Columnist: George Will

Feb. 22, 2014 @ 08:05 PM

The Cold War's final episode?

One hundred years ago this coming Aug. 4, the day Britain declared war on Germany, socialists in the German Reichstag voted for credits to finance the war. Marxists -- including Lenin, who that day was in what now is Poland -- were scandalized. Marx had preached that the proletariat has no fatherland, only a transnational class loyalty to proletarians everywhere. "In 1918," wrote Louis Fischer, Lenin's best biographer, "patriotism and nationalism, born of the 'subjectivism' Lenin so disliked, were ideological crimes in Soviet Russia."


Feb. 19, 2014 @ 01:00 AM

Breaking unions' grip in Tennessee vote

This year's most important election will not occur in November, when more than 90 million votes will be cast for governors and national legislators. The most important election, crucial to an entire region's economic well-being and to the balance of the nation's political competition, has already occurred.


Feb. 15, 2014 @ 11:29 PM

Why immigration reform matters

Distilled to their discouraging essence, Republicans’ reasons for retreating from immigration reform reflect waning confidence in American culture and in the political mission only Republicans can perform — restoring America’s economic vigor. Without this, the nation will have a dismal future only Democrats can relish: government growing in order to allocate scarce opportunity.


Feb. 12, 2014 @ 08:13 PM

Lessons in economics from the Abbey

Many "Downton Abbey" watchers are nostalgia gluttons who grieved when Lord Grantham lost his fortune in Canadian railroad shares. There are, however, a discerning few whose admirable American sensibilities caused them to rejoice about Grantham's loss: "Now perhaps this amiable but dilettantish toff will get off his duff and get a job."


Feb. 09, 2014 @ 12:34 AM

Obama’s magic words and numbers

Barack Obama, the first president shaped by the celebratory culture in which every child who plays soccer gets a trophy, and the first whose campaign speeches were his qualification for the office, perhaps should not be blamed for thinking that saying things is tantamount to accomplishing things, and that good intentions are good deeds.


Feb. 05, 2014 @ 08:25 PM

The stakes of a special election

Because it is this year's first federal election, attention must be paid to the March 11 voting to fill the congressional seat vacated by the death in October of Florida Republican C.W. "Bill" Young, who served in Congress 43 years.


Feb. 02, 2014 @ 12:05 AM

A race worth watching

Rep. Chris Gibson has tested Irving's theory. Gibson, whose closely cropped graying hair announces his Army pedigree, believes he should be in the Guinness Book of Records for having moved so swiftly -- in 10 months -- from membership in America's most admired to its least admired institution. On March 1, 2010, he ended a 24-year military career and on Nov. 2 was elected to Congress. This fall, he will participate in perhaps the year's most interesting congressional contest.


Jan. 29, 2014 @ 08:02 PM

The ACA's four-word Waterloo?

Someone you probably are not familiar with has filed a suit you probably have not heard about concerning a four-word phrase you should know about. The suit could blow to smithereens something everyone has heard altogether too much about, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter, ACA).


Jan. 25, 2014 @ 11:12 PM

A tiresome exercise in political exhibitionism

As undignified as it is unedifying and unnecessary, the vulgar State of the Union circus is again at our throats. The document that the Constitutional Convention sent forth from Philadelphia for ratification in 1787 was just 4,543 words long, but this was 17 too many. America would be a sweeter place if the Framers had not included this laconic provision pertaining to the president: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union."


Jan. 22, 2014 @ 08:29 PM

Advice for judges: Throw the flag

Disabusing the Republican Party of a cherished dogma, thereby requiring it to forgo a favorite rhetorical trope, will not win Clark M. Neily III the gratitude of conservatives who relish denouncing "judicial activism." He, however, and his colleagues at the libertarian Institute for Justice believe America would be more just if judges were less deferential to legislatures.

 


Jan. 16, 2014 @ 02:27 PM

Doubts over Common Core

Viewed from Washington, which often is the last to learn about important developments, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man's hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.


Jan. 11, 2014 @ 08:46 PM

A defining moment for the court

Constitutional arguments that seem as dry as dust can have momentous consequences. On Monday, the Supreme Court's nine fine minds will hear oral arguments about the meaning of "the" and "happen." What they decide could advance the urgent project of reining in rampant executive power.


Jan. 04, 2014 @ 08:59 PM

Contemplating politics, by the numbers

Two years from today, Iowa -- dark, brooding, enigmatic Iowa -- will be enjoying its quadrennial moment as the epicenter of the universe. And in 10 months, voters will vent their spleens -- if they still are as splenetic as they now claim to be -- in congressional elections. Some numbers define the political landscape.


Dec. 28, 2013 @ 08:26 PM

Illuminating lessons of 2013

This report on the State of Conservatism comes at the end of an annus mirabilis for conservatives. In 2013, they learned that they may have been wasting much time and effort.


Dec. 25, 2013 @ 08:07 PM

Sledgehammer justice may amount to injustice

Federal Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York says documents called "statements of reasons" are an optional way for a judge to express "views that might be of interest." The one he issued two months ago is still reverberating.