National Columns

Opinion: For Democrats, winnowing is already at work

Washington — “We’re cutting out some of this ear hair that you get when you get older,” said the 46-year-old manchild who is auditioning to be Skateboarder-in-Chief. Live-streaming his visit to an El Paso barbershop, Beto O’Rourke continued: “It grows out of your ears, and if you ...

Opinion: Confronting China’s tech threat

Washington — Huawei’s name is often translated in English as “Chinese excellence.” The Trump administration last week embarked on a campaign to rebrand the tech giant, in effect, as a “Chinese threat” and check its expansion in the West. The Huawei assault may be the Trump ...

Opinion: The missing option in American politics

Washington — In a country that spans a continent, in a party that produced Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, there is still no serious political challenge to the ideological supremacy of a corrupt, deeply prejudiced con man who cares nothing for democratic traditions, constitutional limits ...

Opinion: Trump’s plan for Iran? Who knows?

Washington — In any tense military confrontation, diplomats start looking for an “off ramp” that could de-escalate tensions. But in the current standoff between the United States and Iran, it’s hard to find any such exit route. The U.S.-Iran faceoff is one of those odd situations where ...

Opinion: Even Trump now realizes we need immigrants

After spending much time and energy as a candidate and president descrying immigration, Donald Trump now wants Americans to believe immigrants are good for our country. On Thursday, the president touted a new immigration plan put together by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a man with little ...

Opinion: GOP aims to repeal 20th century

The Republican Party’s appeal, it has occasionally been argued in this space, stems largely from an implicit promise: Vote for us and we will repeal the 20th century. This was meant as truth wrapped in snarky hyperbole. But, as has become distressingly apparent over the years, it’s ...

Opinion: Children shouldn’t have to pay price of bigotry

Washington — Republican James G. Blaine (1830-1893) was a House speaker, senator and two-time secretary of state, but he is remembered, if at all, for this doggerel: “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine/ the continental liar from the state of Maine.” His lasting legacy, however, is even more ...

Opinion: Can Biden summon ‘moral equivalent of war’?

Washington — Every so often, America’s party of the left is seized by the fear that its platform of anti-militarism, sweet reason and communal progress just can’t compete with the right’s more emotional appeal to national pride, tradition and identity. It was William James — ...

Opinion: Frightened children are seeing us doing nothing

The first bullet hit 21-year-old Riley Howell in the torso. He kept going. So the gunman shot him again. Riley continued to rush toward him, and wrestled him to the ground. Before or after they hit the floor, the gunman shot Riley in the head. Riley’s father, Thomas Howell, is a ...

Opinion: Trump’s disruptive style doesn’t pay

Washington — President Trump has styled himself in foreign policy as the Great Disrupter. And for a time, this unpredictable approach served him reasonably well. Leaders from China, North Korea and Iran found themselves off balance, and they sometimes made what looked like ...

Opinion: Pence was right, inadvertently

Mike Pence was right. At least, inadvertently, he was. In a commencement address Saturday at Liberty University, the Christian evangelical college in Virginia, the vice president warned graduates that they should expect to be “shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the ...

Opinion: The Ex-Im Bank and the essence of socialism

Washington — Briefly suspending their warnings about the rising tide of socialism, a large majority of Senate Republicans recently joined with almost all their Democratic colleagues in affirming the essence of socialism, which is government allocation of capital. The Senate’s revival of the ...

Opinion: How about locking up Mnuchin?

Washington — Ladies and gentlemen, our nation is in a crisis. It is in a crisis about whether to label the current moment a crisis. Facing the blanket refusal by the Trump administration to cooperate with any and all congressional oversight, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold ...

Opinion: Some lessons on a story ‘too good to check’

Shortly after the cooling of the earth, when I was working for The Washington Post, I more than once heard a grizzled editor skeptically caution a younger reporter who was sure that he, alone, had gotten a stop-the-presses exclusive scoop that was going to lead the paper and, quite possibly, ...

Opinion: The Holocaust is not for cheap politics

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, famous these days for being infamous, is being taken to task for what she said last week about the Holocaust. Two leading Republicans quickly pounced, feeling so strongly about Tlaib’s remarks that, in the name of all things Israel, they mangled what she had actually said ...

Opinion: Most Americans are comfortable with diversity

As the country grows more ethnically and racially diverse, Americans’ attitudes towards diversity seem pretty sanguine. Most Americans, regardless of ethnic or racial background, think diversity is a good thing and makes the nation stronger. More than three-fourths of all Americans say ...

Opinion: Miscalculation could lead to Iran conflict

Washington — Behind recent U.S. and Iranian military mobilizations lies a perception by each side that the other may be about to attack. This doesn’t appear to be posturing by either nation but is instead a confrontation that could lead to actual conflict if there’s a miscalculation. The ...

Opinion: People are dying for nothing

“You don’t have to be the hero.” That, John Castillo told NBC News Wednesday, is something he had advised his 18-year-old son, Kendrick. If ever a shooter invades your school, son, don’t try to confront him, don’t take the risk. But Castillo said Kendrick had other ideas, telling his ...

Opinion: The danger of dabbling in protectionism

Washington — A man who worked in a boxer’s corner in a 1962 match against Cassius Clay, as he still was known, explained why the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round: “Things just went sour gradually all at once.” It can be like that when government dabbles in ...

Opinion: Vanier’s Christianity modeled a compassionate path

Washington — With the passing of Jean Vanier on May 7, the sum of the world’s welcoming kindness diminished appreciably. More than 50 years ago, Vanier sparked an unlikely movement of conscience. Shocked by the despair and loneliness he found at a psychiatric hospital outside Paris, ...