Columns

Reality dysfunction in his head, not ours

WASHINGTON — In one of Walker Percy’s brilliant novels, “The Second Coming,” protagonist Will Barrett keeps falling down for no apparent reason. He also suffers trances during which he contemplates existential questions. Barrett comes to mind in the era of Donald Trump. I’m not ...

For better or worse, Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon

In just 13 days in October 1973, Washington endured a series of seismic political shocks. On Oct. 10, Vice President Spiro Agnew — having pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Baltimore to failure to pay taxes on thousands of dollars in bribes he, as both Maryland governor and VP, had ...

‘Stingy’ Jeff Bezos doesn’t have to give

Thursday, right before Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he’d acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, he tweeted a “request for ideas” for “philanthropy strategy.” If you have suggestions re “helping people in the here and now... reply to this tweet.” Here’s my reply: Don’t do ...

Free speech not always tool of virtue

There’s a tension so deep in how we think about free expression, it should rightly be called a paradox. On the one hand, regardless of ideology, artists and writers almost unanimously insist that they do what they do to change minds. But the same artistes, auteurs and opiners recoil in ...

Is left-wing terrorism making comeback?

You knew it was coming. You felt it with a sickening certainty the instant news of a mass shooting flashed out from Alexandria, Virginia. So it was disheartening, but hardly surprising, to hear certain conservatives reflexively blame Democrats and their so-called “hate speech” for the ...

Trump now under suspicion of obstruction of justice

WASHINGTON — After months of chasing lesser suspicions of general political malevolence by Donald Trump, the investigative arm of the U.S. government appears finally to be focusing on the one feasible avenue to force him from the presidency: the charge of obstruction of justice. The newly ...

Gunman shoots, we become family

As the wife of a U.S. senator, I work hard to keep separate my marriage and my career as a newspaper columnist. Normally, I mention my husband, Sherrod Brown, only when the disclosure is necessary or I am writing a personal essay that has nothing to do with politics. However, on this ...

Why so much rage? Because there’s money to be made

“Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?” — Psalm 2:1 KJV That didn’t take long. Less than 48 hours after the shooting rampage targeting Republican members of Congress and their staff on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, followed by the picture of ...

Tragic letter on nightmarish plight of refugees

No doubt about it; an email posting is the most convenient way to communicate, and also the fastest. But there’s a price to pay: even if a sent posting joins the plethora of others and has been preserved in your computer, it idles there, inert, cold, lacking the pleasure that often arrives ...

Trump’s infrastructure scam

At a roundtable discussion with state transportation officials last Friday, Donald Trump said America’s aging roads, bridges, railways and water systems were being “scoffed at and laughed” at. He vowed that they “will once again be the envy of the world.” This seems to be a core ...

What will be next act of violent political left?

Violence is in the air these days. It was visible to the world in Manchester, Birmingham and London in the days before the British general election June 8. It was visible on the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning as a Donald Trump hater and Bernie Sanders volunteer ...

Sessions was puppet master in Senate testimony

Watching Attorney General Jeff Sessions confound Senate Democrats during his Intelligence Committee testimony was like watching a puppet show. Sessions was the hand. And the Democrats were the socks. Oh, they flapped their mouths, occasionally twisting their necks, and grimaced before the ...

Boy Scout no match for The Donald

WASHINGTON — As it turns out, Donald Trump is the hope-and-change president. According to James Comey, Trump hoped that the then-FBI director would find a way to drop his investigation of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and help blow away “the cloud” concerning the Trump ...

Virginia will show near future in governor election

Without Virginia, we probably never would have become the United States. It was Virginian leadership and talent that created the nation. Think first of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, and don’t forget Chief Justice John Marshall, Patrick Henry ...

This president has failed

The Republican Party wants us to grade Donald Trump on a curve. No other conclusion is possible after a week of high drama and reality avoidance that would have wrecked the president’s good name, if he had one. The highlight, of course, was former FBI Director James Comey testifying under ...

Trump is getting desperate to quash Russia probe

WASHINGTON — President Trump now is said by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other supporters to be considering firing new special counsel Robert Mueller and dismissing the whole Russian meddling investigation as fake news. Could even Donald Trump be so politically tuned out to invite ...

Trump shows he’s his own worst enemy

For those who hoped that former FBI Director James Comey was going to provide some bombshell evidence — or any evidence at all — that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the 2016 election, Thursday’s Senate testimony had to be a major letdown. Of course, that was a foolish ...

Reality TV star has tweeted himself to dark place

It began as a rumble and has swelled to a chorus. Anonymous White House aides, outside well-wishers and Republican apparatchiks are all begging President Donald Trump to stop tweeting. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which has performed acrobatic contortions attempting to coax normality ...

Wishing for Trump Twitterectomy

WASHINGTON — “If only he would stop tweeting.” Those words came from a friend of mine named “Jack,” quite possibly President Trump’s biggest fan. A former secret service agent, Jack is your typical die-hard Trump supporter. That is to say, he’s a white, Christian male, ...

Two Polar Opposite Leadership Examples

For baseball fans of a certain age, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals stands alone. Musial’s on-field statistics were beyond impressive. He led the National League in batting seven times, was named the league’s MVP three times, was selected as an all-star 24 times and had 3,630 career ...