National Columns

Opinion: Raising a question of ‘fairness’

Ari Fleischer wants to know if we’re being fair. “How much in society should any of us be held liable today when we’ve lived a good life, an upstanding life by all accounts, and then something that maybe is an arguable issue, took place in high school? Should that deny us chances later ...

Opinion: Some reflections on our fear-based parenting

Washington — Police came to Kim Brooks’ parents’ door in suburban Richmond, Va., demanding that her mother say where her daughter was or be arrested for obstructing justice. So began a Kafkaesque two-year ordeal that plunged Brooks into reflections about current parenting practices. It ...

Opinion: Nancy Pelosi and the downside of being right

It is always dangerous to be right, noted Voltaire, in matters where the established authorities are all wrong. In 2002, barely a year after the attacks of 9/11, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, three papers that rarely agree editorially on anything more ...

Opinion: The Mideast peace process is dead

Washington — This month commemorates two pinnacles for the benign, naive superpower that was America, both involving our now-lost role as Middle East peacemaker. Forty years ago, President Carter brokered the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; and 25 years ago, President Clinton ...

Opinion: Nomination hangs by thin string

Washington — It is difficult to comment on an unfolding news story, but this one demands it. It is hard to write about someone you know and like, especially concerning matters of character. But sometimes there is little choice. In the case of Brett Kavanaugh vs. Christine Blasey Ford, the ...

Opinion: What The Times story misses about poverty

It’s an affecting story. Matthew Desmond, writing in The New York Times Magazine, profiles Vanessa Solivan, a poor single mother raising three children. Vanessa works as a home health aide, yet she and her three adolescent children are often reduced to sleeping in her car, a 2004 Chrysler ...

Opinion: Humility in the face of nature

With rain inundating the mid-Atlantic states and a hurricane barreling down on the Carolinas, President Donald Trump took the occasion to pat himself on the back for his handling of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico last year. It was an “underappreciated great job,” he said in an Oval ...

Opinion: We can’t sleep through this alarm

“Where have you gone, Bob Woodward? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” I asked that question in January, repurposing a Paul Simon lyric to implore the dean of American political reporters to help us make sense of the mess that is the Trump White House. On Tuesday, Woodward finally ...

Opinion: In Texas, a Democratic template for 2020

Houston — Nationally, the Democratic Party, which gave indispensable assistance (“Basket of deplorables”!) to the election of today’s president, seems intent (“Impeach!”; “Abolish ICE!”; “Free stuff!”, “I am Spartacus!”) on a repeat performance. Here, however, in the 7th ...

Opinion: Kavanaugh is better than his senatorial accusers

Washington — A surefire ideological Kool-Aid test? Those who think Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was wounded during his hearings have heavily imbibed. Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee set out to prove that Kavanaugh is a mendacious political hack with the strategy of ...

Opinion: Memoir shows Kerry’s strengths

Washington — The public conversation this past week was dominated by a book about a man who is obsessed with winning, President Trump. Too little attention was given to a book about someone who illustrates the benefits of losing, former Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry’s memoir, ...

Opinion: ‘Both-sideism’ buries the truth

A prediction. When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in “truthiness,” when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, ...

Opinion: The cult of fragility on college campuses

Washington — The beginning of another academic year brings the certainty of campus episodes illustrating what Daniel Patrick Moynihan, distinguished professor and venerated politician, called “the leakage of reality from American life.” Colleges and universities are increasingly ...

Opinion: Trump puts image over principle

Washington — Only a man who is deeply worried about his own strength would talk as much as Donald Trump does about the danger of appearing weak. That’s my biggest takeaway from reading “Fear,” Bob Woodward’s new book about the Trump presidency. The scoops were mostly revealed last ...

Opinion: Upholding norms is a two-way street

Many of the current president’s critics on the left insist that they are standing up for norms of democratic conduct and for democracy itself. Some are sincere. Neal Katyal, for example, who served as principal deputy solicitor general in the Obama administration, endorsed Neil Gorsuch for ...

Opinion: Social justice integral to Christianity

Washington — Since the Council of Nicaea, Christians have been prone to issue joint statements that are designed to draw the boundaries of orthodoxy — and cast their rivals beyond them. Another one, not quite in the same league, was recently issued by a group including John MacArthur, a ...

Opinion: Re-examine guidance on sex assault

Washington — The assault on civil rights that was mandated by the civil rights division of Barack Obama’s Education Department might soon abate. Current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is moving to halt the life-shattering procedures that began in 2011, when the department sent to colleges ...

Opinion: The art of not taking oneself too seriously

Mostly missing from the moving and deserved tributes to Sen. John McCain was attention to McCain’s gift for self-deprecating humor. When a Gallup Poll, during his last Senate term, showed that only 11 percent of the public had a favorable view of the U.S. Congress, McCain noted that when ...

Opinion: No ‘adults in the room’ in D.C.

For a man who places such a premium on loyalty, Donald Trump inspires remarkably little. Bad enough his administration is a sieve, embarrassing accounts of bungled phone calls with foreign leaders and cheeseburger-fueled rants with cronies regularly showing up in the news. Bad enough top aides ...

Opinion: The U.S. is a superpower being run by a simpleton

Washington — One of the major problems with President Trump’s impulsivity is its utter predictability. A recent op-ed in The New York Times by an anonymous administration official accused the president of impetuous, reckless rants, and Trump responded with impetuous, reckless rants ...