Eugene Robinson writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture, contributes to the PostPartisan blog, and hosts a weekly online chat with readers at The Washington Post. In a three-decade career at The Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s Style section. He started writing a column for the Op-Ed page in 2005. In 2009, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.” Robinson is the author of “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America” (2010), “Last Dance in Havana” (2004), and “Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race” (1999). He lives with his wife and two sons in Arlington.
President Obama had the opportunity last week to make an irresponsible Congress face the consequences of its own dumb actions. For reasons I cannot fathom, he took a pass.
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.
I think I've figured it out. Republicans must be staging some kind of fiendishly clever plot to lure Democrats into a false sense of security. That's the only possible explanation for some of the weirdness we're seeing and hearing from the GOP. The party must be waiting to come out with its real candidates and policy positions at a moment when unsuspecting Democrats are in the vulnerable position of being doubled over with laughter.
Don't take anything for granted. The conservative activists on the Supreme Court may not be able to halt the inexorable shift toward acceptance of gay marriage, but we probably should expect them to try.
If Rep. Paul Ryan wants people to take his budget manifestos seriously, he should be honest about his ambition: not so much to make the federal government fiscally sustainable as to make it smaller.
The test of President Obama's seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It's whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants -- one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions -- to the ashcan of history.
If George W. Bush had told us that the "war on terror" gave him the right to execute an American citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I'd have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What's wrong is wrong.
Republicans shouldn't worry that President Barack Obama is trying to destroy the GOP. Why would he bother? The party's leaders are doing a pretty good job of it themselves.
President Obama is set to begin his second term at a moment when the question is not what great things our nation can achieve but whether our government, in Obama's words, can "stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis." The jury is out, but continued dysfunction seems the most likely scenario. Obama's news conference on Monday -- his last scheduled encounter with White House reporters before Inauguration Day -- was a tutorial in low expectations.
Guns do kill people. Our national New Year's resolution must be to stop the madness.