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home : opinion : editorial January 28, 2021

The Proud Boys return to Neverland
So, the Proud Boys now judge Donald Trump "a total failure" and "extraordinarily weak." The members of the far-right group understood at last that when the former president denounced them for doing what he incited them to do, they looked ridiculous.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Can Trump be tried?
House Democratic impeachment managers have delivered to the Senate a single, hastily passed article of impeachment against former President Trump. A trial is set to begin on Feb. 9. It will be an event without precedent -- the first time in U.S. history that a former president will be tried in a court of impeachment.

Several Republicans are arguing that a trial would be unconstitutional, that a former president cannot be tried. After all, they say, impeachment is the Constitution's method for removing a president who has been found guilty of serious misconduct. But Trump can't be removed. He's already gone, having served out his term that ended on Jan. 20.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

'Free speech for me, but not for thee'
Long a stalwart defender of the First Amendment, the American media is now having second thoughts.

For decades, it was a commonplace sentiment among journalists that freedom of the press was one of the glories of our system. It helped to make the government accountable and to air diverse points of view -- even unpopular ones -- to be tested in the marketplace of ideas.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The vaccine lottery
On Tuesday afternoon, while working at my desk, two things happened almost at once.

My law school roommate texted me that she and her husband had just signed up online to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Why are we so angry? What can be done about it?
At the post office the other day, where all of us in my rural town go to pick up our daily mail, a friend asked: “Why are we so angry, Jim?” By “we” he didn’t mean him and me, and I could tell, even with his mask on, that he was concerned..
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Without discipline, humane border policy fails
On his first day as president, Joe Biden is unfurling big ideas for fixing the immigration program. Any smart plan will loosen howls by extreme opinions, be they for shutting the borders tight or opening them wide, so he might as well do the right thing. Rebuilding the system to be more humane would be welcome. But protecting American labor from unfair competition is also essential. That means controlling who enters and how many enter the country.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Gorman, summoned to participate, is celebrated
It began with an old poet saluting a young president. Sixty years later, it was a young poet saluting an old president.
Friday, January 22, 2021

No, there won't be unity
Inaugural addresses are meant to be aspirational, so President Joe Biden might as well have doubled down on his call for unity in his address.
Friday, January 22, 2021

Joe Biden to Canada: Drop dead
Poor Justin Trudeau. The Canadian prime minister must have been relieved to be done with President Donald Trump, only to learn that Joe Biden plans to tell Canada to pound sand as one of his first priorities. 
Thursday, January 21, 2021

First duty of the press: Make it about race
Why can't liberals ever just let Trump hang himself? Isn't what he's actually done bad enough? No, the media always have to punch up the story, layering lie upon lie, until normal people are forced to say, I don't want to defend the guy, but that didn't happen.

This was the whole point of my book "Resistance Is Futile," written at the outset of the Trump administration:

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trump derangement syndrome in a post-Trump world
President Trump is now former President Trump. With Joe Biden now President Biden, Democrats control the White House, the House and the Senate. An ambitious agenda lies ahead for the new Democratic administration. And yet there are signs that some Democrats' obsession with Donald Trump -- the condition known as Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS -- will remain as strong, or perhaps become stronger, now that Trump has left the White House.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

In Biden, U.S. seeks a Lincoln
There are many dangers ahead for that great survivor of American politics, Joe Biden. There is a deadly virus that is rampaging across the land even as it is mutating, economic challenges, a wealth and privilege gap that is widening, potential troubles with Iran, allies wary of America's commitments and direction, and citizens at home and abroad worried about the endurance of democratic institutions in what remains the globe's most powerful economic and military power.

That list exemplifies what your sixth-grade teacher would call a run-on sentence. That is because the problems run on and on. And that is before we mention the fundamental crisis:

Monday, January 18, 2021

Beyond the beltway
I don't think there is anyone in America with a phone who hasn't seen the graphic pictures of the Capitol under siege, or hasn't read the harrowing accounts of those trapped inside barricaded rooms.

Whatever else they may have done wrong, the Capitol Police protected everyone who was legitimately in the Capitol.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Flight 93 post-election
President Donald Trump finally did what the foremost metaphor associated with his political rise would have suggested -- he plowed his plane into the ground.

That metaphor is Flight 93, courtesy of Michael Anton, author of a famous essay before the 2016 election about how Republicans had no option but to get on board with Trump. "Charge the cockpit or you die," Anton wrote.

Friday, January 15, 2021

A message from the hot spot: It's about vaccines
There's a message we are hearing every day: Somehow, by June or July, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

You will survive, if you live that long.

I understand congressional anger. I hope we all share that anger.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Most disloyal man in history finally finds a cause worth fighting for
Why, in the last 12 days of his presidency, did Donald Trump suddenly become the authoritarian of liberal fantasies? He sure wasn't an authoritarian for the past four years -- he was a spineless wonder.

When it came to the wall, bringing the troops home, ending hedge fund managers' tax loopholes and other campaign promises, Trump backed down to everybody: district court judges, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, the de facto president Jared Kushner, trusted Goldman Sachs alumnus Gary Cohn, useless donors, or any two people raising an objection.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

A crazy impeachment
Democrats started trying to remove President Donald Trump from office before he entered office. Now they are proposing to remove him from office after he leaves office.

How do you remove an ex-president? He's already gone. That is the bizarre question posed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's obsessive quest to re-impeach Trump with just a few days left in his term. Why impeach the president now, as the House seeks to do, when there is not enough time for the Senate to hold a trial and pass judgment on the case before Trump's term expires on Wednesday, Jan. 20?

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Twitter deranged our politics
 Donald Trump was the president of Twitter.

What radio was to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and TV was to Ronald Reagan, communicating 280 characters at a time on a social media platform that is a watchword for hyperactive inanity was to President Trump.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Merrick Garland
Amid Wednesday's riots, President-elect Joe Biden's selection of Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general was not the front-page story it otherwise would have been.

In watching the horror of terrorists taking over the Capitol, the only consolation that got me through the day was the knowledge that my old friend will soon be running the Justice Department.

Monday, January 11, 2021

On the day democracy wept
Cry, the beloved country.

There have been multiple American moments of great drama since World War II. Movements to extend rights to minorities, women, the disabled and gays. Assassinations, terrorist attacks and anti-war protests. Scandals, impeachments and an election that went into 36 days of overtime.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Trump's disgusting coda
There's a reason we expect presidents of the United States to say that they support the peaceful transfer of power.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Behavior of rioters does not erase righteous grievance of voters who've lost faith
NEW YORK (AP) — Media outlets that appeal to conservatives offered condemnations, explanations and deflections following the U.S. Capitol riot by President Donald Trump’s supporters, but little introspection.
Friday, January 8, 2021

Rep. Kim: 'When you see something you love that's broken you want to fix it.'
(AP) — Water bottles, clothing, Trump flags, even a U.S. flag littered the ground inside the U.S. Capitol after a mob backing President Donald Trump ransacked the building.
Friday, January 8, 2021

The traitor on top
What do you say of a man who openly seeks to subvert the Constitution and incites his supporters to take over the Capitol of the United States?

He's not a president. He was never a president.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The election is over. Here's the truth about Trump
Now that the Georgia runoffs are over, let's talk about Donald Trump.

When we really needed all hands on deck in Georgia, Trump was a wrecking ball. He went down to Georgia and insulted everyone, refusing to talk about anything but himself.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Now they tell us - Trump was tough on Russia
Democrats and their allies in the press spent the last four years accusing President Donald Trump of being soft on Russia. And worse: Some called the president a Russian asset, a traitor, Putin's patsy and much, much more. It was all nonsense, because behind the rhetoric was the stark reality that Trump, and his administration, have actually been tougher on Russia than many of his predecessors. Now, with the president on the way out, one lone voice in the anti-Trump press -- CNN, specifically -- has spoken the truth out loud.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Remap too important to leave to Madigan
The dance of democracy continues in 2021 with the once-a-decade ritual of drawing new state legislative and congressional district lines in Illinois and across the nation. In two-thirds of the states, including Illinois, the legislators themselves draw the lines. This means the party in power draws maps that favor incumbents and enhances its partisan control.

This is done rather simply by “cracking” (breaking apart) pockets of opposition party strength or, conversely, by “packing” (concentrating) a party’s voters so as to limit the numbers of districts the opposition can win.

A couple of election cycles ago, a friend of mine tallied the total number of votes across Illinois for Democratic and Republican House candidates, respectively. He found that Democrats received 50 percent of the total vote, yet won 60 percent of the legislative seats. (That is what is called “gerrymandering,” in honor of Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in the early Republic drew a district, favorable to his allies, that looked like a mythical, contorted salamander.)

But this year can be different, as I explain below..

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Why isn't Gohmert the face of the Republican party?
I'm no big fan of AOC. Some of her ideas aren't bad, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez burdens the progressive cause by waving the socialist label like it's some kind of fashion brand. That has enabled Republicans to make her the face of the Democratic Party in a country where the S-word can scare off even moderates.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Trump's shameful Georgia call
President Donald Trump has turned a narrow electoral defeat into a bid for infamy.

His goal in the post-election interlude has been more and more explicitly to overturn the results of the election. Indeed, a couple of weeks ago he tweeted  simply, "#OVERTURN."

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

When there's no room at the hospital
In Los Angeles County, the hospitals are all full. ICU capacity dropped to zero percent in late December. Still, most of us are in denial, assuming full doesn't really mean that they are out of beds, much less rationing care.
Monday, January 4, 2021

Whither the GOP in Illinois?
Written in quill pen (not literally; it was 1965), my master’s thesis was about “Leaderless Politics: The Illinois Republican Party.” Not much has changed.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

Who's on first?
I want the vaccine. I have rarely left my house during the last nine months -- if you try, you can find a way to have almost anything delivered -- because someone in our pod is being treated for cancer, and my kids and I don't take risks.
Thursday, December 31, 2020

The year we cultivated our gardens
Very soon, a year of a deadly pandemic, social isolation, job loss and political chaos will come to an end. The coronavirus will continue its rampage but seems destined to hit a wall around late spring. Life will return to normal, we are told.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Behold, the delivery revolution
It's been a terrible year for the American worker, with a notable bright spot courtesy of one of the tech firms in the crosshairs of regulators and lawmakers. 
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

This year, if you're reading essays, you're lucky enough
Pop into any gift shop near a tourist lake, and you will see a pillow embroidered with this truth: If you're lucky to live by a lake, you are lucky enough. Now that the holiday gift season is over, I have my own version: If you were lucky enough to get a copy of the new book "The Glorious American Essay" this month, then you are lucky enough.
Monday, December 28, 2020

Life in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is on the verge of becoming the world's biggest COVID hot spot in the world. "The epicenter," we say, shaking our heads. How did this happen?
Saturday, December 26, 2020

Is there a vaccine against pandering?
Saturday, December 26, 2020

Tax probes need to happen
Hunter Biden says his tax affairs are under investigation. The president-elect's son says he is "confident" the probe by the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware will find no wrongdoing.

Fine. We shall see.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

No, Joe, we're not in a 'climate crisis'
Former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's famous axiom is that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. It's an even worse thing to manufacture.

Although President-elect Joe Biden obviously disagrees. Creating an unwarranted sense of drama and urgency around climate change is central to his approach, in order to catalyze action unsupported by the facts or common sense.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Miracle on 80th street
I've spent the week in New York, and no visit happens without a trip to Zabar's, a specialty food store on Broadway and 80th Street. A destination for tourists as well as locals, Zabar's was less frenetic than you'd expect around the holidays, but still, there were people.

Anyhow, when I unloaded my basket at one of the cramped checkout stations, I couldn't find my wallet. Panicked, I fumbled around my bag looking for my cards. And even though shoppers were backed up in my line, the cashier told me to take my time and go through pockets, etc. No luck. I found cash set aside for something else to cover the purchase.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Democrats' Eric Swalwell problem
House Democratic leaders are trying to keep the espionage scandal surrounding Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell under tight control. But it's going to be an uphill battle. Republicans are pushing harder and harder to learn more about Swalwell's relationship with Chinese spy Christine Fang. And the Democrats' strongest ally -- The New York Times, which has averted its eyes and so far refused to publish even one word about the matter -- can't hold out forever.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Nobody seems to give a whit about Illinois
The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University asked me to do some noodling about the future of Illinois. I have mentioned this to several friends. The responses ? a roll of the eyes; a belly laugh; a retort that it is too late to do anything about Illinois. Nobody has responded that it is a good use of my time, needs to be done.

Few, it seems, give a whit about our state. Why might this be so?

Monday, December 21, 2020

The golden era of Christmas songs
The great performer Bing Crosby reached the height of his stardom about 80 years ago, but every Christmas season he makes a triumphant return to American radio and malls and other public places. 
Sunday, December 20, 2020

There is no debate to be had on vaccination
I'm not a scientist. I'm not an infectious disease expert, let alone one of those who led the fight against AIDS. So I have to depend on experts. And luckily for me, there is no debate among experts on the subject of vaccinations. I know I will get furious emails, but they won't be from the most knowledgeable scientists. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton would not be offering to roll up their sleeves if doing so would put them at risk. It won't.
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Don't pardon Snowden
No one will ever accuse President Donald Trump of being overly careful in his exercise of his pardon power.

So, it makes sense that advocates of Edward Snowden, the man responsible for the most damaging classified leak in U.S. history, are mounting a last-minute push to get the president who pardoned Sheriff Joe and Roger Stone to issue his most outrageous and indefensible pardon yet.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Happy Forefathers' Day!
Here's another reason to hedge your bets by using the "Happy Holidays" greeting at this season: Monday is Forefathers' Day. Deride its importance at your own peril, and at the peril of your country.

Forefathers' Day likely is not on your calendar and surely is not top of mind, but it has been celebrated one way or another for 251 years, usually on Dec. 21 but not always, its date dependent on which historical account, which calendar and which source is regarded as preeminent.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Breonna Taylor: The true story of a BLM hero
Hey, guys, I found out the true facts in the Breonna Taylor case!

Remember the "botched raid" (New York Times) on Breonna's apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, last March, when police officers killed this innocent black woman as she slept peacefully in her bed?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The vaccine new world
What a relief that at least a few of us are getting the coronavirus vaccine. I would have liked my arm to have been among the select few. I'll wait patiently, however, comforted in knowing that with every passing week, the list of Americans threatened by this nasty, deadly virus will shrink and life will return to normal.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The embarrassing Russian disinformation canard
If there's one thing that the Hunter Biden laptop episode has proven, it is that former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency aren't as adept at evaluating evidence as advertised.

Five former directors or acting directors of the CIA signed a letter asserting that the laptop, first reported by the New York Post in the weeks before the election, "has all the hallmarks of Russian information operation."

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

COVID concentrates minds on obesity
Obesity is a major risk factor for those dying from the coronavirus.

So strong is that fear among the very overweight that bariatric surgeries have seen a significant jump in demand. Bariatric surgery is a procedure performed on the stomach or intestines that causes weight loss.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Electoral College meets Monday: Its critics push for a popular vote compact
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — When the Electoral College meets Monday, its detractors hope it marks the beginning of the end of a system that twice this century has vaulted the loser of the popular vote to the presidency.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

The glory of Trump's judges
One of President Donald Trump's foremost achievements has been to erect a formidable obstacle to his own post-election legal challenges.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Historians will long debate legacy of transformative Trump
He changed America's approach to trade. He transformed the nation's relationship with China. He altered the country's role in international institutions. He remolded the nation's alliances. He reshaped American views about immigration. He modified decades-old customs of politics. He weaponized social media.
Friday, December 11, 2020

Voter fraud never happens! (Except in these 10,000 cases)
The media have been lying about voter fraud for 20 years. The New York Times and The Washington Post will tell you: Let's get something straight. There are only two cases of voter fraud in history and they were both Republicans.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

How Nancy Pelosi's TDs hurt America
One of the more appalling moments in the recent history of the House of Representatives occurred recently in the Capitol Visitor Center. Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her weekly news conference and said that she had changed her position on the issue of passing a coronavirus relief bill. For months, as millions suffered the economic devastation associated with the pandemic, Pelosi stonewalled the Trump administration's efforts to pass targeted, short-term relief for those in need. Now, as if by magic, she's all for it.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The economic cruelty of the pandemic
Just when it seemed some of the most disheartening trends in the U.S. economy were finally beginning to reverse, COVID-19 arrived to entrench them.

The pandemic has been a neutron bomb targeted at the prospects of lower income working people. They had finally begun to benefit from the recovery from the Great Recession when the virus ravaged sectors of the economy that disproportionately employ them.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Will Democrats ever drop iIdentity politics?
The days right after an election are an ideal time for political parties to work on fixing bad habits. For Democrats, that would mean kicking the increasingly dated custom of declaring race, ethnicity and gender factors in filling leadership positions. Demands on President-elect Joe Biden to put these considerations front and center show a failure to understand how politically poisonous identity politics have become.

Happily, Biden is choosing people who are highly qualified for the job. But unhappily, and no small irony, focusing on their identity only subtracts attention from their impressive careers.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

What's next for Fox News?
I had to laugh when President Donald Trump got mad at Fox News. He really did think Fox News was no more than the mouthpiece of the Republican National Committee. I'm sure he would say that he made Fox News, which is simply not true.

Roger Ailes made Fox News.

Monday, December 7, 2020

The conspiracy theory that could hand Joe Biden the Senate
There is no evidence that Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are secretly working for the Democratic National Committee, but no one has definitively disproved it, either.

That's the kind of conspiratorial reasoning that the Wood-Powell duo, with their deep commitment to wild and unfalsifiable charges, might apply to themselves.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Other presidents have risen above their differences
Fifty-two years ago this week, his term in the White House drawing to a sad close, President Lyndon B. Johnson gathered members of his Cabinet together and delivered a strong message.

"We are now approaching the last month of this administration," he told them. "It is neither desirable nor equitable to bind the hands of the next administration in major program areas unless there is overriding necessity to do so. We should not needlessly foreclose the options of the new administration to initiate their own program changes. It would be particularly unfair to take actions now which must be implemented over a long period of time."

Friday, December 4, 2020

The struggle for new leadership in Illinois, and what to do with it
Politically, Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan is a dead man walking. The recent ComEd admissions of a decade of bribery killed him.

And so, the struggle for new leadership is underway, mostly behind the scenes for the moment.

Madigan has more or less ruled the Legislature for four decades, so others are unpracticed at seeking and providing leadership.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Yes, they cheat. We have to win Georgia anyway
I'm neither heartbroken nor surprised that President Kushner didn't get a second term. The good news is, Republicans are finally talking about vote fraud!
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Goodbye to 'peace through strength'?
President-elect Joe Biden named his national security team last week. Antony Blinken will be nominated for secretary of state; Jake Sullivan for national security adviser; Avril Haines for director of national intelligence; and Alejandro Mayorkas for secretary of homeland security. All but Sullivan will require Senate confirmation. How that goes depends on how the two runoffs in Georgia go; if Republicans, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, win control of the Senate, all of Biden's nominees will face more scrutiny than they would from a Democratic Senate headed by Sen. Charles Schumer.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Who will recall these strange times?
Decades from now, today's young will be sharing vivid memories of the pandemic of 2020. They will tell grandchildren what it was like seeing grown-ups go about their daily business in face masks. They may recall closed schools and teachers reaching them through a videoconferencing application then known as Zoom.

Some storytellers may marvel at those who refused to protect themselves and suffered death or lasting physical damage as a result -- or who exposed loved ones to the same. And they may recall the president as a bizarre figure who kept downplaying a disease that took hundreds of thousands of American lives.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Who will recall these strange times?
Decades from now, today's young will be sharing vivid memories of the pandemic of 2020. They will tell grandchildren what it was like seeing grown-ups go about their daily business in face masks. They may recall closed schools and teachers reaching them through a videoconferencing application then known as Zoom.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Biden's immigration radicalism
One of Joe Biden's first priorities as president will be to risk stoking a new migrant crisis.

After much trial and error, President Donald Trump came up with cooperative arrangements with Mexico and Central American countries that drastically diminished the pressure from asylum-seekers on our southern border.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Biden's immigration radicalism
One of Joe Biden's first priorities as president will be to risk stoking a new migrant crisis.

After much trial and error, President Donald Trump came up with cooperative arrangements with Mexico and Central American countries that drastically diminished the pressure from asylum-seekers on our southern border.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Modern generation gap goes beyond age group
PITTSBURGH -- We are just now completing a month with both an election and (virtual) Thanksgiving family gatherings, so this may not come as much of a surprise:

We are in the middle of another generation gap.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Celebrating statesmanship in Illinois can help bridge the divisions in the Prairie State
ILLINOIS — As a protracted and divisive political campaign season draws to a close, America is a nation in which partisan cleavages appear sharper than at any time in recent memory. Political analysts write of the United States as now consisting of two distinct nations, Red America and Blue America, and question if common ground will be achieved again.
Saturday, November 28, 2020

Good times are coming
The Dow crossed 30,000 for the first time, and three promising vaccines are on the way. These are not unrelated events. Also boosting investor optimism was Trump world's decision to finally start the transition to a Joe Biden presidency and Biden's naming of Janet Yellen as his treasury secretary.
Friday, November 27, 2020

The coming anti-COVID restriction backlash
The backlash is coming.  

It already seems clear that the first major political and culture eruption of the Biden years will be a roiling populist backlash against the next round of COVID restrictions. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

2020 is Democrats' and Republicans' bluebird moment
It is Judy Garland versus Vera Lynn. It is the 1939 song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" versus the 1942 hit "The White Cliffs of Dover." It is America in its prewar reverie versus Great Britain in its wartime trial.

This is, for America's two political parties, a bluebird moment.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gee, why can't Trump accept defeat like the Democrats?
In 1980, Democratic President Jimmy Carter lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan, 489-49 in the Electoral College. So naturally, Democrats concluded that Reagan had committed treason in order to steal the election, to wit: His campaign had conspired with Iranian ayatollahs to prevent 52 American hostages from being released until after the election.
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Speak Out
Friday, November 20, 2020

'Defund the Police' and the damage done
Remember the debate over the meaning of the phrase "defund the police"? Repeated over and over on the progressive left, it seemed pretty clear -- it meant that cities should no longer fund, and thus effectively abolish, their police forces. But some Democrats worried that embracing such a radical proposal might hurt them politically, so they suggested that it actually meant re-directing some, but not all, funds from police to things like mental health treatment and affordable housing. Nothing too radical.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Biden voters should also know: It's over
It came as no surprise that Donald Trump's supporters would hold a protest in Washington, D.C., claiming their hero won an election that he lost badly. More curious were the foes of the president who bothered with a counterprotest after Joe Biden triumphed in, by some counting, a historic margin. Did they think there were two sides to the story?

For sure, the foes were angry about the democratic norms the Trump camp stomped on for four long years. Its refusal to concede Biden's clear victory was only the latest. But cursing at the Trump supporters and overturning tables of Trump gear -- the Proud Boys are sensitive creatures, you know -- was counterproductive.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The failure of Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter came up with the single most effective political slogan of the year.  

While no one was likely to be overly impressed with Joe Biden's line, "Build Back Better," and Donald Trump's "Keep America Great" or "Make America Great Again, Again" didn't have the resonance of the original 2016 version, BLM broke through the clutter with a catchphrase that was memorable, pungent -- and utterly devastating to Democrats. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

We're worn out
WASHINGTON -- This city and this country, are, in a word, exhausted.

The velocity of news in the Trump era has been unprecedented. The passions expressed in this period have few peers in history. The election left the country weary -- and left just under half the voting public embittered. The United States is, quite simply, worn out.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The guide to losing gracefully
Here are the times Democrats have conceded a presidential election with grace and dignity:

OK, now on to my column.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Trump's last chance
In my work as a lawyer, I often find myself sitting with CEOs waiting for a verdict. So, I write statements for everybody to use if we lose. Someone once noticed that I never draft victory statements. Winning is easy: The system worked, and you smile for the camera.

It's losing that requires hard work. Losing with dignity is like aging with dignity, which is very nearly impossible. It's personal.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The election lawsuit Trump should win
In its effort to challenge vote counts in key states, the Trump campaign has filed lots of lawsuits that have little chance of winning. But there is one suit that it should win -- not only for the Trump campaign or the 2020 election, but for all elections in the future. It's the court fight over Pennsylvania's election rules, and it involves a fundamental issue that is important to all 50 states.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The blue trickle
Ordinarily, it's not possible for a party to win the presidency and have a bad election night, but the Democrats managed it.

Pending the outcome of two Senate runoffs in Georgia, Joe Biden looks set to become a caretaker president who won't be signing any legislation that doesn't pass muster in Mitch McConnell's Senate first.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

First woman free-climbs Yosemite's granite wall in a day
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Mountain climber Emily Harrington has become the fourth person, and the first woman, to free-climb Yosemite National Park’s 3,000-foot (914-meter) granite wall in a single day.
Saturday, November 7, 2020

Trump's staying power
Pending the outcome in a few key states, Donald Trump may be leaving the White House, but he's not exiting the room.
Saturday, November 7, 2020

Questions remain as election provides few clear answers
PITTSBURGH -- Here in the capital of indecision -- where even before the polling stations closed Tuesday it seemed possible, even likely, that agitation would mix with litigation -- the way forward for America is, as it is everywhere else, muddled. Only here it is more so.
Friday, November 6, 2020

What now?
Thursday, November 5, 2020

A Trump good deed receives its punishment
Of all the Twitter attacks on President Trump -- and there are thousands every day -- one stood out on election eve. It was a photo of a woman sitting with the president in the Oval Office. It read: "Trump leaned in and said, 'You know it's I who released you, don't you? I succeeded and Obama failed.' In the most vulnerable moment of my life, 48 hours after releasing me from prison. It was never about me like it was never about us. It's about his ego. We deserve better. #VoteBiden."
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

It should have been easy to knock off Trump
As I write this, we don't know the winner of the 2020 presidential race. By the time you read it, we still may not know. There are votes to be counted.

What seems very apparent, though, is that Democrats did not enjoy the romp that they and some political prognosticators had expected. They were running against the much-disliked President Donald Trump during a public health crisis and spreading economic despair.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

People feel what they feel. There's no arguing
Therapists counseling couples in trouble tend to follow this game plan: Before the combatants start hashing out the issues, they must acknowledge that their mates feel what they feel.

These words stick in my head as Americans face the stress of political schism -- each side seeing calamity in electoral loss. Besides steeling oneself for possible defeat, the best way to ensure some inner calm is to recognize that the rational arguments were long-ago made, so let the other side feel what it feels.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The board-it-up election
There is one clear leading indicator pointing to President Donald Trump still having a chance to win the election -- stores around America are fortifying themselves in anticipation of election-related violence.

Businesses in cities like New York City, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago are boarding up as if a category 5 hurricane is bearing down.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Brett Kavanaugh is right about Wisconsin's ballot deadline
For now, Vladimir Putin has been supplanted as the chief threat to the integrity of the presidential election by an American in a black robe -- Brett Kavanaugh.

The Supreme Court justice's concurrence in an Oct. 26 decision slapping down a district court's extension of a Wisconsin election deadline has been universally condemned by the center-left as a damning preview of an attempt by the court to hand the election to President Donald Trump.

Mark Joseph Stern wrote a piece for Slate titled, "Brett Kavanaugh Signals He's Open to Stealing the Election for Trump."

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Trump support you don't see
Everyone can see President Donald Trump's rallies. In the final days of the campaign, he is jetting from swing state to swing state, drawing big crowds to outdoor airport events as he makes his closing argument for reelection.

But there are also pro-Trump events that aren't covered in the media. A case in point was a recent road rally, with thousands of Trump supporters jumping in their cars and pickup trucks to drive through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Organizers estimated the rally included about 2,000 vehicles, each with two, three or more people inside. Gatherings like it have been going on for months in some of the places President Trump needs to win most if he is to be reelected.

Monday, November 2, 2020

The poetry of election eve in Wisconsin
WAUSAU, Wis. -- Something told the wild geese it was time to go.

The poet Rachel Field, whose poem set out that immutable rule of the seasons, was right, as the poets we read as children many decades ago often were. For there, up in the leaden skies, was the telltale "V" of birds in flight. Her premonition ("something whispered 'frost'") was redeemed, too; here in swing-state Wisconsin, the frost on the "sagging orchards" that had "steamed with amber spice" sparkled in the early morning sun. And a day later, true to her prediction, "though the fields lay golden, something whispered, 'snow,'" -- and soon the rural roads shone in a confectioners'-sugar white.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Kavanaugh is right about Wisconsin's ballot deadline
For now, Vladimir Putin has been supplanted as the chief threat to the integrity of the presidential election by an American in a black robe -- Brett Kavanaugh.
Friday, October 30, 2020







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