National Columns

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 ...

Opinion: Dealing with life in ‘Crazytown’

Washington — This is indeed “Crazytown,” as a quote from Bob Woodward’s new book describes it, and we are watching a “nervous breakdown.” The problem is that it afflicts the country as a whole, and not just our narcissistic chief executive. President Trump has drawn America with ...

Opinion: Mississippi election tells an American story

“To understand the world, you must understand a place like Mississippi.” — Attributed to William Faulkner Oxford, Miss. — Time was, there was no other American place quite like it. Fifty-six years ago — a long time in adaptable America’s adjustment of its behavior to its creed — ...

Opinion: Nike takes powerful risk with ad

Colin Kaepernick is staring at you. It’s a black-and-white image, a portrait taken from a distance that feels painfully close, even intimate. Kaepernick, the reviled and revered NFL quarterback who has been unemployed and unemployable since he sparked a movement of athletes and others ...

Opinion: Work with Moscow on cybercrime?

Washington — Imagine a bully who’s pounding your head against a wall. When you complain that it hurts and threaten to punch back, he offers to sign an international agreement against bullying. Meanwhile, he keeps pounding your head. That’s a shorthand summary of the peculiar situation ...

Opinion: Deportation threats shocking

The email looked innocuous enough, sent to my personal account and with a real name attached to the sender: Asher Thompson. But the first few sentences told me that something was awry: “Israel is building a wall, refusing refugees, deporting Africans. Yet, you are silent about this. You only ...

Opinion: Please give us back the old Lindsey Graham

Washington — We lost two mavericks within a week. On Aug. 25, we lost the legendary John McCain. Last Tuesday, we lost his loyal sidekick, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham. Graham remains alive and well, but after serving for two decades as Robin to McCain’s Batman, Graham buried whatever remained ...

Opinion: Our Republican Party is messed up

There comes a point when even the most indulgent listener must doubt whether political figures deserve the benefit of the doubt. Ron DeSantis, that means you. In what should have been a celebratory interview after his victory in the Republican primary for governor of Florida, DeSantis seemed ...

Opinion: Final queries for court nominee Kavanaugh

Washington — Four decades ago, New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an intellectual Democrat, observed with amazement and regret that Republicans had become the party of ideas. Today, many of America’s most interesting arguments divide conservatives. One concerns the judiciary’s role in ...

Opinion: How will Trump be remembered?

Dear Donald Trump: Do you ever think about your own funeral? The question is not meant to be morbid or to wish ill upon you. But given how churlishly you have behaved after the death of Sen. John McCain — was it really that hard for you to issue a laudatory statement and lower the flag in ...

Opinion: Republicans must pick point of principled resistance

Washington — One of the unpleasant surprises of your 50s (among many) is seeing the heroes and mentors of your 20s pass away. I worked for the late Chuck Colson, of Watergate fame, who became, through his work with prisoners, one of the most important social reformers of the 20th century. I ...

Opinion: In Syria, a bloodbath looms

Washington — As the Syrian tragedy lurches toward a bloody final showdown in Idlib province, the Trump administration is struggling to check Russia and the Syrian regime from an assault there that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns would be a “humanitarian catastrophe.” The ...

Opinion: A man of integrity and honor

A few words about the political integrity of John McCain. Integrity was, of course, the byword of the Arizona senator, who died of brain cancer Saturday. The trait was most famously displayed in a POW camp in Hanoi when his captors, hoping for a propaganda bonanza from this son and grandson of ...

Opinion: Some more questions for Judge Kavanaugh

“Why should we bother to reply to Kautsky? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There is no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautsky is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.” — Lenin Washington — ...

Opinion: The real importance of Trump’s trade initiative with Mexico

Washington — The best thing that can be said about President Trump’s latest trade initiative is that it moves the U.S. back toward the kind of agreements Trump unwisely blew up when he became president. So, two cheers for Trump’s revamped free-trade agreement with Mexico, announced ...