Columns

Patriotism, taxes and Trump

Selling the Donald Trump/Republican tax plan should be awkward for an administration that has made patriotism its central theme. That’s because patriotism isn’t mostly about saluting the flag and standing during the national anthem. It’s about taking a fair share of the burden of ...

Will Political Setbacks Unite the Republican Party?

The inexorable workings of the political marketplace seem to be enforcing some discipline over hitherto fissiparous Republican politicians. The question is whether this is happening too late to save the party's declining prospects in the 2018 midterm elections. You can see this in ...

Adoption turns kids from innocent victims to survivors

As social workers we often see the absolute worst of humanity. Where the everyday person sees many of life’s heart-breaking moments on the television or through social media, the social worker sees them first-hand. We have witnessed the burns and bruises of battered children. We have ...

What to my wondering ears did he say?

WASHINGTON — Without nearly enough fanfare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made history this week with a scant four words: “I believe the women.” All across America, forks dropped, glasses shattered and knees wobbled as women turned to each other in astonishment. (Wait. What? ...

Here is first ‘pre-mortem’ of 2018 elections

American voters, almost invariably dissatisfied with the political status quo, generally endorse change. In 2016, Donald Trump was certainly the candidate of change, and Hillary Clinton, seeking a third consecutive Democratic term in the White House, represented continuity. Voters’ enthusiasm ...

Tales to tell while celebrating Tom Turkey Day

Readers: Many thanks for your renewed suggestions. Here are a few varied follow-ups: Let’s start with this set of instructions for beginning art lovers: If the background is dark and everyone looks tortured, it’s been painted by Titian. If everyone has large buttocks and the women have ...

People should have right to rent bodies

Who owns our bodies? I think we do. Therefore, once we’re, say, 18, we ought to have the right to rent our bodies to someone else. But we don’t. Women who do that get arrested. So do their customers. I refer to prostitution, of course. Sex work is a better term. Under any name, it’s ...

Plan rewards bad corporate behavior with more tax breaks

As anyone who has ever been to any of the many cities that are graced with a Trump hotel, casino, golf resort, etc. likely knows, Donald Trump insists his name be gaudily displayed in giant letters across every structure he owns — preferably in gold. Now, he’s taken ownership of a massive ...

Trumpism wounded but not dead

And there’s more where that came from. Or at least, let us fervently hope. The Republican Party was thoroughly rebuked in last week’s election, and no party in modern history has ever deserved rebuking more. Nor has any party leader ever deserved spanking more than Donald Trump, the boy ...

Sex allegations could be knockout punch for Moore

WASHINGTON — The sexual behavior of American politicians and celebrities has been a staple of news stories from the beginning of the Republic. But it seems to have approached a peak this year with the case of Judge Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, and other such ...

She took on bully, and she won

Last January, John Carman returned from Donald Trump’s inauguration apparently so puffed up that he decided to make fun of the much larger crowd at the Women’s March the next day. This, in itself, is not news. There are plenty of men in America who would rather mock women than try to ...

The corruption of faith of American evangelism

When Jim Zeigler, the state auditor of Alabama, invoked the Bible to defend Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore against allegations that he had inappropriate contact with underage girls while single and in his 30s (which Moore has sort of denied), it signaled perhaps the final stage in the ...

GOP can’t chase away its own

Politics is about addition, not subtraction. I don’t know who first said it (the internet offers many possibilities), but it’s an iron law of politics, not just democracy. You gain power by adding forces to your coalition, and you lose power by subtracting forces from your ...

Republicans turning into louts and dunces party

Just a couple of weeks ago, it seemed that the Republican Party had thrown in the towel on maintaining any sort of Donald Trump-free identity. Sen. Jeff Flake announced that, rather than defy the Trump-supporting base in Arizona, he would not seek reelection. He followed Sen. Bob Corker’s ...

Boiling point for sexual harrassment

enty-five years ago on Nov. 3, 1992, William Jefferson Clinton was elected president of the United States — and Hillary Clinton is still trying to take his place. As historians and pundits recall his third-way presidency, another slice of his legacy can’t be ignored — the trickle-down ...

To be great president, you first have to like politics

On the consensus list of the most significant American presidents following George Washington, there is a common trait. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Harry Truman — each of these great leaders was first a very good politician who actually ...

Simplify taxes, give less to government

As you read this, President Trump’s tax plan is being debated. Congress will change it. Where this ends, no one knows. I want two things: 1. Simplification. 2. More money in private hands. Trump offers some of both. His cuts would leave more money in private hands, where it will ...

Commander in chief who evaded draft dodges command

So, President Trump makes what was to be a condolence phone call to the young widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four American soldiers killed on a military patrol in Niger — and all of a sudden, the White House explodes in yet another political conflagration and a new burst of ...

Men must do better, be better

How many is this now? I’ve lost track of the number of prominent men who’ve been accused of sexual harassment in the weeks since The New York Times outed movie producer Harvey Weinstein as an alleged serial offender. Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd are among the dozens of ...

No line of attack is too low for this president

WASHINGTON — Is there nothing, no matter how vile, on which Donald Trump will not capitalize to attack a political foe? This president constantly trolls the daily news digests on television and the internet for fresh material with which to demean his target of the day. He has now seized on ...