Trump Lost Nothing in Hanoi

When Donald J. Trump took office in January 2017, the outgoing Obama Administration national security team cautioned Trump’s transition team that North Korea was a significant nuclear threat. Obama White House officials explained how North Korea’s leaders had built up their nascent nuclear arsenal. Since at least 2013, the Obama Administration knew about the rising […]

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Take This SOTU and Shove It

In the annals of American political showboating, it’s tough to top the annual circus called the State of the Union message. Mandated by the Constitution—and at first delivered to Congress in written form—it has metastasized since the Wilson Administration into a full-blown political rally, celebrating not the party in power, but the president of the […]

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Stuck in the Middle with Mitt

If there’s one thing about Donald Trump all right-thinking folks can wholeheartedly celebrate, it’s the way he’s made the masks slip on so many alleged conservatives. First to go were the #NeverTrumpumpkins (no names, please!), as their magazines foundered and their reputations declined along with the quality of their shticks. Also out the door are […]

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Jonah Goldberg and Cardinal Newman

My friend Jonah Goldberg has prompted me to think a bit about the issue of character as it relates to public service. Jonah thinks that Donald Trump is a man of bad character. He’s written this several times, most recently, I believe, at National Review where he puts it negatively: it is an “obvious truth,” […]

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President Trump’s Missed Opportunities

Almost two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, it is time to take stock not only of his many successes, but also of the times when he has failed to make the most of his opportunities. Trump has, by almost all accounts, presided over one of the strongest economies in recent decades, fueled in part by […]

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Are We Facing a New Civil War or Just Continuing the Old One?

The passing of George H. W. Bush might be a cause to reflect more deeply on his famous civility and its relation to the coming of a new civil war with which we are threatened today. Was his own “thousand points of light” and his son, W’s, “compassionate conservatism” the best response to the threats […]

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In Memory of George H. W. Bush

No matter what you may think, you can’t prepare for the expected. I stopped what I was doing and sat down at the computer when I heard President George H. W. Bush had passed. I’m a writer in part because of the knowledge I gained serving in his White House. It was, as they say, […]

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George H.W. Bush, the Last WASP President

George Herbert Walker Bush was president when I was in high school. While my beliefs were beginning to take shape, I volunteered on both his election and re-election efforts, where the culture wars figured prominently. Whether the issue was the death penalty, the Cold War, or affirmative action, the dispute was between old school patriotism […]

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A Taxonomy of Conservatives: The Candidate

He has a firm handshake and a confident smile. He is already planning his congressional run with his staff and advisors, but for now he will have to do with being the student government president and then a local politician. He is well versed in the conventional platitudes of political rhetoric but also has an […]

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Trump the Politician

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” So said Polonius, one of the most famous political advisors in the Shakespearean canon. If Polonius, who was rather silly, could see this about Prince Hamlet, why can’t our most seasoned political commentators and practitioners see that the same thing could be said about Donald J. […]

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