National Columns

Opinion: Biden is the best bet to beat Trump

Washington — Joe Biden’s limitations as a presidential candidate are so obvious that they’re almost a litany: He’s too old, too white, too male, too touchy-feely, too loquacious. But he has one huge plus: He may be the person who could move Donald Trump out of the White House. Biden ...

Opinion: No indecision on impeachment

I’ll admit that I’ve been wishy-washy about this. In May of 2017, shortly after Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and spilled top-secret information to the Russians, I took to this space to chide his party for its silence in this monstrosity of a presidency and to demand action. ...

Opinion: Few qualms about borrowing from the future

Washington — Pursed lips and clucked tongues signaled disapproval among the wise and responsible when, at a recent televised event, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the “democratic socialist” from Vermont, did not plausibly explain how he would pay for “Medicare for all.” The remarkable thing, ...

Opinion: Overcoming ‘terrorism fatigue’

Washington — One disturbing aspect of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka was that the slaughter of 321 victims came at a time when America is suffering what might be described as “terrorism fatigue.” The wars against al-Qaida and the Islamic State are part of a painful past that ...

Opinion: What will voters be looking for in next president?

We Americans have a predictable reaction when a president in his performance or his conduct disappoints us: We almost always go looking for a successor presidential candidate who, we think, possesses the very qualities of character and talent we unhappily learned were missing in the president ...

Opinion: Lay the groundwork for impeachment

Washington — Politics is an odd profession. Usually it involves the posturing inherent to partisanship and the self-abasement of endless fundraising. But occasionally it entails the most solemn duties of self-government — decisions that echo across the decades. Members of the House of ...

Opinion: Ballot box the only way to serve justice

The release of the redacted Mueller report will change no minds. For President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters and defenders, Attorney General William Barr’s absolution of the president on criminal charges of conspiracy and obstruction, given in a press conference in advance of the ...

Opinion: The GOP’s bad strategy on AOC

Memo to the Republican Party: You might want to stop messing with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s a freshman congresswoman with no significant legislative achievements, so it makes little sense that you spend so much time and energy on her. Besides, every time you do, you end up getting ...

Opinion: Court mulls citizenship question for census

Washington — The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political ...

Opinion: Mueller report shows our system hasn’t buckled

Washington — President Trump’s conduct in office has been diminishing the moral capital of the United States for more than two years. The report by special counsel Robert Mueller released Thursday puts a little of that capital back in the bank. Mueller’s 448-page account is an ...

Opinion: Did Bernie Sanders steal his wealth?

In 2016 and 2017, Bernie Sanders raked in over a million bucks. Last year, his gross income was down to $561, 293 — still not too shabby. The point is not to rib the senator about his membership in the top 1%, though that’s tempting. Nor is it to chide him for his relatively paltry ...

Opinion: There is no vindication for Trump

Washington — Donald Trump’s claim of vindication by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report depends on some creative thinking. The president, it seems, is not guilty of conspiracy with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. He is only guilty of wishing really, really hard for ...

Opinion: Trump is champion of intolerance

And what will you say afterward, America? That is not to encourage or even predict that there will be an “afterward” — that is, that someone will use violence to silence Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress. But it is to say the possibility is real. ...

Opinion: Electric-vehicle tax credit should be repealed

Washington — Some government foolishness has an educational value that compensates for its considerable cost. Consider the multibillion-dollar federal electric-vehicle tax credit, which efficiently illustrates how government can, with one act, diminish its already-negligible prestige while ...

Opinion: How Xi overplayed his hand

Washington — In the rebalancing of Sino-American relations that’s underway, the usual roles are reversed: China’s normally deft President Xi Jinping appears to have badly overreached in seeking advantage. And President Trump, who often seems tone-deaf on foreign policy, is riding a ...

Opinion: Trump is a threat to religious freedom

Washington — So another norm of public decency falls, like a historical building demolished to make way for one of Donald Trump’s tasteless towers. When the president of the United States goes after an American Muslim — in this case Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who came to the U.S. as a ...

Opinion: For candor in politics, Hollings was your man

He was the most uncommon presidential candidate. Most of them, disappointingly, flatter every group of voters they appear before by telling them what they’re confident they want to hear. Candidates, to put it bluntly, verbally caress the erogenous zones of the body politic. But not so with ...

Opinion: Twitter doesn’t represent America

An appropriately Twitteresque meme circulated recently on that platform: Write a sad story in just three words. This was an homage to Ernest Hemingway, who, challenged to write a sad story in only six words, grabbed the nearest blank paper and scrawled: “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” ...

Opinion: New NAFTA is exporting the same old bad habits

Trade agreements have been greatly successful at lowering trade barriers around the world. But they’re not without their flaws. Each agreement, in practice, tends to retain some counterproductive protectionist policies and may even export some bad policies. The United States-Mexico-Canada ...

Opinion: A few reasons to feel hopeful

This is about Kyle Korver and that white lady on the plane. The former is an NBA veteran, a sharp-shooting forward for the Utah Jazz. The latter edged past my seat on the way to her own on a crowded flight about two weeks back. A button on her shirt caught my attention. “Black Lives ...