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Saturday, January 21, 2017
Jamie Stiehm
U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House during his departure for Canada, in Washington, U.S. June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Obama’s Best (And Worst) Of Times

As the Barack Obama presidency dwindles down to the last day, there’s no silent amen. Donald Trump people are swarming the streets around Union Station. These Republicans seem to have come from the country to claim the country, what’s theirs. The barricades and bollards surround the beloved Capitol, the place looks like a police state. The citadel of democracy looks captured.

January 20, 2017
President-elect Trump

‘Unpresidented’: A Sign Of The Times

Are we living history backward? A swaggering new president who lost the people’s vote may mimic Julius Caesar’s Rome, changing from a republic to an empire. Caesar conquered Gaul. Trump conquered Rockefeller Center, where NBC made the mogul’s reality show, “The Apprentice.” It feels “unpresidented.”

January 13, 2017
Obama

Obama Made America Cool Again

With a few exceptional scenes, as when he sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral of nine murdered churchgoers, Obama’s persuasion aims to connect with minds — sweet reason — more than hearts. And will we ever miss him when he’s gone.

January 6, 2017
Trump, King Henry VIII

Trump Is Like King Henry VIII Revived — Without The Charm

The 45th American president, Donald Trump, is reminiscent of one English Tudor king, known for his reddish hair, huge body heft, six wives of various nationalities and, um, forceful personality. Yes, Trump is like King Henry VIII revived — without the charm the early Henry famously had. Trump has neither poetry nor music to compensate for his rough edges.

December 31, 2016
Obama's legacy

Not A Lot Of Comfort And Joy As Obama’s Legacy Starts To Go Dark

Here’s the thing making Republicans joyful and triumphant, and Democrats dark on the winter solstice: Obama left his legacy undefended on the field. There’s nothing to stop President-elect Donald J. Trump from knocking it down like a house of cards — with pleasure.

December 23, 2016
Trump, Electoral College, Illegitiimate

Will The Electoral College Save Us From A President Trump?

Now and then, the Electoral College deals a deathblow to democracy. Under the unfair system set up more than 200 years ago, the state results “trump” the national popular vote.

December 16, 2016
The press post-mortem, CNN

The Press Needs Pressing After A Hard Presidential Season

All the press buzz is about the press itself lately. It’s no secret, the Fourth Estate didn’t bring its A-game to covering the 2016 presidential campaign.

December 9, 2016
Harry Reid

The Three Senate Ds: Leaving Vigor And Voices Behind

Three great Democratic players are taking their last bows. Their vigorous voices will be missed in the fight against President Trump. There’s nobody quite like this trifecta, all proudly from humble origins.

December 3, 2016
Those were the days

Those Were The Days On Nantucket Sound

The new memoir about the Kennedys, “The Nine of Us,” is a lyrical looking glass into a time that feels forever lost — when the richest class felt a deep obligation to give back to the people, to serve in the military and politics.

November 24, 2016
Women's Suffrage Parade in New York City, May 6, 1912.

Women Go Marching On Washington

Women feel dashed, a keen loss, knowing we may not live to see the first woman president. We’re going to grief counseling. But that’s not all. Ladies, let’s march. A million will mobilize. The dream shall never die. Abraham and Martin will be expecting us at the Lincoln Memorial.

November 18, 2016
How Clinton lost the 2016 election

Why Hillary Clinton Lost Her Chance To Break American History

There are two Americas. Women leaned toward Clinton. Black women were her strongest supporters. But men elected Trump — meaning mostly white men, with some help from Latinos. Sex, power and privilege. That’s the deep story of this election.

November 11, 2016
Comey and his rogue FBI agents defaced democracy

FBI Director Won’t Let Democracy Be

Obama appointed Comey FBI director because he seemed like the best man in the Bush administration — a tragic error that could lose his team the political World Series. Obama’s choice is clear. For the common good, Director Comey must be stopped.

November 4, 2016
Hillary Clinton - martyr of the year

A President Of Our Own

But it’s time. That simple sweet feeling is written on the wind — don’t you feel it, too? Zeitgeist is a wonderful German word for the spirit of history. Time for the flower of her generation, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to return to the White House in her own right.

October 28, 2016
Donald Trump listens as Hillary Clinton speaks.

American Democracy Meant To Be Messy, Not Ugly

Donald Trump is the most unconventional candidate to come along in 200 years. We must know by now that Trump means what he says. It’s not over until he says so. So get ready for an Election Day that breaks all the records. It’s bound to be ugly, not messy.

October 21, 2016
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Debate

Dreaming Of Writing Debate Lines For Hillary

Clinton could have hit him back harder in their second debate. The mogul got off easy.

October 15, 2016

Visiting The Gallery Of Vice Presidents — Yes, They Do Matter

When the Veep steers the ship, at times it’s right into the rocks. Whatever your political party, remember Sarah Palin, the unserious pick made by John McCain, the elderly 2008 Republican standard-bearer.

October 7, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets reporters on her campaign plane in White Plains, New York, United States September 15, 2016, as she resumes her campaign schedule following a bout with pneumonia. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Hillary Clinton Gets Stuff Done the Midwestern Way

Stoic Midwestern Protestants are not emotive. It’s hard for them to talk much about themselves in the Southern porch style. Unlike fellow Americans on the East and West Coasts, they don’t write urbane novels or make movies celebrating themselves

September 17, 2016

The Main Champion For Conscience: Senator Margaret Chase Smith

Her name was Margaret Chase Smith, a Mainer from small Skowhegan. Senator Smith to you and me, she was the first woman to run for president from a major political party. In 1964, the Maine senator lost the Republican Party nomination to right-wing Barry Goldwater, but not the respect she carried in Congress: eight years in the House and 24 years in the Senate.

September 10, 2016

The Summer-Ender Of 2016: Political Hurricanes And A Quarterback Tempest

As August exits, two political hurricanes, named Hillary and Donald, will hit landfall to slam a thousand towns. It’s not clear which gale force is strongest. What’s clear is, the electorate is cut apart along bright lines of gender, race and class, never more polarized.

September 2, 2016

How The 22nd Amendment Has Hurt Democracy: A Ramble

Bill Clinton was the best president in my life, a bringer of peace and prosperity in the 1990s. Many enjoyed his sunny exuberance, his talents in the same class as Republican Theodore Roosevelt. Now I’m going there, a place that plunges me into angst: Why couldn’t Clinton run for president again and perhaps again?

August 26, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania August 12, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A Party Double-Cross In Troubled Times

“This is a time to stand up and be counted — just like supporters of the civil rights movement once chose to do,” says my newly liberal friend, cut free after an agonizing journey.

August 19, 2016
Former U.S. President George W. Bush visits Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Trump Likes Snub From Republican Elite

The neocon foreign policy elite vigorously embraced and enforced President George W. Bush starting three wars going into the 21st century: Afghanistan, Iraq and the global “war on terror.” Now these wise men are warning us against Donald Trump, 13 years after they swung the wrecking ball, many as W’s aides and appointees. Nice. Thanks, guys.

August 12, 2016
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Trump and the Traitor: A New York Tale

Along the way to the nomination, Trump alienated wide swaths of the populace, (like Muslims and Mexicans). But he just made a mistake the arrogant Arnold would not make: Trump belittled the Khans, a Gold Star family who had buried a son at war.

August 5, 2016
Commander-in-chief test

Pursuing Happiness In Philadelphia

Few in the Democratic Convention multitude knew, but Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love is known for Sisterly Affection. I wonder if Hillary Clinton, the first woman nominee, knows the city’s Quaker name. We shall see round midnight after an exhilarating but grueling four days.

July 30, 2016

Shining Light In A Political Storm

The incurable Donald Trump, party standard-bearer, can be seen as the opposite of a lighthouse. He brings out the darkness in people, leads the establishment to recklessly crash on the rocks and speaks to followers in the spirit of a mutiny. The way they talk could make a sailor blush.

July 23, 2016