Columns

Trump in Trouble

Column: Why Republicans are worried about November

President Trump Delivers Remarks On Protecting Seniors With DiabetesPresident Trump was disappointed. Bad weather on Wednesday forced a delay in SpaceX’s planned launch of the Dragon spacecraft, robbing the president of a prized photo opportunity. He plans to attend the next launch window, scheduled for May 30 at 3:22 p.m. EDT, but the spoiled visit to Florida punctuated another week of foreboding news from the campaign trail.

Biden’s Progressive Gamble

Column: Will Americans sign up for fundamental transformation?

Joe BidenA few hours after this column appears on the internet, more than 30 liberal activists will meet online to plan your future. The gathering is called the "Friday Morning Group." It comprises, according to The New York Times, "influential figures at labor unions, think tanks, and other progressive institutions." These influential figures, the Times goes on, believe that when Democrats last had full control of the federal government, between 2009 and 2010, they did not "take the initiative in specifying plans for achieving large-scale change." They hope to correct this mistake. What happens on November 3 might give them the chance.

The Teflon Campaign

Column: Why nothing sticks to Donald Trump or Joe Biden

It was congresswoman Pat Schroeder, Democrat from Colorado, who labeled Ronald Reagan the "Teflon" president in a fit of exasperation in August 1983. What frustrated Schroeder was that nothing "stuck" to Reagan—not the recession, not his misadventures in Lebanon, not his seeming detachment from his own administration. Reagan's job approval had plunged to a low of 35 percent in the beginning of that year, but his numbers were rising and his personal favorability remained high. "He is just the master of ceremonies at someone else's dinner," she said.

How America Arrived at the Cruel New Normal

Column: Here comes the 'dumb reopening'

Newsom Hogan Northam DeSantisVery soon, you and I will have to figure out how to navigate a semi-open America where coronavirus is a terrible fact of life. The lockdowns and stay-at-home orders that state and city governments announced in March are breaking down. This is not red-versus-blue. This is reality. Two weeks ago, Georgia's Republican governor Brian Kemp faced widespread criticism for his easing of restrictions on business and outdoor activities, even as Colorado's Democratic governor Jared Polis did the same thing. Now most states are joining in.

The End of History And ‘The Last Dance’

Column: Michael Jordan and the end of the unipolar moment

I and about six million other people have been enjoying The Last Dance, the Michael Jordan documentary currently on ESPN. It tells the story of the Chicago Bulls' 1997-1998 season and contains many pleasures. There is incredible imagery, new interviews with Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson, and Dennis Rodman, gossip and intrigue, and, above all, the presence on television, albeit commemorative, of professional sports.

The Viral Center

Column: The coronavirus and the new American middle

Donald TrumpThe coronavirus struck America during an era of polarization. Politics was bitterly divided. The two sides did not just disagree. Partisans existed in separate realities, with different religious commitments, moral attitudes, policy priorities, and sources of information. The gaps between blue states and red states, and between the rural and urban areas within them, seemed unbridgeable. Some analysts spoke of a "cold civil war." Its resolution would decide the nation's fate.

Coronavirus and the Common Good

Column: The enduring relevance of a tricky concept

New York City Hospital Adds New Protocols And Triage To Address CoronavirusLong before the onset of the pandemic, some of the journalists and politicians on the American right began speaking of the "common good." Back in 2005, Rick Santorum titled one of his books It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good. More recently, last October Sohrab Ahmari wrote that the common good should replace individual autonomy—i.e., freedom—as the touchstone of a new conservatism. The following month, Marco Rubio told an audience at Catholic University that a "common-good capitalism" would promote dignified work for all and incentivize businesses to reinvest "enough" of their profits to create jobs in the United States.

Corona Conservatism

Column: The coronavirus accelerates a generational and ideological transition on the right

Not long ago, as the severity of the coronavirus pandemic became clear, journalists were quick to say that the crisis marked the end of an era. "The Trump Presidency is Over," declared a headline in the Atlantic. One article in Politico said "The Pandemic Is the End of Trumpism." A New York Times op-ed column carried the headline, "The Era of Small Government Is Over."