National Commentary

National Commentary

The long, painful road to Iowa

URBANDALE, Iowa — Politics sometimes moves with lightning speed and in a clear direction. The rise of the New Deal coalition in the midst of the Great Depression is an example of how fast things can change. But often, currents of anxiety and rage swirl below the surface. Citizens, stunned by...


National Commentary

Is rising violence a 'Ferguson effect'?

Chicago, never an island of tranquility, has been roiled by a surge in serious violence. Last year, the number of murders rose by nearly 13 percent over 2014, and shootings increased by a similar amount. Figures for January indicate a continuation of that unhealthy trend. What is happening here is...


National Commentary

Killing of an Oregon wildlife refuge occupier has re-energized protesters

BURNS, Ore. — BJ Soper has never supported the nearly monthlong occupation of a national wildlife refuge by armed anti-government activists. He sympathized with their frustrations about the federal government, but he thought calm negotiation was a better strategy. Then on Tuesday, an Oregon...


National Commentary

The three-cornered fight for the soul of the GOP

WASHINGTON — It's hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its intellectual demise. Indeed, the prospect of socialist...


National Commentary

Who had the worst week in Washington? Fox News' Roger Ailes

This past week, Fox News honcho Roger Ailes learned the same lesson the entire GOP field has come to understand in this campaign: When you fight with Donald Trump, you lose. Trump began the week by flirting, yet again, with the idea of skipping Thursday's presidential debate on Fox, citing past


National Commentary

Trump vs. Cruz: Armageddon, Iowa-style

KEOSAUQUA, Iowa —


National Commentary

Please stop comparing the U.S. to the fall of Rome

People who are worried about the future of the U.S. often find parallels with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. And oh the parallels there are! Here are a few I dredged up in a brief Internet search: easy monetary policy, excessive bureaucracy, entitlement spending, income inequality,...


National Commentary

Could Ted Cruz be disqualified?

If you attend a presidential campaign event, you may come across someone wearing colonial garb or an Uncle Sam costume or body paint. But a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa last weekend featured something possibly unprecedented: guys dressed up as Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This was not a random choice...


National Commentary

How Trump gives voice to voters' silent rage

I could have been in Saxony, the birthplace of the German anti-immigrant movement Pegida: People with German last names were trying to convince me that immigrants were hogging the benefits in their almost all-white state. But I was in Muscatine, Iowa, in a high school gym where a Donald Trump rally...


National Commentary

Clinton's email excuses are falling apart

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton went into damage-control mode when news broke that the inspector general of the intelligence agencies had identified additional classified emails on her private server, including ones containing intelligence on covert “Special Access Programs.”...


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