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home : opinion : editorial November 24, 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

'Ask not what your country is': The Biden inaugural address
I'm not at liberty to reveal my sources, but I have obtained a draft of President Joe Biden's inaugural address. (Trump, unfortunately, won't be there to hear it. He will be holding a competing rally at RFK Stadium, also starting at 12 noon on Jan. 20.)
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Joe Biden is targeting a great American industry
Joe Biden wants to take one of the great American success stories of the past several decades and drive it into the ground.

He would turn his back on the stupendous wealth represented by proven reserves of oil and gas in this country.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Yes, we're already transitioning from fossil fuels
Joe Biden could have used more careful wording at that debate, but his talk of shifting the economy from fossil fuels to cleaner energy reflected a process well on its way. The transition started before Donald Trump took office and accelerated during his presidency.

Hoping to vacuum up some votes in oil- and gas-producing swing states, Trump pounced on Biden's remark. He also replayed one of his favorite lies, that Biden would ban fracking. Biden would stop hydraulic fracturing only on federal land, a middle position that has displeased some environmentalists.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Plans to reopen idiotic
Let us examine the Great Barrington Declaration with the respect it deserves, which is very little. The advocates, who include Dr. Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump's preferred pandemic expert, argue that all these shutdowns are causing economic and psychological havoc that's worse than the disease. Better to let the coronavirus infect the young and healthy, thus building immunity in numbers large enough to nearly stop the virus' spread. The elderly and other vulnerable Americans can lock themselves away.
Monday, October 26, 2020

There isn't a Russian under every bed
The Russians haven't loomed so large as a sinister hand influencing the course of American society since the Red Scares of the 20th century.

Then, it was largely the right that warned of Russian infiltration; now it is progressives who see Russians altering the course of American history through dark manipulations.

There's no doubt that Russia meddled in our election in 2016 and is attempting to do so again. But the left's overwhelming focus on Russia has taken on the trappings of a conspiracy theory with a comforting monocausal explanation for everything: Russia did it.

Hillary Clinton didn't blow on her own a winnable election in 2016; she was undone by a Kremlin conspiracy.

Friday, October 23, 2020

This election really is different
John F. Kerry, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. all agree: The election they contested was the most important of our lifetime.

That phrase is getting considerable attention these days, in part because it has been repeated so often, because it creates urgency, because it may promote bigger voter turnout, and because this time, it might actually be true.

In the case of Kerry, Romney, Obama, Clinton, Trump and Biden, it surely is true, at least for them. Their campaigns were the most important of their lifetimes: more important for Kerry, for example, than his 1982 campaign for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, and more important for Obama than his 1996 state-legislative campaign in the 13th senatorial district of Illinois.

But how about us?

Friday, October 23, 2020

Stumper: Should Trump mention his most popular issue?
In 2015, Donald J. Trump decided he was going to run for president on popular ideas. This was a stunning, historic breakthrough in American politics. He made his announcement in a speech talking about Mexican rapists, pledging to deport illegal aliens and build a wall. And the rest is history.

I'm thinking he should try it again this Thursday tonight.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

What standard of proof for Hunter Biden's emails?
Republican and conservative journalists and politicos need to avoid a trap when discussing the Hunter Biden laptop story. The trap might be called the "can't prove untrue" maneuver that we saw from Democrats and their allies in the media when discussing the Steele dossier during the Trump-Russia investigation.

Remember that the dossier was the collection of false and defamatory accusations against then-candidate Donald Trump compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 campaign. Remember also that the dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. And remember that the FBI, in a move that is still jaw-dropping, wanted to hire Steele to do his anti-Trump digging for the U.S. government during the campaign. (The only reason it didn't happen was that Steele couldn't resist talking to the press, which violated his agreement with the bureau.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Some countries beat back the virus. Not ours
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern forced a shutdown so strict that no one was allowed to go fishing or golfing, easy pursuits for social distancing. But her super-tough "go hard, go early" policy has virtually stamped out the coronavirus in this country of 5 million.

Not only can New Zealanders again fish and golf but 30,000 of them just packed a stadium to watch a rugby match. They no longer have to wear masks even on public transportation, though that is encouraged. New Zealand is back in business.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Biden protection racket
Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory.

He's run a minimalist campaign that's avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn't been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What are Trump's chances?
Every day, some new poll is published showing Democratic challenger Joe Biden with a big lead over President Donald Trump. Some Trump supporters ignore the news because some of the polls were wrong in 2016. They shouldn't. The polls are real, and there is no doubt Trump is facing a serious challenge. But those polls don't tell the whole story. Recently, we have seen a number of indicators to suggest not that the polls are completely wrong, but that the race might change in its final days.
Monday, October 19, 2020

Governor Pritzker issues executive order extending moratorium on evictions

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order Friday extending the statewide moratorium on residential evictions for another 30 days.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

In final stretch, campaigns reach out on multiple levels
PITTSBURGH -- Two weeks to go. So much uncertainty.

The presidential race has been distilled into two parallel struggles -- for states and for constituencies. It is possible to win one area (big electoral vote states) and lose others (women, young people) and still capture the White House. No one knows this like Donald J. Trump.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Ask Ann anything! ACB edition
With the Amy Coney Barrett hearings in full swing this week, my mailbox has been overflowing with questions from absolutely no readers! Here, I will deliver the answers that no one asked for.
Friday, October 16, 2020

Odd couples of political convenience
The New Yorker magazine asked a typical New Yorker magazine question: "Should progressives trust" The Lincoln Project?
Friday, October 16, 2020

Armies of the dysfunctional
After his girlfriend booted him out of her place, Adam Fox found refuge in a storage space under a vacuum shop. There, he reportedly lived with an emotional support dog and smoked pot.

Fox and six other men belonging to a militia group they call the Wolverine Watchmen were arrested for their alleged role in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and try her for treason. Set aside for the moment the ludicrous though dangerous Wolverine Watchmen's plan. Note instead the social and economic dysfunction that membership in extremist groups seeks to cover. Look at these loners who can't hold a job, sustain an intimate relationship or get along with the neighbors.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett hasn't been nominated for health care czar
Amy Coney Barrett has accomplished many things in her career. Becoming an authority or a policy maker on health care isn't one of them.

At Notre Dame, she was a professor at the law school, not at the Eck Institute for Global Health. She's written for the Cornell Law Review, not The New England Journal of Medicine. She's up to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court, not Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Remember the riots? They're still happening
It wasn't too long ago that the news was filled with reports of violent protests in Portland, Oregon; Seattle; Washington, D.C., and other cities around the nation. And then ... silence. Networks and newspapers are going wall-to-wall with analyses of every syllable uttered by President Trump's doctors as he is treated for COVID-19. Of course, that's news, but in the meantime, other news -- like a continuing plague of violence in those cities and elsewhere -- has virtually disappeared from the coverage.
Thursday, October 8, 2020

They've got nothing on Amy Coney Barrett
The Supreme Court fight of the century is, so far, a fizzle.

The ratio of progressive outrage over the nomination of federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to supposed reasons that the U.S. Senate shouldn't confirm her is completely out of whack -- there's a surfeit of the former and almost none of the latter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Collins' struggle in Maine reflects national distress
- How they once loved Susan.

They loved her for her sprightly independence. They loved her for her brave defiance of convention. They loved her for her resistance to regimentation, for the courage of her convictions -- and for their conviction that she had courage. Now they hold her in bitter contempt.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Top Republicans sound alarm on election chaos
With less than five weeks to go before Election Day, two top House Republicans -- Jim Jordan, ranking GOP member on the Judiciary Committee, and James Comer, ranking Republican on the Oversight Committee -- have released a report warning that widespread dysfunction with mail-in voting could "put at risk the integrity of the nation's electoral process."

The culprit: changes to state election laws and procedures, pushed by Democrats amid coronavirus concerns in the waning weeks before voting. States have long-established procedures for in-person voting. But now, the report says, "some Democrat-run states have belatedly changed election administration procedures and moved to all-mail balloting -- meaning that as many as 44 million total ballots will be mass-mailed to registered voters with no assurance the ballots reach the right person." The rushed schedule of changes gives many states no room for error as they attempt their first election with massive numbers of mail-in votes.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Is Chris Wallace a white supremacist?
After four months of looting, arson, window breaking, vandalism, intimidation, physical assaults, stabbings and shootings by Black Lives Matter and antifa, the first thing on the media's mind is ... getting Trump to condemn "white supremacists"!

It would be as if, on the morning after Pearl Harbor, the League of Nations demanded that FDR condemn American aggression in the Pacific.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Setting for Madigan hearings resembles proceedings to impeach Blagojevich
I had a front row seat, literally, to corruption in Illinois, when in 2008 I served on the Illinois House committee that recommended impeachment of disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Now, with the new Illinois panel to investigate Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan, it's deja vu all over again, as Yogi once observed. Here is what I saw back then, and see now.

Absolutely no one should be surprised.  This is Illinois, and we have become used to this type of story.

Monday, September 28, 2020

A holiday from anxiety
    I'm not going to write about Donald Trump today. I know, he is out there telling everyone he won't necessarily leave, even if he loses. Which may scare people into voting for him but is more likely to convince them that Joe Biden needs a landslide.

Stop. There I go again.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Supreme battles
Twenty years ago, five conservative Supreme Court justices picked the president.

It could happen again.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Two cheers for our drugmakers
America's big drug companies are refusing to let President Donald Trump use them as campaign props. That is right and proper.

First, nine of them pledged to not release a vaccine before one is deemed effective and safe. Having failed to manage or even acknowledge the COVID-19 crisis, Trump has turned to pushing the fantasy that an acceptable vaccine would appear by Nov. 3.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Don't expect our elites to learn from the Los Angeles horror
The attempted assassination of two Los Angeles County deputies, caught on a security video, is chilling and enraging enough.  

A man walks up to the parked black-and-white cruiser, and fires point-blank through the passenger window, then runs away. The stricken officers manage to stagger out of the vehicle and call for assistance. They are whisked away to the hospital for emergency surgery (and are now, thankfully, recovering).

The attack is a heinous and cowardly act, but what comes afterward is, if obviously much less serious, infuriating in its own right. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Vindman media tour obscures key fact about impeachment
Last fall, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a member of the National Security Council staff, was a star witness against President Trump at House impeachment hearings. Since then, he has left public view, left the White House and left the Army. Now, with an election approaching, he is launching what appears to be a media campaign to take shots at the president.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Simple ideas to ensure a Trump victory
Friday, September 18, 2020

Our current center-right mood is not so different than 1976
Think this is a different kind of election? Right about now during the 1976 presidential campaign, fully a third of the electorate was undecided. This year, the undecideds comprise about 7% of the electorate.

What's the difference? The candidates, the country, the national mood, everything. But 1976 is a good place to start to understand what is happening with the candidates, country, national mood -- indeed, everything.

The candidates that year seem to us now to have been painted in earth tones. It didn't look that way in our bicentennial year. But history has a way of wiping away the extreme coloration of things, to reduce vivid shades to beige and taupe.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Extra! Trump a fascist, hates the troops
Just before New Year's Eve 2017, President Trump told The New York Times' Michael Schmidt:

"Another reason that I'm going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I'm not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win."

Whether or not that's the case, the media do seem to be intentionally attacking Trump in an ineffective way. The latest fusillade -- that Trump disparaged fallen troops -- is believed exclusively by people who already detest Trump, but by no one else.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Hollywood's shameful Beijing kowtow
Hollywood is accommodating a new era of McCarthyism, imposed this time by Red China.  

It involves everything that Hollywood tells us that it hates -- censorship, pressure to conform and blacklists. Yet the studios have seamlessly absorbed China's dictates into their operations.

This most iconic American business is now, literally, an agent of Chinese influence.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Russsiagate dead-enders try for comeback
The Trump-Russia investigation effectively ended on July 24, 2019, the day special counsel Robert Mueller testified on Capitol Hill. Mueller's halting presentation of his 400-plus-page report troubled both Republicans and Democrats. But of greater concern was this fact: After two years of investigating, with all the powers of law enforcement at his command, Mueller failed to establish that Russia and the Trump campaign conspired to fix the 2016 election. It was the central allegation the special counsel was hired to investigate, and he could not establish that it ever took place.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

For men, are two drinks really too much?
A federal health panel now recommends that men consume no more than one alcoholic drink a day. For 30 years, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee set the limit at two drinks a day. (Women have long been urged to limit consumption to one drink a day.)

Other studies found that drinking under the previous two-beverage standard was actually good for the heart -- and that moderate drinkers live longer than abstainers. So why was the earlier guideline chopped in half?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Will my dog really miss me?
Someday, you may be going back to your office, factory, store or wherever you worked. Know this: Your dog will be OK. He or she will be OK even if you've just spent six months tied wrists to paws, in locked-down intimacy.
Monday, September 7, 2020

When Washington's elite dined at twin delis
There were many power brokers in the old Washington, hidden figures of influence never referenced in civics textbooks or examined in graduate-level political science seminars.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Democrats should curb their enthusiasm for mail-in voting
There's a giant scheme afoot to disenfranchise voters in November -- it's called mail-in balloting.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Sweden's virus plan proves deadly
Many of us lit candles and prayed that Sweden's approach to the coronavirus would succeed. As the rest of Europe locked down, Sweden stayed mostly open. Its plan was to keep vulnerable people separate while letting the virus infect the others, thus creating herd immunity -- a large proportion of people no longer able to spread the disease. Meanwhile, everyone would go about their business, and the economy wouldn't suffer.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Steroids confirmed to help severely ill virus patients
(AP) — New studies confirm that multiple types of steroids improve survival for severely ill COVID-19 patients, cementing the cheap drugs as a standard of care.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Where's 'The Talk' when we need it?
For many years now, we've gotten mountains of press about "The Talk," the rite of passage lecture that black parents feel obliged to give their sons so that they won't end up getting shot by the police. Apparently, unlike white people who are always fighting with cops and resisting arrest, young black men must be purer than Caesar's wife.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

As election nears, another battle over intelligence and Russia
A new furor has erupted over Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's decision to give some members of Congress written updates on foreign election interference instead of in-person briefings. In the past, some Hill Democrats have spun and leaked information from the old oral briefings, especially ones given to all members instead of just the intelligence committees. That has prompted Ratcliffe to seek to more carefully control what information is given to Congress in regular intelligence updates.

"I believe this approach helps ensure [that intelligence on] elections security, foreign malign influence and election interference is not misunderstood nor politicized," Ratcliffe wrote on Aug. 28. "It will also better protect our sources and methods and most sensitive intelligence from additional unauthorized disclosures or misuse."

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The left's riot blame-shifting
Until a few days ago, Democrats were content to pretend the disorder in American cities didn't exist.

Now, worried that Joe Biden is on his back foot on the issue, they readily acknowledge the rioting -- and blame it on President Donald Trump.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The winding switchbacks of politics
Up several thousand feet in the Pheasant Mountain area of West Virginia, the course of American politics suddenly becomes clear.

Lace up your hiking boots, follow Smoky Hollow Road for two miles, take a left, pull into a grassed-over parking lot and head up the Clover Trail, then climb into the thickness of the Monongahela National Forest. This is like no mountain trail you have ever traversed; it follows an old logging railroad through five switchbacks that nearly a century ago the D.D. Brown Lumber Co. used to haul lumber. The train would inch one way and then switch back -- thus the term -- to cross the mountain by going backward on the next switchback.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Nancy Reagan Red
Nancy Reagan was one of the most elegant women I have ever met: gracious, with impeccable taste. It must have been 1995 when I got an urgent call from the fellow I knew who ran the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, telling me that there had been an emergency cancellation for a panel the next morning with Newt Gingrich moderating, Mrs. Reagan attending and CNN taping. It would look terrible, he said, if the panel had no women; the cancellation was, of course, a woman. I was replacing a conservative woman. I would be the only non-conservative in the group. I told him not to worry; I would play nice.
Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Trump GOP isn't as different as you think
Donald Trump took over the Republican Party, but it's still discernibly the Republican Party.

The Republican National Convention was obviously very Trumpy. At least one member of the family had a slot every night, and it featured theatrical touches worthy of reality TV.

Friday, August 28, 2020

In today's supercharged politics, even a garden can spark a fight
It has long been accepted, at least in some circles, that there is a condition known as Trump Derangement Syndrome. But if there are still any skeptics out there, consider the reaction to first lady Melania Trump's renovation of the White House Rose Garden.

The modern version of the garden was created during the Kennedy administration and updated during the first year of the Reagan administration. It was a living thing, something intended to grow and change.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Is the media trying to throw the election to Trump?
Every day is a reenactment of my book, "Resistance Is Futile." Trump does something stupid (or many things) and the media say, We can top that!

Trump fumbles the ball, followed by the media throwing an interception, then Trump commits a personal foul, but the media blows the field goal, then Trump throws the ball out of bounds.

Does anyone want to win this election?

Thursday, August 27, 2020

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