Category: Opinion

Despite Botched Summit with Putin, Trump’s Policies Are Still Pressuring Russia

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. On Monday, President Donald Trump managed to make a bad situation much, much worse. In a press conference held after his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump strongly implied he agreed with Putin’s assessment that the Russians did not meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections, even though U.S. intelligence has concluded that they did. Despite Trump’s spectacular bungling of this diplomatic moment with Putin, the Trump administration is still pushing back hard...

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Helsinki summit marks a new low in the history of the U.S. presidency

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. President Trump and Russian president-for-life Vladimir Putin’s news conference in Helsinki on Monday was the lowest point in the history of the American presidency. Standing next to a dictatorial leader accused by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement of attacking the foundations of American democracy, Trump often appeared confused and incoherent — and those were his best moments at the podium. The rest of the time he spent praising the KGB dictator to his left and attacking the institutions he swore an oath to defend. It was a Russia First performance, from beginning to end. Even for those of us who had very low expectations, and who considered the mere existence of this summit to be a catastrophe, the reality of it was much worse. Trump did such a thorough job of presenting the Kremlin line that Putin barely had to exert himself to respond with his habitual mix of denials and deflections. It was a brutal reality check for those still deluded enough to hope that Trump represents the national interests of the United States, or the interests of anyone other than himself and Putin. For Putin, the summit was a great success before it even started. Without the recurrent legitimacy of the ballot box — I assume...

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No, the President Did Not Need to Meet with Putin

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. Prior to President Trump’s dismal performance at Monday’s meeting with Russian despot Vladimir Putin, I expressed bafflement over his longstanding insistence that we need to have good relations with Moscow. This has never made sense to me. We have often done quite well, thank you very much, while having a strained modus vivendi with Moscow, even when it was the seat of a much more important power than today’s Russia. It is...

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Maybe Brett Kavanaugh Can Save Conservative Supreme Court Justices From Their Judicial Activism

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s consideration for the bench could pull Supreme Court’s conservatives back from their recent lurch into judicial activism. Nowhere else was this judicial activism by Conservative judges more apparent than in last month’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair. This decision exposed countless small businesses to tax collectors from 46 states. In doing so, the court struck down a key Supreme Court precedent that required a business to be physically...

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They Really Don’t Care About Migrant Families

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. In the early days of Donald Trump’s regime, Benjamin Wittes, editor of the Lawfare blog, coined an oft-repeated phrase about the president’s first, slapdash Muslim ban: “malevolence tempered by incompetence.” It’s a useful formulation; Trump’s fascist instincts would be much more dangerous if he had the discipline to pursue them systematically instead of spasmodically. Yet sometimes Trump’s incompetence and malevolence are not at cross-purposes; instead, there’s a multiplier effect. This was true of the White...

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Immigration: Too much noise, too little thought

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. President Trump has ended the family-separation policy, after the enormous outcry from inside and outside the United States. But the underlying problems driving immigration pain still remain. While all the noise and drama and heartache are understandable, they don’t really help solve the underlying problems that have led to this point. Some members of Congress have actually made suggestions worthy of discussion and action. For example, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) provided a...

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We Have a Crisis of Democracy, Not Manners

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. Last year, the white nationalist Richard Spencer was kicked out of his Virginia gym after another member confronted him and called him a Nazi. This incident did not generate a national round of hand-wringing about the death of tolerance, perhaps because most people tacitly agree that it’s O.K. to shun professional racists. It’s a little more complicated when the professional racist is the president of the United States. The norms of our political life...

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Where Have You Gone, Aunt Maxine?

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. Oh, Aunt Maxine. You had us at “Reclaiming my time.” There was something so totally brilliant, inspiring and boss last August when Rep. Maxine Waters, sensing that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was trying to roll her during a Financial Services Committee hearing, decided she wasn’t having it. “Reclaiming my time,” she said once. When Mnuchin tried to filibuster her with flattery, she stopped him with a firm, “Thank you for your compliments about how great...

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