US Opinion and Commentary

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Politics, Punditry and Puffery

Posted February 26th, 2016 at 3:40 pm (UTC-4)
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Time is running out for Republican Party establishment figures to execute a “Stop Trump” strategy. Next week’s Super Tuesday primaries in 12 states will go a long way in determining whether Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the presumptive presidential nominees. And less than 24 hours after a debate in which Marco Rubio was declared the winner by most political experts, Donald Trump stole the spotlight from him by winning an important endorsement from former presidential candidate Chris Christie. Trump’s ascension — and, to a lesser extent, that of Democrat Bernie Sanders — has upended conventional wisdom in American politics. But political blind spots have allowed Trump’s anti-establishment message to take root.

Wising Up to Big-Money Bribery of Both Parties

Posted February 24th, 2016 at 12:22 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s harder to get out than to get in because you have people who have invested their time, their money, and their sweat and reputations to help you. You want to give them your best and leave it all on the turf for them.

Young Voters, Motivated Again

Posted February 22nd, 2016 at 3:29 pm (UTC-4)
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This is the first presidential campaign in which people age 18 to 29 make up the same proportion of the electorate as do baby boomers — about one-third. This year, the youth turnout for both parties in the primaries so far is rivaling 2008, the year of Barack Obama’s first campaign.

Debate About the Debate

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 4:14 pm (UTC-4)
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Smackdown. Fight Club. Nasty. Ugly. Surreal.

The stinging words used by pundits to describe for Thursday’s Republican presidential debate hat most observers say shrunk the 11-person field to a likely two-man race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.Cruz seemed to effectively shut down Trump’s attempt to cast doubt that he is constitutionally qualified to serve as president, because Cruz was born in Canada to American citizens. And by dramatically recounting his 9/11 experience, Trump countered the “New York values” tarring Cruz used to question Trumps conservative credentials. The other four candidates on stage were left to try to claw their way into the fray, cast aside as the two frontrunners slugged it out.

Now, many political observers predict a two or three man race for the Republican nomination.And despite an air of resigned acceptance that Donald Trump may indeed become Republican nominee, it is important to remember this: not a single vote has been cast in the race for the White House.

Carson Fails to Impress on Foreign Policy

Posted December 4th, 2015 at 2:16 pm (UTC-4)
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…As foreign policy experience has taken on new significance in the campaign, the good doctor’s prescriptions have seemed, under sharper scrutiny, to lack much depth, inviting the view that he has little familiarity with world affairs generally.

Why Horse Race Campaign Polls Are Mostly Worthless This Far Ahead of the Voting

Posted December 2nd, 2015 at 10:11 am (UTC-4)
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It’s easy to prove that early polls are lousy at predicting the ultimate outcome in a crowded race; just look at the record.

5 Takeaways From the GOP Debate

Posted November 11th, 2015 at 3:26 pm (UTC-4)
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There were sharp, sometimes contentious exchanges on immigration and military intervention, but for the most part the eight GOP contenders presented themselves – for the first time – as a diverse but essentially coherent field united against Hillary Clinton, who seems increasingly likely to win the Democratic nomination. Read more:

Who Is Lying? The Media or Republican Front-runner Ben Carson?

Posted November 10th, 2015 at 3:15 pm (UTC-4)
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As the Republican presidential field prepares for its fourth debate, Ben Carson and the media are having a knock down drag out fight over “the truth.” It began last week when an article questioned Carson’s oft told story of being offered a full scholarship to the very prominent military academy West Point. The article went on to assert that his campaign admitted to fabricating the story. Other news outlets began digging around for biographical blips, and still other publications came to his defense, scrutinizing word by word the claims of lies. What does all this have to do with winning the Republican presidential ticket? It’s called the “vetting” the candidates’ records, thereby holding them to a very high standard of truthfulness. The question is, does it help educate American voters? Or is just a lot of noise?

Ben Carson’s Appeal Is That He Doesn’t Burn Red

Posted November 6th, 2015 at 9:12 am (UTC-4)
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The 64-year-old Carson — an almost viscerally conservative man who has never held public office — appears to be riding high in the polls precisely because he doesn’t scream bloody red like many chasing the GOP nomination. He is who he is without label or spin.

Trump Loses Top Spot. But Not to Jeb

Posted October 27th, 2015 at 3:49 pm (UTC-4)
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Who knew? The latest poll conducted by CBS News/New York Times puts Republican candidate Ben Carson on top by four percentage points. Trump, no longer the frontrunner, said during an interview on MSNBC, “One thing I know about a frontrunner, you get analyzed 15 different ways from China. A lot of things will come out.” It’s still early in the race, but Jeb Bush had long been expected to rule the roost. And he hasn’t. According to the poll, Marco Rubio is now in third place (eight percent), followed by Jeb Bush (seven percent) and Carly Fiorina (seven percent). All this puts the spotlight on Carson – sometimes disregarded as a very polite, but fringe conservative – during the Republican’s third debate Wednesday in Colorado.

The American Idea and Today’s G.O.P.

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 10:22 am (UTC-4)
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Today there are some conservative commentators and Republican politicians who talk a lot about American exceptionalism. But when they use the phrase they mean the exact opposite of its original meaning. In fact, they are effectively destroying American exceptionalism.