The Corner

Politics & Policy

Columny

What makes a favorite columnist of yours a favorite? Well, there are several possible answers. You may like a columnist because he doesn’t exactly agree with you but challenges your thinking, and perhaps expands it. You may like a columnist who says — and says very well — what you think cries out to be said.

Over the years, I have mentioned a column that Charles Krauthammer wrote in 1995. (I mentioned it in this post, for example.) It had to do with President Clinton. I was hoping Dr. K. would say what cried out to be said. And he did. I read that column in my car, on the way to work, mostly (but not entirely) at stoplights.

I wrote Krauthammer a thank-you note, and told him about my experience of driving to work. He said, “I appreciate it — but next time, stoplights only, please.”

Today, he has written another such column. It’s about America, NATO, and deterrence. It distills what I think cries out to be said. Isn’t it gratifying when you get such a column (no matter your views)?

My own bad self, I’m concluding my “Oslo Journal,” about the Oslo Freedom Forum and related matters. This final installment is here. Topics include Syria, Iran, North Korea — and Oslo itself.

P.S. The heading of this Corner post is a bit of an homage to William Safire, who liked to say “columny,” suggestive of “calumny.” For example, he’d say, “Dr. Krauthammer, my colleague in columny …”