The president’s apparent willingness to veto a bipartisan bill to approve the Keystone pipeline seems to me, politically, to be a clarifying moment. Obama says that the pipeline would create a trivial number of jobs. The potential environmental impact of the pipeline seems far more trivial. Yet it’s enough for him to flout public opinion, discard those jobs, and break with a significant number of congressional Democrats. He has set up an early veto fight with the Republican Congress that does not seem to me to be helpful to himself, his party, or his party’s nominee to be his successor. Hillary Clinton will have to choose whether to side with environmental groups, many of the party’s top donors, and President Obama, or the public, some unions, and Democrats including her husband. How she chooses will be a statement about the contemporary Democratic party’s priorities, which makes it a bigger issue than its merits might suggest.
Dear Reader (And especially Martha McSally’s dog), As I often note, I increasingly tend to see the political scene as a scripted reality show in which the writers don’t flesh out the dialogue so much as move characters into weird, wacky, confrontational, or embarrassing positions. It’s a lot like The ... Read More
Jeff Flake may be leaving the Senate soon, but he’s determined that his exit will be one of non-stop moral posturing. The Arizona senator is best remembered at this point for his last-minute delay of the Judiciary Committee’s approval of Justice Brett Kavanaugh when -- along with his pal Senator Chris ... Read More
After what seem like years of a phony war, British and European Union negotiators finally agreed on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU earlier this week, and Theresa May announced it in the House of Commons. The deal covers more than 500 pages of legal and bureaucratic prose, and few but the ... Read More
President Trump has announced his support for a proposal to ease federal sentencing laws that proponents call the “FIRST STEP Act” -- and that Senator Tom Cotton has tartly labeled the “jailbreak” bill. There may not be much time for debate, since the bill’s ideologically eclectic array of champions ... Read More
Do you know what scares an American outdoorsman more than a grizzly bear? Twitter. In the late summer and early autumn, the hunting world had its eyes on the courts: The Trump administration had issued new guidance that would permit the hunting of brown bears (popularly known as grizzly bears), including in ... Read More
The world's oldest political party has developed an aversion to discretion. The Democratic party is manacled to an over-caffeinated base that believes that deft government can deliver parity of status to everyone while micromanaging the economy's health-care sector, which is larger than all but three other ... Read More