Jared Kushner’s White House role is far from unusual

(Because of their publication schedule, this op-ed in today’s Cape Cod Times was written two weeks ago, pre-Comey, pre-Sessions and pre-Republican baseball shootout. Dealing with the subject of sputtering outrage at the time, it now seems like a artifact from another era.) Critics, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker in “Family politics: Why is Kushner a…

A Primer: the Election, the Russians, Spies & Leaks

A large group of Americans wants an investigation into how the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. Another group wants an investigation into the Obama administration’s domestic spying on the Trump campaign and Transition Office and the leaks of classified material from intelligence agencies during the campaign and continuing. The first group…

Judge Gorsuch and the Filibuster

The Kabuki theatre that is a Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is approaching opening night. The principal actors have exchanged scripts but they already know their lines well, having played both parts before. Some bitterness remains from the last production which closed out of town when one set of actors refused to go…

Whither Trump? Priebus or Bannon?

In his first major decisions President-Elect Donald Trump named Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon to be ”chief strategist and senior counsel.” The Trump transition staff was at some pains to say the two would be “equal partners” but the laws of political physics usually do not…

You can live with President Trump. Really.

Somebody was going to be mad after this election. We all thought it was going to be the frustrated people whose anger at the establishment of both parties fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Instead it is the establishment itself, the politicians of both parties, crony capitalists, media elites, politically correct faculty of our universities…

Debate Prep for the Voter

Presidential primaries and party nominating conventions are behind us. Even in this most unusual and tumultuous election, the next event remains, as it has for 40 years, the Presidential Debates. The first debate occurs in a week on Monday, September 26 at 9 PM. The announced debate format shows some promise of delivering a real…

“Bye, bye,” John McLaughlin

I hadn’t seen or thought of John McLaughlin for years until he died Tuesday morning. During the 80’s and 90’s he was a fixture of my weekly political TV diet. Someone must have kept watching in the meantime though as his show, The Mclaughlin Group, continued on the air until his death. He never missed…

Convention Drama At Last; Cruz’s Big Moment

Senator Ted Cruz addresses the Republican National Convention tonight. To secure his participation Donald Trump’s convention managers (if that’s what they can be called) had to agree to let him be the only speaker whose remarks have not been cleared in advance. So …. will he or won’t he? Cruz fancies himself the legatee of…

Does Brexit vote foretell US election?

June 25, 2016. The new question roiling American politics is whether the triumph of the Trump position in the Brexit referendum has any significance in predicting the outcome of this year’s American Presidential election. Before you scoff, consider modern history. In fact, the history of the last 80 years shows a common pattern, a similar…

Conventional Wisdom by Chairman Joe

A prominent businessman, formerly a Democrat, becomes a leading candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination with great public support but the nearly universal enmity of the Republican political establishment. The party regulars, while comprising a majority of the convention delegates, are unable to agree on a candidate, keeping their forces divided. The Chairman of the…

“The Paranoid Style in American Politics” and Donald Trump

Cape Coral, FL, March 14, 2016 Everyone of a certain age who took history or political science classes in the mid-1960’s had an assigned reading list which included “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,”  a book by Professor Richard Hofstadter, named after its title essay which was originally an article in the November, 1964 issue…

Scalia’s Posthumous Critics

Boston Globe Letter, February 29, 2016 On the day of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral, the Globe published four letters about him, all critical (“The Scalia way,’’ Readers’ Forum, Feb. 20). They objected to the policy consequences of his decisions, alleged that he applied religious beliefs to his decisions and failed to interpret the…