In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation's attentions turned last week to the man who declared the war on terrorism, George W. Bush. During the April 25 dedication of his library at Southern Methodist University, nary a word was spoken about the most controversial aspect of his tenure, the Iraq invasion. All living presidents were in attendance and made only generic references to mistakes and regrets familiar to all. Of course, Bush famously acknowledges no mistakes or regrets, but rather bequeaths judgment to history.
There is an axiom in legislating, that when you have the votes to pass something, you shut up and cast them. When you don't have the votes, you talk. A corollary to that in this year's legislative session seems to be that when you don't have the votes, you offer up comments as quotable as possible. When you have the votes, you don't need to be pithy or clever; you speak as little as possible and cast them.
Someone called politics "the art of the possible." But, in the era of the modern welfare state, politics is largely the art of the impossible.
Rand Paul did just fine at Howard University, thank you very much. Or at least, that's how he remembers it.
The meeting took place in a crowded saloon in 1913. But, ideologically speaking, many of the folks in the room were still stuck in the 1800s. This crowd was a throwback to the rowdy Rock Ridge residents in "Blazing Saddles." The 20th century hadn't even entered their minds.
Regular folks take action; lawmakers take advantage
Ordinary people, elected and unelected, behaved heroically on April 15. Unfortunately, it all happened hundreds of miles from Washington, D.C.
The resistance by our elected representatives in Olympia to "close the deal" and provide the needed $450 million to fund the Columbia River Crossing doesn't bode well for the future of this vital project. It greatly disturbs me that we have invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours over the past 10 years only to see CRC become the object of short-sighted, partisan political bickering with very little effort given to real problem-solving. The time has come -- either build the bridge as designed, or face gridlock.
Two of the three most infamous Supreme Court decisions were erased by events. The Civil War and postwar constitutional amendments effectively overturned Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which held that blacks could never have rights that whites must respect. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which upheld legally enforced segregation, was undone by court decisions and legislation.
Whoever thinks there's no such thing as a free lunch has not been to the Heritage Foundation. After Sen. Mike Lee's speech to the conservative think tank Monday, his listeners didn't rush to the front of the room, where the Utah Republican was greeting well-wishers, but to the back to get in line for sandwiches, cookies and soft drinks provided gratis to the hungry young conservatives who sat through the hour.
The nation demonstrated again last week how resolute it can be when threatened by murderous terrorists — and how helpless when ordered to heel by smug lobbyists for the gun industry. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's deadly rampage through the Boston area provoked not fear but defiance. Even before one brother was killed and the other captured, the city was impatient to get back to normal — eager to show the world that unspeakable violence might shock, sadden and enrage, but would never intimidate.
Margaret Thatcher saved Great Britain not the way Winston Churchill did earlier, through wartime leadership, but domestically, through reform.
OLYMPIA — When a federal Cabinet secretary stopped by the Capitol earlier this month, trying to prod the Legislature into action on a big multistate project, he got a warm welcome from Gov. Jay Inslee. Not so much from Senate Republicans. So what would one expect for a member of a Democratic president's administration, you might be thinking. Considering it was Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman, some folks were expecting something a bit more politic.
Amid all the heated, emotional advocacy of gun control, have you ever heard even one person present convincing hard evidence that tighter gun control laws have in fact reduced murders? Think about all the states, communities within states, as well as foreign countries, that have either tight gun control laws or loose or non-existent gun control laws. With so many variations and so many sources of evidence available, surely there would be some compelling evidence somewhere if tighter gun control laws actually reduced the murder rate.
There are many things to say about Brad Paisley's new song.
Some columns write themselves. And so it was, near the end of an excruciating week for all Americans.