Columns

How McConnell Outplayed Pelosi

Column: The Republican leader unified his caucus by relying on precedent

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnell was clear when he addressed the Senate December 18: Any impeachment trial of President Trump would follow the precedent established by the trial of President Clinton 20 years ago.

Trump Calls the Ayatollah’s Bluff

Column: And scores a victory against terrorism

Trump KHameneiReciprocity. That is the key to understanding Donald Trump. Whether you are a media figure or a mullah, a prime minister or a pope, he will be good to you if you are good to him. Say something mean, though, or work against his interests, and he will respond in force. It won't be pretty. It won't be polite. There will be fallout. But you may think twice before crossing him again.

How Trump Won 2019

Column: Thank his opponents

US President Donald Trump watches the game with members of the Navy during the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 14, 2019. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)President Trump ends 2019 in a better position than when he started. The year began with the swearing in of Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House. The Mueller probe dragged on. The legislative agenda of Trump's first two years in office had petered out. The Democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden, was beating him by double digits in the polls. A little more than halfway through the year, bond prices signaled recession.

Present at the Demolition

Column: The post-WWII order is ending—and nothing has replaced it

This grab made from a video shows Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L), French President Emmanuel Macron (front), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (back-C) as the leaders of Britain, Canada, France and the Netherlands were caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace reception mocking US President Donald Trump's lengthy media appearances ahead of the NATO summit on December 3, 2019 in London. - US President Donald Trump cancelled on December 4, 2019 a planned final news conference scheduled for after the NATO summit, following two days of sharp disputes with allies. (Photo by - / NATO TV / AFP) (Photo by -/NATO TV/AFP via Getty Images)Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of Word War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic and security infrastructure of the postwar world has accelerated in recent weeks. The bad news: As the legacy of the twentieth century recedes into the past, the only twenty-first century alternatives on offer come from an authoritarian surveillance state.

Medicare For All: Progressive Campaign Killer

Column: Harris and Warren fell for the fool's gold of socialized medicine

Kamala HarrisPundits have a ready explanation when one of their favorites loses or ends a campaign: The voters just didn't get to know the candidate the way media do. He or she was too wonky, or eager to please, or insular, or revealing, or uncertain for the masses. The electoral process made it impossible for him or her to connect with voters. The classic example is Hillary Clinton, who has re-introduced herself to the public umpteen times over the decades. A friend who knows her once told me I would like Clinton if only I got to meet her informally. I had a good laugh at that one.

The Broken China Model

Column: A weak and unstable China is also more dangerous

Police arrest anti-government protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityYou see it in the maps. In 2015, 1.4 million Hong Kongers voted in elections in which pro-Beijing candidates swept the city's 18 district councils. Last week 2.9 million Hong Kongers voted and pro-democracy candidates won every district but one. That is an increase in turnout of more than 100 percent and a stunning rebuke both of Beijing and of chief executive Carrie Lam, who has failed to respond adequately to the demands of the pro-democracy movement that has disrupted Hong Kong for the past six months. Maps of the city once shaded pro-mainland blue are now pro-liberty yellow.

Why Candidates Matter Most

Column: Positions and personality trump party and region

Next year you will enter the Twilight Zone where the governors of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maryland are Republicans and the governors of North Carolina, Kentucky, and Louisiana are Democrats. It is the middle ground between working-class realignment and the rising American electorate, between polarized parties and disaffected independents, and it lies between the pit of man's ideology and the summit of his pragmatism. This is the dimension of American politics that reveals the overriding importance of a candidate's personal qualities and issue positions.

What Do Republican Voters Want?

Column: Rising GOP stars play pin the tail on the elephant

Rubio Trump HawleyThe latest entry in the post-Trump conservatism sweepstakes was Marco Rubio's speech at the Catholic University of America in early November. The Florida senator made the case for a "common-good capitalism" that looks on markets in the light of Catholic social thought. "We must remember that our nation does not exist to serve the interests of the market," he said. "The market exists to serve our nation."

How States Like Virginia Go Blue

Column: Education, immigration, and densification

Virginia Election - Richmond, VASo this is what it feels like to live in a lab experiment. As a native Virginian, I've watched my state come full circle. The last time Democrats enjoyed the amount of power in the Old Dominion that they won on Tuesday, I was entering middle school in Fairfax County.

The Reserve Army of the GOP

Column: How the white working class—and the Democratic nominee—could save Donald Trump in 2020

Donald Trump Holds "Keep America Great" Campaign Rally In DallasAt first glance, President Trump's reelection chances don't look good. Stories about impeachment and presidential misbehavior dominate the news. Trump's disapproval rating is high. Independent voters are against him. GOP congressmen are retiring from suburban districts that trend Democratic. The generic ballot is about where it was last cycle. Trump's win in 2016, when some 78,000 voters in three states gave him the Electoral College, was a close-run thing. Seems hard to repeat.