National Columnists

Is health care a right or a good?

The political fiasco that unfolded last week as President Donald Trump and the Republican House leadership failed to pass legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, is attributable as much to the failure of politics as it is to the failure of politicians to ...

Free market care

President Trump and Paul Ryan tried to improve Obamacare. They failed. Trump then tweeted, “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!” But I do worry. Trump is right when he says that Obamacare ...

Personality and policy

In the aftermath of the debacle over the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump can learn a valuable lesson that will serve him well in the next battle over tax reform and other issues. The president was elected largely on the force of his strong personality and ...

Educational sabotage

Nationally, black junior high and high school students are suspended at a rate more than three times as often as their white peers, twice as often as their Latino peers and more than 10 times as often as their Asian peers. According to former Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the ...

Governing by ultimatum

WASHINGTON — In a week that felt like a month, Americans got a clear view of Donald Trump’s governing style and also of his fabled dealmaking approach. Or rather, I should say, Trump got a good sense of what governing is like — hard, hard, hard. And it’s bound to get more ...

The Obama plot to sabotage Trump

Devin Nunes just set the cat down among the pigeons. Two days after FBI Director James Comey assured us there was no truth to President Trump’s tweet about being wiretapped by Barack Obama, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Trump may have had more than just a small ...

Whatever replaces Obamacare will look a lot like Obamacare

WASHINGTON — “Mend it, don’t end it” was Bill Clinton’s rhetorical straddle regarding affirmative action. Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) look increasingly like “mend it, don’t end it.” The problem is not that, as is ...

The Trump ‘faithful’ get the budget cuts they voted for

entucky has become a favored dateline for many of President Donald Trump’s fervent critics. They collect evidence there of betrayal, such as the ABC News item featuring a coal truck driver, “one of the Trump faithful,” attached to a breathing tube and weeping over his expected loss of ...

The hue and cry is tiring

The website BuzzFeed recently ran an article that a liberal activist paid for documents that showed Exxon-Mobil had paid money to the Trump Organization through a third party to ensure Rex Tillerson became Secretary of State. The documents were forged. The story is nonsense. But many on the ...

Transgender challenges

Determining one’s own sex or that of another used to be a simple matter. First, there was the matter of appearance, whether a person looked like a male or looked like a female. If appearance produced some uncertainties, one could determine sex by examining a person’s birth certificate. If ...

Perceptions are that Trump’s policies are working

Perceptions matter. People make decisions, even life-altering decisions, based on what they perceive as likely to happen. To the extent that public policy affects such decisions, the perception of likely policy change can affect behavior even before the change happens — even if it ends up ...

A leisurely drive down the wrong road

"We all want progress,” C.S. Lewis wrote, “but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” This has always been one of my favorite distillations of ...

Did Obama spy on Trump?

The question of whether former President Barack Obama actually spied on President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition has been tantalizing Washington since President Trump first made the allegation nearly two weeks ago. Since then, three investigations have been ...

Liberty is not for wimps

Most Americans, whether liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican, do not show much understanding or respect for the principles of personal liberty. We criticize our political leaders, but we must recognize that their behavior simply reflects the values of people who elected them to ...

A place to learn and celebrate America’s foundational principles

TEMPE, Ariz. — Encouraging developments are as welcome as they are rare in colleges and universities that cultivate diversity in everything but thought. Fortunately, state legislatures, alumni and philanthropists are planting little academic platoons that will make campuses less ...

Down the conspiracy rabbit hole

WASHINGTON — When he was Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, George Shultz was once asked about the CIA’s disavowal of involvement in a mysterious recent bombing in Lebanon. Replied Shultz: “If the CIA denies something, it’s denied.” Has there ever been a more dry, more wry, ...

Is a Korean missile crisis ahead?

To back up Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis’ warning last month, that the U.S. “remains steadfast in its commitment” to its allies, President Donald Trump is sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to Korea. Some 300,000 South Korean and 15,000 U.S. troops have begun their annual Foal Eagle ...

Killing Big Bird

Next week, Donald Trump releases his new budget. It's expected to cut spending on things like the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Good! Government has no business funding art. When politicians decide ...

A day without American tech workers

Last month, there was a national ''Day Without a Latino.'' This week, the demonstration du jour shutting down schools and shops is ''A Day Without a Woman.'' Here's my question for all the virtue-signaling protesters who pay lip service to better jobs and wages: Where's your awareness-raising ...

College campus disgrace

While college administrators and professors accept disgraceful behavior, we as taxpayers, donors and parents should not foot the bill. Let’s look at some of that behavior. A University of Washington Tacoma Writing Center press release told students that expecting Americans to use proper ...