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George F. Will writes about politics, policy, culture and baseball for The Washington Post.


The Supreme Court and the health-care mandate muddle

Sun, 13 Mar 2011 00:00:00 EST

When the Supreme Court considers whether Congress has the constitutional power to compel individuals to buy health insurance, the argument supporting Congress may rest on a non sequitur and a semantic fiat. A judge's recent ruling argues that the insurance mandate must be constitutional because O...

On Libya, too many questions

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 20:00:00 EST

Before we try a no-fly zone in Libya, some questions must be asked.

Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and the spotlight-chasing candidates of 2012

Sun, 06 Mar 2011 00:00:00 EST

When Republicans do not recoil from question-rants, the conservative party is indirectly injured.

Lamar Smith: Immigration's taskmaster

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 20:00:00 EST

The new House Judiciary Committee chairman targets illegal immigration.

Teach for America: Letting the cream rise

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

How a Princeton grad persuades the best and the brightest to take up teaching.

Out of Wisconsin, a lesson in leadership for Obama

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:00:00 EST

The Wisconsin governor's comportment in the budget crisis makes three things clear.

Jim Jordan: House Republicans' eager budget cutter

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

The wrestling room at Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio, where Jim Jordan , now 47, began the athletic career that took him to the University of Wisconsin and two NCAA wrestling championships, contains this sign: "Discipline is doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it."...

Mitch Daniels's case for a less strident conservatism

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels calls for a 'boldly different course.'

The GOP's defense budget mystery

Sun, 13 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

Current defense spending cannot be defended until it is understood.

Egypt's revolution to win or lose

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

Maybe America is finally learning about the limits of its influence abroad.

John Kasich: Spoiling for a fight in Ohio

Sun, 06 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

COLUMBUS, OHIO In 1997, when Republicans controlled the U.S. House of Representatives and John Kasich chaired the Budget Committee, he set his sights on the GOP's 2000 presidential nomination because "there just aren't enough hours left in my life that I can get everything done that I want to get...

Rick Santorum's appeal to the GOP base

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 00:00:00 EST

The Pennsylvania Republican could be a strong contender for 2012.

Uncle Sam in the driver's seat

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

Disregard Barack Obama's rhetorical cotton candy about aspiring to be transformative. He is just another practitioner of reactionary liberalism and champion of a government unchastened by its multiplying failures.

Getting American students to find the goal posts of success

Thu, 27 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

'Federal educational policy' may be an oxymoron, but listen to Arne Duncan.

America's political disharmony

Sun, 23 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

America is a creedal nation and the creed is, as Robert Penn Warren wrote, the "burr under the metaphysical saddle of America." It is a recurring source of national introspection, discontent, self-indictment and passionate politics. We are in the midst of a recurrence.

Hubris heading for a fall

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

This is the vicious cycle of government that should worry Larry Summers.

A Congress that reasserts its power

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

Unlike most of the 111 that preceded it, the 112th Congress must begin the process of restoring the national regime and civic culture the Founders bequeathed. This will require reviving the rule of law, reasserting the relevance of the Constitution and affirming the reality of American...

The charlatans' response to the Tucson tragedy

Tue, 11 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

Half-baked sociology ties conservatism to violence.

Fred Upton, Rust Belt revolutionary

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

Michigan Republican Fred Upton had a full agenda for overturning Obama administration actions. He'll expect to find support from like-minded Midwest Republicans holding powerful committee chairmanships in the drive to topple President Obama in 2012.

Given up your New Year's resolutions? It's the American way.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 20:00:00 EST

We have surrendered our willpower to self-control fatigue, an American tradition.

Rev the scientific engine

Sun, 02 Jan 2011 00:00:00 EST

New Republican legislators should come down Capitol Hill to the National Museum of American History , which displays a device that in 1849 was granted U.S. patent 6469 . It enabled a boat's "draught of water to be readily lessened" so it could "pass over bars, or through shallow water."

China has seen the future, and it is coal

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

If China keeps burning it, does it matter what we do?

A remedy for beggar states

Sun, 26 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

A new bill would prevent states from holding out porridge bowls and asking for more.

Dave Camp's plan: Taxes made simple

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

His target: a tax code that's '10 times longer than the Bible, without the good news.'

The political fantasyland of the 'No Labels' movement

Sun, 19 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

No Labels is a preposterous idea; partisanship is politics.

Could there be a Tet Offensive in Afghanistan?

Wed, 15 Dec 2010 20:00:00 EST

Could the Taliban match in Afghanistan what North Vietnam achieved in 1968?

Bush v. Gore, 10 years later

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

The passions that swirled around Bush v. Gore , the Supreme Court case that ended 10 years ago Sunday, dissipated quickly. And remarkably little damage was done by the institutional collisions that resulted when control of the nation's supreme political office turned on 537 votes out of 5,963,110...

Why Mike Pence catches conservatives' eyes

Wed, 08 Dec 2010 20:00:00 EST

Why many Tea Partyers and social conservatives are urging him to run.

The case for engaged justices

Sun, 05 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

"The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the Constitution is written."

Obama's time-warp focus on the New START treaty

Thu, 02 Dec 2010 00:00:00 EST

If verification is increasingly important, is Russia decreasingly trustworthy?

Our puritanical progressives

Sun, 28 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

An eminent Harvard law professor, James Thayer (1831-1902), argued that although the judicial function is "merely that of fixing the outside border of reasonable legislative action," this still gives courts "a great and stately jurisdiction." While patrolling that jurisdiction today, Supreme Cour...

Kevin McCarthy: A Republican watching for executive overreach

Thu, 25 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

He should know pursuing prophecy is a recipe for forfeiting the present.

The T.S. of A takes control

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

What the TSA is doing is mostly security theater.

The trap of the Federal Reserve's dual mandate

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

It cannot perform a political function and stay insulated from politics.

What's driving Obama's subsidies of Chevy's Volt?

Sun, 14 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

What's driving Obama's subsidies of Chevy's Volt?

2010 a banner year for conservatives

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EST

Barack Obama's presidency has resuscitated the conservatives.

Congress can keep Obama in check

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EDT

When Alexander Pope was on his deathbed, his doctor assured him that his breathing, pulse and other vital signs were improving. "Here I am," Pope said to a friend, "dying of a hundred good symptoms."

A recoil against liberalism

Thu, 04 Nov 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Voters rejected the expansion of government's command and controls.

What's at stake Tuesday

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

During the Tuesday evening deluge, pay particular attention to these stories:

Linda McMahon vs. Richard Blumenthal: Connecticut's wrestling match

Wed, 27 Oct 2010 16:26:01 EDT

That Linda McMahon is doing so well in Connecticut shows just how much the political landscape's changed.

A blue-state governor with red-state qualities

Sun, 24 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

MINNEAPOLIS Northern Iowans are Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings fans. This fact could be portentous 16 months from now when the Iowa caucuses occur and Minnesota's two-term governor, Tim Pawlenty , probably will be seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

W. Va. election becomes a test for Obama

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In West Virginia, the president is the man to beat.

The Democratic vision of Big Brother

Sun, 17 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

With Barack Obama restoring solar panels to the White House roof -- the first were put there by Jimmy Carter -- will Carter's cardigan sweater be reprised? The panels -- environmentalism as a didactic gesture -- are evidence of a '70s revival.

A historic shift in the making this election?

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Voters seem poised to produce something not seen since 1981-82.

November election results will vindicate or undercut Obama

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Promoting his new book, Jimmy Carter, whose version of Christianity allows ample scope for what some Christians consider the sin of pride, has been doing something at which he has had long practice -- praising himself. He is, he says, "probably superior" to all other ex-presidents , and would have...

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Sumo wrestling with federal deficits

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The fiscal commission's deliberations supposedly resemble sumo wrestling.

The wisdom of Pat Moynihan

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 00:00:00 EDT

On Jan. 9, 1969, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a memo to President-elect Richard Nixon, on whose White House staff Moynihan was to serve. Moynihan wondered whether the disintegration of "private sub-systems of authority" presaged "the ultimate, destructive working out of the telos of liberal thou...

Without a defendable record, Democrats try pounding the table

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Some anti-Tea Party 'moderates' exemplify repulsive politics this year.

A short history of presidential primaries

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Although a Niagara of vitriol is drenching politics, the two parties are acting sensibly and in tandem about something once considered a matter of constitutional significance -- the process by which presidential nominations are won.

Swing time in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District?

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Pennsylvania's 8th district is a battleground that should tilt right in a year like this.

Cuba's Castro learns what most of us already knew

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Fidel Castro, 84, may have failing eyesight but he has noticed something : "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore." So, the secret is out. And there is no joy among the alumni, if any still live, of the golden days of Les Deux Magots.

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Trifle with the government? Just ask Jacob Maged

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

A need for economic recovery is no excuse to subordinate private interests to public authority.

Americans have good reason not to believe in Obamanomics

Sun, 12 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Looking back with pride, the British are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when Churchill said of the pilots fighting the Luftwaffe: Never "was so much owed by so many to so few." Looking ahead with trepidation, Americans are thinking: Never have so many of us owed so...

As GOP diversifies, South Carolina is rising

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Nikki Haley and Tim Scott's candidacies show that the state has changed for the better.

The environmental movement in retreat

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The collapsing crusade for legislation to combat climate change raises a question: Has ever a political movement made so little of so many advantages? Its implosion has continued since "the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most unproductive and chaotic global...

A Rocky Mountain showdown

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Here's why Ken Buck's looking like a promising candidate for Senate.

For black children, daunting divides in achievement and family life

Sun, 29 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Various figures denote vexing social problems. They include 10,000 (the number of new baby boomers eligible for Social Security and Medicare every day), 10.2 percent (what the unemployment rate would be if 1.2 million discouraged workers had not recently stopped looking for jobs), $9.9 trillion (the...

In the Mideast, the peace process is only a mirage

Thu, 26 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The biggest threat to Israeli-Palestinian peace might be the peace process itself.

Many possible Israeli concessions would be suicidal

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

JERUSALEM 'Twas a famous victory for diplomacy when, in 1991 in Madrid, Israelis and Palestinians, orchestrated by the United States, at last engaged in direct negotiations. Almost a generation later, U.S. policy has succeeded in prodding the Palestinians away from their recent insistence on...

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Skip the lecture on Israel's 'risks for peace'

Thu, 19 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Israelis have no need for patronizing lessons on the risks and benefits of peace.

Netanyahu's warning

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

JERUSALEM When Israel declared independence in 1948, it had to use mostly small arms to repel attacks by six Arab armies. Today, however, Israel feels, and is, more menaced than it was then or has been since. Hence the potentially world-shaking decision that will be made here, probably within two...

Netanyahu, the anti-Obama

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The president is trying to soften Binyamin Netanyahu -- in vain.

Through Puerto Rico, the GOP can reach out to Hispanics

Sun, 18 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Through the Commonwealth, the GOP can reach out to Hispanics.

The high price of American hubris

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Afghanistan may be a good example of the prices of American success.

Let us Disclose that free-speech limits are harmful

Sun, 11 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Two splendid recent developments have highlighted how campaign finance "reforms" have become the disease they pretend to cure. In Arizona and in Congress, measures ostensibly aimed at eliminating corruption or the "appearance" thereof illustrate the corruption inherent in incumbents writing laws...

Another round of Prohibition, anyone?

Thu, 08 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Are Americans just as ungovernable today as they were during Prohibition?

Candidate nobody is not to be underestimated

Sun, 04 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDT

LAS VEGAS Sometimes provocative people become that way because they were provoked. Sharron Angle, 60, could be enjoying the 10 grandchildren she loves even more than her .44 magnum. Instead, she is the Republican nominee against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's quest for a fifth term as senator....

More questions for nominee Elena Kagan

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

These would add some intellectual snap, crackle and pop to the hearings.

A few 'vapid' questions for Elena Kagan

Sun, 27 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Given Elena Kagan 's aversion to "vapid and hollow" confirmation hearings devoid of "legal analysis," beginning Monday she might relish answering these questions:

McChrystal had to go

Thu, 24 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Obama needed a general he could trust.

An NCO recognizes a flawed Afghanistan strategy

Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Torrents of uninteresting mail inundate members of Congress, but occasionally there are riveting communications, such as a recent e-mail from a noncommissioned officer (NCO) serving in Afghanistan. He explains why the rules of engagement for U.S. troops are "too prohibitive for coalition forces to...

In Afghanistan, a waiting game to outlast the Obama administration

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Can America really succeed in Afghanistan on its own timetable?

Proposition California ensures electoral blandness

Sun, 13 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Under the current imperfect administration of the Universe, most new ideas are false, so most ideas for improvements make matters worse. Given California's parlous condition, making matters worse there requires ingenuity, but voters managed to do so last Tuesday.

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Jobs report a nightmare for Obama progressivism

Thu, 10 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Last month's employment numbers should alarm Obama progressives.

Why should education be exempt from recession budgeting?

Sun, 06 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Jay Gould, a 19th-century railroad tycoon and unrepentant rapscallion, said he was a Democrat when in Democratic districts and a Republican when in Republican districts but that he was always for the Erie Railroad. Gould, emblematic of Gilded Age rapaciousness, was called a robber baron. What should...

The danger of a government with unlimited power

Thu, 03 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The dangers of Obama's rejection of limited government.

Obama's spending idea is only frugality theater

Sun, 30 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Barack Obama, an unbeliever genuflecting before the altar of frugality, is asking Congress, as presidents do, to give him something like a line-item veto. Coming in today's context of his unrelenting agenda of expanding government, his proposal constitutes a counterfeit promise to get serious about...

Instead of shrugging, Ron Johnson is running for office

Thu, 27 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Instead of shrugging, Ron Johnson is running for office.

American politics of late: Now that's entertaining

Thu, 20 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

When a winning Democrat sounds like a Republican, that's entertainment.

Slow learners at the 9th Circuit

Wed, 19 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

What part of 'precedent' doesn't a San Francisco-based appeals court understand?

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European Union: A coalition of irresponsibility

Sun, 16 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

When Chancellor Angela Merkel decided that Germany would pay part of Greece's bills, voters punished her party in elections in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia . How appropriate.

Greece and GM: Too weak to fail

Thu, 13 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

After the bailout, Greece understands the strength of weakness.

The military tries nation-building in Afghanistan

Sun, 09 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, FLA. When asked whether nationalism is putting down roots in Afghanistan's tribalized society, Gen. David Petraeus is judicious: "I don't know that I could say that." He adds, however, that "we do polling" on that subject. When his questioner expresses skepticism about the...

In Afghanistan, the clock is ticking

Thu, 06 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

The three prongs of counterinsurgency -- "clear, hold and build" -- involve three entangled problems.

Arizona law's foes are using the real immigration scare tactics

Sun, 02 May 2010 00:00:00 EDT

"P hysician, heal yourself ," said the founder of the church in which Roger Mahony is a cardinal. He is the Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, and he should heed the founder's admonition before accusing Arizonans of intemperateness. He says that Arizona's new law pertaining to illegal immigration...

A law Arizona can live with

Wed, 28 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Arizona's immigration law is a worthwhile experiment.

Japanese American heroes, bereft of bitterness

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Hearing about a shortage of farm laborers in California, the couple who would become Susumu Ito's parents moved from Hiroshima to become sharecroppers near Stockton. Thus began a saga that recently brought Ito, 91, to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, where he and 119 former comrades in...

Bringing Thunder-ous change to New Jersey

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

New Jersey's governor is connecting his state with economic reality.

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The perils of the value-added tax

Sun, 18 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

When liberals advocate a value-added tax (VAT), conservatives should respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it -- after the 16th Amendment is repealed.

For high court nominee, no (political) experience necessary

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

For the high court nominee, political experience is not necessary.

Only a brave few acknowledge an entitlement crisis

Sun, 11 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Apuzzle from Philosophy 101: If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? A puzzle from the prairie: If an earthquake occurs in Illinois and no one notices, is it really a seismic event?

GM's big turnaround at the federal trough

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

GM's big turnaround at the federal trough.

Plumbing the etiquette of baseball

Sun, 04 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

In baseball, as in other parts of life, the most important rules are unwritten.

GOP Senate contest heats up in Arizona

Thu, 01 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT

When J.D Hayworth and John McCain face off in the Arizona primary, anything could happen.

An argument to be made about immigrant babies and citizenship

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal...

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A battle won, but a victory?

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Supporting the bill means taking responsibility for the ups and downs of reform.

Democrats miss an obvious lesson plan for deprived children

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, like many liberals, seems afflicted by Sixties Nostalgia Syndrome, a longing for the high drama and moral clarity of the civil rights era. Speaking this month in Alabama at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" march,...

Why can't Uncle Sam learn?

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDT

Once again a misguided federal government steps into the school reform breach.

Justices and politicians should boycott the State of the Union

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

Why does anyone attend the State of the Union address?

As a progressive, Obama hews to the Wilsonian tradition

Thu, 11 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EST

As a progressive, Obama hews to the Wilsonian tradition.

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