Bye bye Bolton

In my search for silver linings following the 2016 election disaster, I observed that Trump during the campaign had made a case for a more restrained, less interventionist foreign policy. He hasn’t consistently followed through, but his basic instinct is ...

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Cynicism, Populism and American Politics

There’s too much cynicism in American politics, and populist politicians are exacerbating the problem. That’s the opinion of NY Times op-ed contributor Greg Weiner.  Claims that the American political system is rigged (Elizabeth Warren) or corrupt (Bernie Sanders) or a swamp in ...

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Short Takes

Two reading recommendations for those who are interested: More on the spectre of ’72—New York Magazine’s Ed Kilgore has done a fine piece that covers much of what I wrote in my own post on the subject, but a lot ...

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That Bipartisan Consensus: An Added Note

I can’t help it: when a widely read pundit writes a column saying pretty much the same as what I have just said, I must point it out.  Here is Peter Beinart, who might well have read my post of ...

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Cracks in the Consensus on Israel?

A front-page two-column lead in the New York Times yesterday announced “Trump and Netanyahu put Bipartisan Support [for Israel] at Risk.”  Donald Trump has demanded, and Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed (with only a very partial takeback), to bar two American congresswomen ...

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The Democrats Debate, Again

If you’re at all like me, you have probably had more than your fill by now of commentaries—on air, on-line and print—on the last two rounds of Democratic debates.  And yet, here you are, reading yet another commentary.  Unfortunately, I doubt ...

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A Note from St. Petersburg

Far from home on vacation, I still can’t help thinking about politics in the USA.  And, being in  the great European city that bore his name for nearly 70 years, I thought about some sage political advice from that notorious ...

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Contentious Democrats

There’s been lots of media coverage lately of the sparring between Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  The latest exchanges between the two began when AOC and her three newly-elected comrades on the left—Ilan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib–voted against ...

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The Democrats “Debate”

I put “debate” in scare quotes because what we saw this past week of course weren’t debates in any meaningful sense but forums–opportunities for the many Democratic presidential hopefuls to gain free public exposure.  This is a generally very talented ...

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War with Iran?

One of Donald Trump’s very few merits (maybe his only merit?) is an instinctive aversion to major US military intervention abroad. That aversion of course didn’t prevent him from appointing the country’s premier warmonger as his national security adviser, nor ...

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