Tag: Politics & Policy

Amy Klobuchar Is the Democratic Party’s Only Hope

Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, Nev., February 19, 2020. (Mike Blake/Reuters)She’s a solid, Midwestern senator who wins in her home state by double-digit margins.

The pre-Nevada Democratic debate was a gift to Donald Trump. Instead of training their fire on the incumbent or on the vulnerable frontrunner Bernie Sanders, the candidates tore Mike Bloomberg to shreds while saving plenty of darts for one another.

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Saving Higher Education

Students on the campus of Columbia University, 2009 (Mike Segar/Reuters)Start by guaranteeing students’ constitutional rights and holding schools to truth-in-lending standards.

Despite the denials of universities boards, administrators, and faculty, American higher education, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, is a hopeless mess. What basis is there for such a harsh diagnosis?

One, a college education is far too expensive.

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Republicans and Democrats Have Reversed Their Roles

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, February 1, 2020. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)The ideological party has become the coalitional party, and vice versa.

For most of my life, the rule of thumb was that the GOP was the ideological party and the Democratic Party was the coalitional party.

This always was an overgeneralization. Democrats had an ideological perspective, and Republicans had coalitional interests.

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The Democrats’ February Blues

President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)Earlier this month, the Democrats had a disastrous four days.

All political parties and candidates have bad days. But the new progressive Democratic Party had four of its worst days in recent memory in a single week in February.

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Limbaugh: A Genius at Radio

Rush Limbaugh speaks at the 2019 Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Fla., December 21, 2019. (Gage Skidmore)His ‘army of one,’ inspiring millions who’d been ignored, changed the political landscape.

Genius is often defined in myriad ways. One trusted criterion is the ability to do something extraordinary in a field where others could not — and doing something that perhaps will never be done again by anyone else.

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Iowa’s Big Bungle

Democratic presidential preference cards are gathered to be counted at a caucus at the West Des Moines Christian Church in West Des Moines, Iowa, February 3, 2020. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)Parties used to be institutions that stood for certain ideas and interests more enduring than just the next election.

One of my favorite running jokes on the Internet is “You had one job.

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The Trump Impeachment Saga Will Have Long-Term Consequences for Republicans

President Donald Trump departs after delivering joint remarks with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a new Middle East peace plan proposal at the White House, January 28, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)One chapter in the Trump impeachment saga is ending, but the story is far from over.

As the impeachment trial fizzles out this week, I’m left wondering if the GOP has lost its mind, because the only other choice is that I have.

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Dershowitz’s Dangerous Defense of Trump

Alan Dershowitz outside Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, September 24, 2019. (Jefferson Siegel/Reuters)The president’s lawyer argues that he can’t be impeached for anything short of violating federal law. That’s wrong — and it could become a terrible precedent.

Dear Republican senators,

I will not try to convince you how to vote in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

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Will Democrats Choose Safety or Risk?

From left: Activist Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar onstage for the Democratic primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, January 14, 2020. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)One story of the Democratic primary race has been the competition between the flight to safety versus the urge to splurge.

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Was the Soleimani Killing a Policy Success?

An Iranian holds a picture of General Qasem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, as people gather to mourn him in Tehran, Iran, January 4, 2020. (Nazanin Tabatabaee/West Asia News Agency via Reuters)Trump’s action rid the world of an effective terror master, and Soleimani’s death is likely to be at least a short-term setback for Iran’s imperial ambitions.

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Gertrude Himmelfarb, Rest in Peace

First Lady Laura Bush and Second Lady Lynne Cheney flank Gertrude Himmelfarb after she received the National Humanities Medal in 2004. (National Endowment for the Humanities)She was a paragon of intellectual accomplishment, personal grace, and solid integrity.

When I emailed Mary Ellen Bork that our mutual friend, Gertrude Himmelfarb, a.k.a. Bea Kristol, had passed away at 97, she replied, after expressions of sadness, “Now she and Irving can resume their conversation.

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