Blog No. 144. Donald of Arabia

The defining impression of President Trump’s recent foreign tour was probably formed by his few days in Europe which clearly reflected mutual discomfort between Trump and leaders of our European allies. For his part, Trump berated the Europeans for failing to meet their commitments for increased defense spending and conspicuously failed to mention America’s commitment[…]

Guest Blog. The Language of Donald Trump: “Evil Losers”

Donald Trump has been called many things, but linguistic stylist is not one of them. Indeed, a poverty of vocabulary is one of his hallmarks. In this guest blog my good friend, Suzanne Garment, reflects on Donald Trump’s curious addiction to “loser” as an epithet of choice. She writes in the tradition of William Safire,[…]

Blog No. 142. Impeachment in the Air?

Donald Trump figured out a way to get the story of the Comey firing out of the headlines. That troublesome story was pushed to one side by a report in the Washington Post on Monday, that in meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador, Trump had revealed highly classified intelligence. The[…]

Blog No. 108. More Trump in August: Trumponomics and Loose Lips

Like the media in general, we are guilty of giving more time and space to commenting on Donald Trump than he deserves or we would wish. Nevertheless, we believe that the possibility of his election is such a grave threat that it cannot be ignored. So we will continue to try to puzzle out what he is up to and what it may amount to. Since our last blog, significant events have included Trump’s speech on economic policy, as well as some peculiar and offensive comments on the Second Amendment and ISIS. […]

Blog No. 103. Reflections on Orlando

It was unsurprising, perhaps inevitable, that much of the commentary about the tragedy in Orlando would pass through a prism of preexisting political positions. Republicans tended to view it as a result of the ineffectiveness of the Administration’s responses to ISIS, while Democrats associated it with Republican unwillingness to support any form of gun control legislation. Having our own distinctive prism, we are inclined to believe that there is something to the assertions of each, but perhaps not as much as either appears to claim. […]

Blog No. 96. Brussels and Raqqa: A Tale of Two Cities

The terrorist attack in Brussels exposed the inadequacy of the Belgian security forces, the need for much better sharing of intelligence among European countries, and the unique challenges that confront cities with neighborhoods of densely concentrated Muslim populations. Sponsorship of yet another attack by ISIS also underscored the fact that its threat extends far outside the Middle East. […]

Blog No. 87. The President, the Contenders and ISIS

The President’s recent address from the Oval Office was clearly intended to reassure the nation. Whether anyone in fact felt reassured is highly questionable. As many observers noted, he offered nothing new to a strategy that has shown little sign of success thus far and gives little reason to believe that it will be more successful going forward. In fairness to the President, however, none of the current candidates for the presidency have offered a particularly persuasive path to a successful outcome for our struggle with ISIS and related elements of radical Islam.

The most detailed and comprehensive proposal for combating ISIS was provided by Hillary Clinton in a speech on November 14. Clinton’s proposal was similar to Obama’s existing policy, notably in prescribing a highly restricted role for American ground troops and hopeful reliance on the “65 country coalition.” It differed principally in a tone of greater urgency and a recognition, even before the San Bernardino shooting, that the past and present levels of effort were insufficient: […]

Blog No. 84 After Paris, What Now?

We continue to promise to provide a critique of the fourth Republican Debate and what it portends for the progress of the campaign. Before getting to that, however, we felt a need to comment on the responses of Democrats, Republicans and the President to the Paris outrage. […]

Special Bulletin. Terrorism in Paris

We were drafting some comments on the most recent GOP debate and the troubling questions as to the direction of the Party. We expect to post those comments in a day or so, but when the news of the terrorist attacks in Paris began to come in, those comments seemed for the moment considerably less urgent.

Whenever a mass killing in this country occurs, and prompts cries for gun control, those demands are met with a reproach not to “politicize” the event. Yet politicizing—a call for political action—is exactly what we believe is called for in response to such tragedies. So […]

Blog No. 79. Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan: The Obama Legacy aka The Fruits of the Tree of Leading From Behind.

If we had our way, the term legacy would be checked at the front door of the White House at the beginning of every administration and left unused until after completion of the inevitable presidential library. But this is a special time. We have not in our lifetime seen a president and a White House so explicitly driven by considerations of the incumbent’s legacy. (As one unscientific measure, a click of “Obama” and “legacy” on Google yielded 63,800,000 hits.) […]