 2013

    The conservative Gotterdammerung is finally here. "Like dazed survivors in a ravaged city, America's conservatives are wailing and beating their collective breasts," opines the Economist's "Lexington" columnist. "A leading conservative thinker," asked by the Economist to "list today's conservative ideas, laughs bitterly and replies, 'Are there any?'"

  • Operation Hubris

    September 30, 2013

    One of the great things about American politics is its capacity for punishing hubris.

  • A ruling on racial progress

    September 30, 2013

    I can only hope that the scourge of racism is finally purged from Stewartstown and Pinkham's Grant. These are two of 10 New Hampshire towns covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which requires local officials to get permission, or "preclearance," on any changes to their election laws.

  • Blame game rages on over looming sequester

    September 30, 2013

    We are just days away from a cataclysm of biblical proportions. The cuts foretold in the Budget Control Act of 2011 are young as far as prophecies go, but apparently they are every bit as terrifying as rivers of blood and plagues of locusts. Any day now we can expect White House spokesman Jay Carney to take to the podium and read a prepared statement: "And when he opened the seventh seal, there was a small decrease in the rate of increase in federal spending."

  • Truth and consequences for Benghazi

    September 30, 2013

    The only real accountability for the Benghazi scandal will have to come in 2016.

  • Hillary Clinton's dodgy testimony

    September 30, 2013

    A lot of people in Washington apparently forgot how good Hillary Clinton is at not telling the truth.

  • What's so great about coalitions?

    September 30, 2013

    This week the United Kingdom, with the support of the U.S. and France, scrambled -- in vain -- to get the approval of the United Nations Security Council for a military strike on Syria.

  • Don't tread on six-toed cats

    September 30, 2013

    One of my New Year's resolutions is to work harder to persuade ideological friends and foes alike that the way to reduce partisanship and maximize happiness in America is to embrace federalism -- the view that we should push as many decisions as possible to the lowest local level feasible.

  • Education spending that isn't smart

    September 30, 2013

    Not long after President Obama proclaimed in his second inaugural that "an economic recovery has begun," we learned that the U.S. economy actually shrank in the last quarter. Many economists believe this is a temporary setback. This recovery may be the weakest in American history, but the economy isn't cratering either.

  • Time to dial up some healthy skepticism

    September 30, 2013

    The U.S. government is trying "to create a database of every [phone] call ever made."

  • Benghazi's smoking guns

    September 30, 2013

    President Obama was asked about the metastasizing Benghazi scandal in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday. Referring to the Americans who died in Benghazi, the president said, "We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus." He added that "the whole issue of talking points, throughout this process, frankly, has been a sideshow. ... There's no 'there' there."

  • It takes two to end a war

    September 30, 2013

    "This war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands."

  • Obama wings it in Egypt

    September 30, 2013

    Who says President Obama isn't a unifier?

  • Can GOP's local success translate to federal level?

    September 30, 2013

    The Republicans are doomed. Conservatism is over. President Obama is conducting a mop-up operation at this point.

  • Obama's economic spin: a new pony or manure?

    October 19, 2012

    It was arguably Ronald Reagan's favorite joke. In one version, two kids -- one an optimist, the other a pessimist -- rush downstairs on Christmas morning. The pessimistic kid gets a new bike and weeps that he'll probably break it soon. The optimistic kid is presented with an enormous pile of manure and squeals with delight: "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

  • Red, blue and faithful

    October 17, 2012

    Apparently, Paul Ryan and Joe Biden are both theocrats willing, nay eager, to use state power to impose their religious views on the rest of us.

  • Quit blaming Bush

    October 10, 2012

    "Now Gov. Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper. In other words, he'd double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place." -- President Obama in an ad released Sept. 27.

  • The undoing of the Storybook Man

    October 6, 2012

    It was the Puss in Boots eyes.

  • Obama's foreign policy follies

    October 4, 2012

    We're now entering the fourth week of the "CSI: Benghazi" hostage crisis. That's how long an FBI forensic team has been trying to gain access in Libya to what the State Department still calls a crime scene -- the Obama administration's preferred term for the location of the first assassination of a U.S. ambassador since 1979 and the first successful al-Qaeda-backed attack on U.S. soil since the 9/11 strikes. (Our embassies and consulates are sovereign U.S. territory.)

  • Tribe of liberty

    September 29, 2012

    We like tribalism for the same reason we like to eat fatty foods: We evolved that way.

  • What has Obama learned?

    September 27, 2012

    The Oval Office isn't the place to learn on the job. That was the line from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain in 2008. In fairness, that's always the argument the more experienced candidate uses against the less experienced candidate (just ask Mitt Romney).

  • Free speech isn't the problem

    September 22, 2012

    "No One Murdered Because Of This Image."

  • Can 'Innocence of Muslims' trailer really be that potent?

    September 20, 2012

    The Obama administration's omnibus answer to why the Middle East (and now much of the Muslim world) is in near open rebellion against the United States: The video did it.

  • Don't misplace blame for Middle Eastern mayhem

    September 15, 2012

    An incendiary video about the prophet Muhammad, "Innocence of Muslims," was blamed for the mob attacks on our embassies in Libya and Egypt (and later, Yemen). In Libya, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered. The video stirred some passion here in America as well.

  • Forward to what, Democrats?

    September 13, 2012

    "Forward" is a perfectly appropriate slogan for progressives.

  • Campaign 2012 in a nutshell: Wrong ideas vs. no ideas

    September 8, 2012

    Charlotte, N.C. -- Going by the conventional rules of American politics, the Democratic Convention this week was an unmitigated disaster. And, going by the same rules, GOP convention was a disaster, too. So, either the rules of American politics have fundamentally changed, or at least one of the parties is taking an enormous gamble.

  • The question nobody wants to answer

    September 6, 2012

    You have to feel a little sorry for Team Obama as they squirm to explain why the question "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" is so unfair.

  • Obama sells old ideas as new

    September 6, 2012

    CHARLOTTE -- A few years ago, it was fashionable for Democrats to describe themselves as "members of the reality-based community." These days, it seems the foreclosure crisis has hit them so hard they've been forced to move to another neighborhood.

  • Liberal media brings out the hockey pucks

    September 1, 2012

    In 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger, then a popular figure in the Republican Party, gave an exciting, upbeat and surprisingly funny speech at the GOP convention. He covered a lot of territory: the story of how he came to America, how he became a Republican after listening to Richard Nixon, and other highlights of his life story.

  • Liberal media brings out the hockey pucks

    September 1, 2012

    In 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger, then a popular figure in the Republican Party, gave an exciting, upbeat and surprisingly funny speech at the GOP convention. He covered a lot of territory: the story of how he came to America, how he became a Republican after listening to Richard Nixon, and other highlights of his life story.

  • After Romney's birth certificate joke, Dems play the race card

    August 30, 2012

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Huzzah, America, our centuries-old struggle with racism and bigotry may be coming to an end.

  • Akin's idiocy is infectious

    August 25, 2012

    Todd Akin's idiocy appears to be infectious.

  • The politicization of violence

    August 23, 2012

    If it hasn't completely vanished down the memory hole, you might recall that last week a man walked into the headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council with a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and bullets, said something like "I don't like your politics" and then shot the building manager.

  • A storied presidency

    August 18, 2012

    In 1995, Barack Obama released "Dreams From My Father," a compelling memoir full of stories about his life that -- though often not exactly true -- persuaded many people that this young man had a great political future ahead of him.

  • Mitt, more gaffes like this, please

    August 10, 2012

    One of the few things Americans on both sides of the partisan divide can agree on is that this election is shaping up to be vexingly petty. The hunt for gaffes -- some real, many imagined -- has taken over. Romney's recent overseas tour, we are told, produced three: an impolitic, if defensible, statement about Britain's preparations for the Olympics; a statement about the importance of culture in economic development; and when an aide to Romney dressed down a reporter with an inflated sense of entitlement.

  • No more boring white guys for the GOP

    August 9, 2012

    "A friend of mine, a Hispanic entrepreneur, asked me a question some time ago. He said, 'When is the last time you saw a Hispanic panhandler?' I think it's a great question. I'll tell you, in my life I never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler, because in our community it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging."

  • De-Bushing Romney

    August 4, 2012

    This is shaping up to be the second election in a row that's about someone who isn't on the ballot: George W. Bush.

  • What's behind hatred of Obama?

    August 2, 2012

    What drives Barack Obama's "doubters and haters"?

  • Death penalty foes won't take a stand in Colorado

    July 28, 2012

    In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., slaughter, the question went forth on all of the political chatter shows: "Will this reopen the debate over gun control?"

  • Brian Ross' brain cramp

    July 26, 2012

    If ABC News does fire Brian Ross, he could always find a job working for Aaron Sorkin.

  • Co-sponsoring your success

    July 21, 2012

    "If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. ... If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

  • Romney's hysteria bubble

    July 19, 2012

    It was one of Barack Obama's best lines -- and best moments -- in the 2008 presidential campaign.

  • Tilting at the UN windmill

    July 14, 2012

    Those of us who believe the United States would be best served by pulling out of the United Nations and starting up a more morally and politically serious clubhouse for morally and politically serious nations are often accused of tilting at windmills.

  • Blame Barclays, not capitalism

    July 12, 2012

    Why aren't more people furious about the Libor scandal?

  • If lender is giving you the runaround, shop elsewhere

    July 8, 2012

    Q: I listen to your radio show often, and I am a big fan. On your show last February, I heard that a major lender was having a home show. My wife was approved for a $75,000 loan with a $3,800 down payment to buy a house. We found a house for $78,000.

  • Symptoms of a sick culture

    July 7, 2012

    The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously remarked that, "The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself."

  • Live free -- and uninsured

    July 5, 2012

    In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"), NPR's "Talk of the Nation" held a seminar of sorts at the Aspen Institute's legendarily pretentious Ideas Festival. Someone in the audience asked NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner this question: "Today's decision is a positive decision for the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans. Who are the losers today?"

  • Roberts' ruling took guts

    June 30, 2012

    Why not just cut open a goat and be done with it?

  • Voter apathy isn't a crime

    June 28, 2012

    It's a sure sign someone is losing when he demands that the rules be changed.

  • Obama's truthiness

    June 23, 2012

    It's becoming increasingly clear that President Obama is not burdened with too heavy a commitment to honesty.

  • Are the Dems doomed?

    June 21, 2012

    Is it time to start talking about the inevitable demise of the Democratic Party?

  • Liberal nostalgia for the good ol' days of conservatism

    June 16, 2012

    My daughter learned a neat rhetorical trick to avoid eating things she doesn't like. "Daddy, I actually really like spinach, it's just that this spinach tastes different."

  • Obama's 'fine' mess

    June 14, 2012

    The 1990 Italian film "Everybody's Fine" is one of the most depressing films I've ever seen. Starring the late Marcello Mastroianni, it's the story of an old man who tells his wife he's going to visit their grown kids. According to their letters the kids are doing great, but he'd like to see for himself.

  • Searching for a surrogate

    June 9, 2012

    Watching Bill Clinton act as Barack Obama's "No. 1 surrogate," in the words of National Public Radio, is as exquisitely painful as watching a runaway monkey with a paintball gun at a museum.

  • 'Compromise' is not a dirty word

    June 7, 2012

    Compromise has always been a holy word for the Washington establishment. But against the backdrop of ever-increasing anxiety over our fiscal dysfunction, most particularly the next budget showdown, the word has taken on a tone of anger, desperation and even panic.

  • The upside of the downside

    June 7, 2012

    One of my heroes, Irving Kristol, used to say that there's nothing wrong with the country a bad recession couldn't fix.

  • All (green) thumbs

    June 2, 2012

    It was interesting while it lasted. But it looks like the "green revolution" has entered the long slide into "What was all that about?"

  • Spending debate creates an opportunity for Romney

    May 31, 2012

    Here's a simple suggestion for Mitt Romney: Admit that the Democrats have a point.

  • Big business gets the Hollywood treatment

    May 26, 2012

    Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old kid from Maryland, just won the world's largest high school science competition by creating a new test for pancreatic cancer, one of the nastiest and most lethal forms of the disease.

  • Which kind of capitalism? A debate for Obama and Romney

    May 23, 2012

    "This is not a distraction, this is what this campaign is going to be about," President Obama said Monday at the NATO summit. The "this" in question is Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and what it says about Romney's economic vision for the country.

  • Generation pap

    May 19, 2012

    This is the season of generational twaddle. At graduation ceremonies across the country, politicians, authors, actors and businessmen take to the stage to tell young people they are fantastic simply because they are young. This year, the ritual is more pathetic than usual because there's a presidential election in the offing. And because the current occupant of the White House won in 2008 in no small part due to his success with the "youth vote," he is desperate for them to repeat their blunder.

  • Romney's media handicap

    May 17, 2012

    Perhaps Mitt Romney played it right when he was meek and contrite in response to the Washington Post's front-page allegations that he bullied a kid half a century ago in high school.

  • 'Money primary' pushes Obama to the left

    May 11, 2012

    For most of 2012, President Obama has been running in the Democratic primary. I know that seems odd given that he's essentially running unopposed. Though don't tell that to West Virginia Democrats, who cast nearly half of their votes for Keith Judd, an inmate currently serving time in a Texarkana, Texas, prison. Judd received 41 percent of the vote. In 1968, Eugene McCarthy received 42 percent of the vote and forced incumbent Lyndon Johnson from the race.

  • Romney feeds the crocs

    May 9, 2012

    "If Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin?" So asked Bryan Fischer, a radio host with the American Family Association, after claiming credit for Richard Grenell's scalp.

  • Republicans have bad brains?

    May 4, 2012

    "They do that because they were born that way."

  • The false modesty of 'nerds'

    May 2, 2012

    Washington is full of nerds. I know. I speak nerd, not fluently mind you, at least not anymore. But I certainly know more than a few phrases memorized from a Berlitz nerd-to-English phrase book. I can talk Dungeons & Dragons (both D&D and AD&D). I know about the Golden Age of Comics (as in comic books -- if you thought that was a reference to Bob Newhart's heyday, subtract 20 nerd points right there).

  • My papers? No thank you

    April 27, 2012

    With the Supreme Court taking up Arizona's "show me your papers" immigration law, we're once again thrust into a useful debate over the role of the government and the obligations of the citizen -- and non-citizen. Rather than come at it from the usual angle, I thought I'd try something different.

  • Obama's tainted bundler

    April 25, 2012

    Jon Corzine left Goldman Sachs with a net worth far exceeding even that of Mitt Romney today. Many accounts of his tenure at Goldman suggest he "failed up" the corporate ladder.

  • Issues vs. 'distractions'

    April 20, 2012

    It's going to be bait and switch for as far as the eye can see.

  • Obama's problem? His record

    April 18, 2012

    "The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we are on, where a fewer and fewer number of people do very well and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace."

  • In battle for young voters, Romney should play it uncool

    April 13, 2012

    President Obama's re-election largely hinges on his ability to play young voters for suckers -- again -- and whether Mitt Romney will let him.

  • Free the markets, Mr. Romney

    April 11, 2012

    In his Wisconsin victory speech last Tuesday, Mitt Romney said, "Washington has to become an ally of business, not the opposition of business."

  • Obama energy policy: very few of the above

    April 6, 2012

    In his speech before the Newspapers Association of America/American Society of News Editors Wednesday, likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney accused the president of changing positions to get re-elected.

  • Obamacare will be Romney's savior

    April 4, 2012

    It looks as if it's going to be Mitt Romney after all. With Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush endorsing the former Massachusetts governor last week, there aren't any white knights left to play the role of GOP savior.

  • Conservative interpretations

    March 30, 2012

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act and other ingredients of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka "ObamaCare." Why, she asked toward the end of three days of hearings, shouldn't the court keep the good stuff in ObamaCare and just dump the unconstitutional bits?

  • Playing the race card again

    March 28, 2012

    "White Hispanic." That's how the New York Times, Reuters and other media outlets have opted to describe George Zimmerman, a man who would simply be Hispanic if he hadn't shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The term, rarely if ever used before this tragedy, is necessary in telling the Martin story in a more comfortable way.

  • The federalist solution

    March 21, 2012

    The bleating about broken government and partisanship continues. "Why can't those boobs in Washington agree on anything?" We're constantly told that the way to fix the country is to dethrone the left and right and empower the middle. Americans Elect, No Labels, the Gangs of Six and Fourteen, conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans: Handing things over to these middling mincers and half-a-loafers is supposed to be the answer to all of our problems. It's as if we should just put Nelson Rockefeller's mug on the dollar bill and be done with it.

  • Politics: A never-ending game of 'hot potato'

    March 16, 2012

    Warning: What you are about to read is a deeply cynical view of the 2012 election. If you're looking for puppies and rainbows, check back with me another time.

  • Obama's pump debacle

    March 14, 2012

    As gasoline prices climb, President Obama's poll numbers plummet. In February, a Washington Post/ABC poll had Obama up 6 points against Mitt Romney. Monday's poll has him down 2.

  • Someone take the wheel

    March 9, 2012

    There's a great scene in the movie "The Right Stuff" where the original Mercury astronauts are checking out the capsule for their first trips to space. They're horrified to discover that the German scientists in charge of the program see the astronauts as nothing more than living props.

  • Birth control agitprop

    March 7, 2012

    In 1984, Mario Cuomo pioneered the argument that one may be "personally opposed" to abortion, while supporting abortion rights.

  • Breitbart a provocateur to the end

    March 2, 2012

    Andrew Breitbart's heart was too big to fail, but it did anyway.

  • Lack of enthusiasm isn't just a GOP problem

    February 24, 2012

    There's no disputing that Republicans are surly these days.

  • Mr. Right eludes the GOP

    February 22, 2012

    "If we could just take a little bit from each of them."

  • Obama's cynicism for me, not for thee

    February 17, 2012

    "My rival in this race," President Obama announced early in 2007, "is not other candidates. It's cynicism."

  • Free health care? That's rich

    February 15, 2012

    "It's not about contraception," thundered GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum. "It's about economic liberty. It's about freedom of speech. It's about freedom of religion. It's about government control of your lives. And it's got to stop!"

  • The GOP race gets messy

    February 10, 2012

    OK, I give up.

  • Liberals are the true aggressors in culture wars

    February 9, 2012

    If you're not with us, you're against us. President Bush popularized this expression after 9/11 to describe his foreign policy doctrine: Countries couldn't support or indulge terrorists and be our friends at the same time. But his detractors quickly turned it into a fairly paranoid vision of domestic political life, as if Bush had been talking about domestic opponents and dissenters.

  • A U.N. -- but for good guys

    February 8, 2012

    The governments in Russia and China very much want to uphold the principle that every now and then the state must crush people who want freedom. That is why they worked together to veto a fairly toothless United Nations resolution condemning the regime in Syria and calling for President Bashar Assad, the lipless murderer who runs the place, to step down.

  • The case for Romney

    February 3, 2012

    Years ago a friend told me a story from her days living in South America. The movie "Wayne's World" had come out, and she went to see it. She spoke English, but it was interesting to read the Spanish subtitles.

  • Political finger-pointing

    February 1, 2012

    Jesse Jackson is right.

  • Obama's vision for a Spartan America

    January 27, 2012

    President Obama's State of the Union address was disgusting.

  • Newtzilla conquers all?

    January 25, 2012

    Newtzilla is back.

  • A question of priorities

    January 20, 2012

    "In the Treasury we do not speak of tons of silver. Our unit is the troy ounce."

  • People Inc.

    January 18, 2012

    "Corporations are people, my friend," Mitt Romney declared in a testy back-and-forth with hecklers last summer in Iowa.

  • To take down Obama, Romney must win Battle of the Bloat

    January 13, 2012

    One thing is clear: At best, Mitt Romney is a work in progress.

  • Romney's authenticity problem

    January 11, 2012

    Mitt Romney is the most improbable of presidential candidates: a weak juggernaut.

  • An imperial sham

    January 6, 2012

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a man whose political success is largely attributable to the aura of befuddled incompetence he uses to disarm his adversaries, was a failed Watergate baby.

  • An imperial sham

    January 6, 2012

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a man whose political success is largely attributable to the aura of befuddled incompetence he uses to disarm his adversaries, was a failed Watergate baby.

  • 2011: You can't win for losing

    December 30, 2011

    Charlie Sheen was clearly the man of the year.

  • Conservative establishment divided against itself

    December 28, 2011

    I've made a disturbing discovery: I am a member of the conservative "establishment." I feel like Michael Douglas at the end of "Falling Down": "I'm the bad guy?"

  • Santa's not pagan

    December 23, 2011

    As a non-Christian with a deep affection for Christmastime, I've always felt a little left out around this time of year, but not in the way you might think. I've always felt a bit out of place with the venerable conservative tradition of denouncing the "war on Christmas."

  • Ron Paul's naive promises

    December 21, 2011

    So now it's Ron Paul's turn.

  • Wedging both ways

    December 16, 2011

    Wedge issues are back.