Columns

SYNDICATED COLUMN: By Law the President Should Have to Give Daily Press Conferences

News conferences are a double oxymoron. Pressers aren’t conferences; conferences involve back-and-forth communication. Nor do they have anything to do with news. News is neither created nor conveyed at a press conference. The one place in the world where news is least likely to happen is a press conference. If I were in charge of […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Why Are the Police Caught Flat-Footed by Right-Wing Extremism? Because They Are Right-Wing Extremists.

            Not for the first time nor the last, the U.S. has recently been hit by a wave of political violence by right-wing political extremists. People are stunned; aren’t far-right groups like the KKK and Nazi Party relics of history? Clearly not. Package bombs mailed to Democratic politicians and celebrities, the mass shooting at a […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Who’s to Blame for Political Violence? The Terror Starts at the Top, Trickles Down

There are no eye sockets big enough for the eye-rolling I want to do when I hear American politicians express shock at political violence like the last week’s domestic terror trifecta: a racist white man murdered two blacks at a Kentucky grocery store, a white right-winger stands accused of mailing more than a dozen pipe […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Left Will Never Thrive Without Its Own Smart, Entertaining and Well-Funded Media Organization

The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is in its 17th year with no end in sight. The U.S. has killed a million Iraqis over the last 15 years. We’re killing Syrians, Yemenis and Somalis. None of the victims threatened us. We murdered them for fun and profit. Some of the killers feel guilty. Twenty military veterans […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming

America squandered an important national moment. Judge Brett Kavanaugh wept. On national TV. For 45 minutes. The startling visual of a top-tier political figure quaveringly weaving between the emotional cones of anger, embarrassment and despair had the potential to launch a national conversation about masculinity and society’s response to men who lay bare their emotions. […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: How Brett Kavanaugh Framed Himself as a Martyr to the #MeToo Movement

Innocent until proven guilty. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell floated a lot of arguments to defend Brett Kavanaugh, but that’s the one that carried the day: “We owe it to the American people to underscore that you’re innocent until proven guilty.” The Kavanaugh confirmation battle was a grenade wrapped in an onion covered with more […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Trump Has Revolutionized Politics. Can Democrats Catch Up?

Donald Trump may last; he may go away. But the influence of his revolutionary approach to American politics will endure. What he learned and taught about campaigning will be studied and emulated for years to come. Social media matters. In 2016 his free Twitter feed defeated Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion fundraising juggernaut. Foot soldiers don’t […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Brett Kavanaugh Sex Scandals Teach Us That Extremism, Even Supporting Torture, Are A-OK

What is wrong with us? Specifically: what is wrong with liberal Democrats? Liberal Democrats are out to get Brett Kavanaugh. They are right to be; he is dangerous. Confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would lock in a right-wing majority for a generation. Abortion rights would be imperiled, true, but his rulings would also impact […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From

Christine Blasey Ford accuses Brett Kavanaugh of trying to rape her during a party while they were in prep school. The political stakes are high: if Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote fails in the Senate and Democrats win the body back in November, conservatives will watch their dream of a solidly reliable 5-4 majority go up in […]

SYNDICATED COLUMN: All the Anonymous B.S. That’s Fit to Print: Self-Serving Newspapers Like the New York Times Ditch Their Own Ethics Rules

The most disturbing aspect of the New York Times op-ed by an anonymous “senior official in the Trump Administration” isn’t its content. The content isn’t significant enough to make an impression. “Meetings with [President Trump] veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and […]