The Back to the Future Democrats

Joe Kennedy SOTU response

The Democrats are like characters in a Bill Murray movie. They keep reliving the same day, trapped in the rhythms and routines of campaign 2016. They persist in the rhetoric, tropes, gestures, figures, and policies that delivered the presidency, the Congress, and the bulk of statehouses and governor’s mansions to the Republican Party. What they can’t escape is identity politics—the slicing and dicing of the electorate by race, sex, orientation, gender identity, country of origin, dietary preference, what have you. Meanwhile President Trump has run off with the most saleable of the Democrats’ old issues and the foundations of their coalition. You’d think they’d notice.

The Talking Stick Senators

Susan Collins shows off 'talking stick'

A good day for a writer is one in which a metaphor falls into his lap. That happened recently when I read a behind-the-scenes report on the government shutdown. During the Democrats’ brief and pointless exercise in immaturity, a bipartisan group of senators met regularly in the office of Susan Collins of Maine. Puzzled by what had brought them to this point, and desperate for a way to live up to their not-entirely-deserved reputations as moderate, clear-thinking, responsible statesmen, the Republicans and Democrats were looking for a way out.

The Iran Echo Chamber Smears Politico Magazine

Ben Rhodes Barack Obama

Nothing has been more tedious over the last year than the constant reminders that good journalism is “now more important than ever.” The implication, of course, is that solid, groundbreaking reporting was not as essential so long as a liberal Democrat was in power. I’ve long assumed that the factotums mouthing such clichés lack the self-awareness to understand the true import of their words. But maybe I’ve been wrong. Recent days brought evidence that, no, liberals really mean it: the only meaningful investigative work is that which reflects poorly on Republicans.

Promise Keeper

Donald Trump addresses the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference at the Verizon Center March 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Not only is President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy there one of the boldest moves of his presidency. It is one of the boldest moves any U.S. president has made since the beginning of the Oslo “peace process” in 1993. That process collapsed at Camp David in 2000 when Yasir Arafat rejected President Clinton’s offer of a Palestinian state. And the process has been moribund ever since, despite multiple attempts to restart it.