Opinion

  • R.I.P. GOP

    Born of a righteous conviction that no person should be enslaved, the Republican Party died this week, a victim of its leaders’ lust for power and abandonment of the Union which Lincoln fought to save.  At its zenith, the GOP advanced a freedom agenda derived from the ideals of the American experience and the European enlightenment.  A commitment to free labor, free markets, free trade, and free institutions provided the … Read More

  • The Democrats’ “Radical Agenda”

    Like a lot of Americans, I’ve been watching the Democratic convention this week.  On the first night, I was flipping between the three major cable networks just to take stock of how each was covering the proceedings.  When I got to Fox News, I learned that the Democrats were in the midst of unveiling their “radical agenda” to “change America.”  And my first reaction was, “holy cow, did I dose … Read More

  • Stand Up and Be Counted

    On Tuesday, as we learned that former Vice President Joe Biden had selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, I saw a Tweet from Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff.  It was a picture of the moment the vice president asked Senator Harris to join him on the ticket.  The picture is pretty straight forward: the vice president is in profile, holding a smartphone to his computer while … Read More

  • Narratives of Illegitimacy

    American politics are awash with narratives of illegitimacy.  We’re not just questioning the judgment of our rivals, we’re questioning their loyalty, their commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution, as well as their patriotism.  In other words, we’re questioning whether our political opposites are, truly, American.  It’s difficult to imagine a more serious threat to the American experiment. The playbook is familiar at this point.  Republicans—including then-citizen Donald … Read More

  • Why I Laugh

    2020 has been the longest decade of my life.  It’s not even close.  The year that began with presidential impeachment, has, so far, brought us also a pandemic that continues to ravage the United States and the world, massive unemployment, the murder of George Floyd, protests for social justice, and violent confrontations in cities across the United States set against the backdrop of perhaps the most important U.S. election since … Read More

  • Irresponsible or Tyrannical?

    Every week, I try to share some insights from history, from my scholarship, or from my experience working in Washington.  I am mindful that it would be easy to look at my resume and dismiss me as a partisan.  And so I try to be careful about the language I use and the points I make.  The truth is that I’m actually a passionate moderate—if that’s not an oxymoron—who is … Read More

  • A Matter of Trust

    In what would have been a shocking twist in any other administration, over the weekend, journalists began reporting that the White House was circulating talking points questioning the judgment and credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  President Trump, himself, told Fox News that Fauci, who had increasingly distanced himself publicly from the pandemic characterizations and recommendations of the president, “is … Read More

  • It’s Complicated

    I watched the president’s speeches at Mount Rushmore and on the South Lawn of the White House commemorating July 4th last weekend. They were not great speeches, if I’m honest, but they have lingered with me. In his inaugural address, the president spoke of “American carnage,” and the theme of a decaying America came through loud and clear. But I was more troubled by his open assertion that the decay … Read More

  • The Story in the Data: Wear Your Mask!

    On Monday of this week, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control, told the Journal of the American Medical Association that COVID-19 is not under control in the United States because “We have way too much virus across the country for that right now.”  It’s a staggering admission, but we know it’s built on real data.  Compare that to the actions of some state governments … Read More

  • The Warning They Are Shouting

    America is on the precipice of a dangerous crisis.  The warnings are being signaled to all of us in public.  If it explodes into view, it’s legacy will cut to the core of what it means to live in a republic, what it means to maintain a standing Army in our nation, and, yet, its importance is under-appreciated by most of us.  Let me explain. Sunday night was a dangerous … Read More