Columnist: George Will

Aug. 16, 2014 @ 11:27 PM

In a stew over inversions

Barack Obama, presiding over an unusually dismal post-recession economy, might make matters worse with a distracting crusade against the minor and sensible business practice called "inversion," more about which anon. So, consider his credentials as an economic thinker.


Aug. 13, 2014 @ 08:50 PM

Into a new void in foreign affairs?

This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext." 


Aug. 06, 2014 @ 08:28 PM

The reason for Watergate?

About 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: "I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it."


Jul. 30, 2014 @ 08:34 PM

Time for a middle course on foreign policy

With metronomic regularity, there is a choreographed minuet of carnage. Israel is attacked. Israel defends itself. Perfunctory affirmations of Israel's right of self-defense are quickly followed by accusations that Israel's military measures are disproportionate. Then come demands for a cease-fire, and the attackers replenish their arsenals.


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 08:28 PM

In Oregon, a doctor calls

"Are you kidding?" This is Monica Wehby's amiable response to people who wonder whether she will be able to bear the pressures of office if she wins her race as a Republican Senate candidate. For 17 of her 52 years she has been a pediatric neurosurgeon, holding in steady hands sharp steel and the fate of children's brains. She probably can cope with the strains of legislative life.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 08:05 PM

Goldwater 2.0, redefining conservatism

Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 months.


Jul. 05, 2014 @ 08:18 PM

The court's indispensable role

Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife, and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.


Jul. 02, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

Curse of judicial minimalism

Even when Supreme Court decisions are unanimous, the justices can be fiercely divided about fundamental matters, as was demonstrated by two 9-0 rulings last week.


Jun. 28, 2014 @ 08:24 PM

When ‘tolerance’ declares some beliefs intolerable

Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not.


Jun. 25, 2014 @ 12:53 PM

Mississippi votes its appetite

Chris McDaniel, 41, the flawed paladin of the tea party persuasion who in Mississippi's Republican Senate primary failed to wrest the nomination from the faltering hands of six-term incumbent Thad Cochran, 76, came into politics after a stint in talk radio.


Jun. 21, 2014 @ 08:20 PM

Stopping a lawless president

What philosopher Harvey Mansfield calls "taming the prince" -- making executive power compatible with democracy's abhorrence of arbitrary power -- has been a perennial problem of modern politics. It is now more urgent in America than at any time since the Founders, having rebelled against George III's unfettered exercise of "royal prerogative," stipulated that presidents "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."


Jun. 18, 2014 @ 07:20 AM

Obama's foreign policy of retreat

Two hundred and nine years after Marines visited those shores, dispatched by President Jefferson to punish Barbary pirates for attacking U.S. vessels in the Mediterranean, Marines are again in that sea, poised to return. If they are sent ashore, their mission will be to rescue U.S. citizens from the consequences of U.S. policy. Then they might have to do the same thing in Baghdad.


Jun. 13, 2014 @ 12:57 AM

For GOP, re-evaluation time

The morning after, at breakfast at the Republicans' Capitol Hill Club, Virginia Rep. Robert Goodlatte was, as befits one of Washington's grown-ups, measured in his reaction to what 36,120 Virginia voters did the day before. It would, he says, be wise "to take a step back and a deep breath until we find out how everyone" -- meaning, especially, House Republicans -- "reacts to this." By "this" he indicates, with a wave of a hand, the one-word headline on Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Congress: "Stunner."


Jun. 11, 2014 @ 08:14 PM

The roar of Europe's protest vote

When the dyspeptic poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), who loathed Belgium even more than most things, was asked to imagine an epitaph for that nation, he suggested: "At last!" Which is how many Europeans feel about the rapidly growing disgust with the European Union, which is headquartered in Brussels.


Jun. 04, 2014 @ 08:56 PM

Victims of progressivism

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous ("micro-aggressions," often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.