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George F. Will

George F. Will: Obama's presidency nearly pulseless on election eve

WASHINGTON — Mix a pitcher of martinis Tuesday evening to fortify yourself against the torrent of election returns painting a pointillist portrait of the nation’s mind. Before you become too mellow to care, consider some indexes of our civic tendencies.

November 03, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: McConnell would lead Senate like Mansfield

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Barack Obama lost Kentucky in 2012 by 23 points, yet the state remains closely divided about re-electing the man whose parliamentary skills uniquely qualify him to restrain Obama's executive overreach. So, Kentucky's Senate contest is a constitutional moment that will deter…

October 24, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Football franchise tackled by the language police

WASHINGTON — Wretched excess by government can be beneficial if it startles people into wholesome disgust and deepened distrust, and prompts judicial rebukes that enlarge freedom. So let's hope the Federal Communications Commission embraces the formal petition inciting it to deny licenses to…

October 17, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Obama needs Congress to approve this war

WASHINGTON — The United States last declared war many wars ago, on June 5, 1942, when, to clarify legal ambiguities during a world conflagration, it declared war on Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Today’s issue is not whether to declare war but only whether the president should even seek cong…

September 18, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
George F. Will: Scotland's epic vote could change Union Jack

George F. Will: Scotland's epic vote could change Union Jack

WASHINGTON — Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep’s pluck — the heart, lungs and liver — cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep’s stomach, then served, sometimes…

September 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Does Putin have an eye on Baltic States?

WASHINGTON — The Islamic State is a nasty problem that can be remedied if its neighbors, assisted by the United States, decide to do so. Vladimir Putin’s fascist revival is a crisis that tests the West’s capacity to decide.

September 04, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Americans fed up with cupcake cops

WASHINGTON — In physics, a unified field theory is an attempt to explain with a single hypothesis the behavior of several fields. Its political corollary is the Cupcake Postulate, which explains everything, from Missouri to Iraq, concerning Americans' comprehensive withdrawal of confidence f…

August 21, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Scholar's theory may reveal reason behind Watergate

WASHINGTON — At about 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: “I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”

August 07, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Immigrants' son is California's new Goldwater

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 m…

July 24, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Supreme Court plays indispensable constable role

WASHINGTON — Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court’s term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today’s progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures soci…

July 07, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Trademark agency fumbles football name complaint

WASHINGTON — Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this n…

June 30, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Mississippi choose pork barrel over Tea Party

WASHINGTON — Chris McDaniel, 41, the flawed paladin of the Tea Party persuasion who in Mississippi's Republican Senate primary failed to wrest the nomination from the faltering hands of six-term incumbent Thad Cochran, 76, came into politics after a stint in talk radio. There practitioners d…

June 26, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Congress must sue to stop lawless president

WASHINGTON — What philosopher Harvey Mansfield calls "taming the prince" — making executive power compatible with democracy's abhorrence of arbitrary power — has been a perennial problem of modern politics. It is now more urgent in America than at any time since the Founders, having rebelled…

June 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: For GOP, re-evaluation time

WASHINGTON — The morning after, at breakfast at the Republicans' Capitol Hill Club, Virginia Rep. Robert Goodlatte was, as befits one of Washington's grown-ups, measured in his reaction to what 36,120 Virginia voters did the day before. It would, he says, be wise "to take a step back and a d…

June 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: The cost of campaign finance restrictions

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota says it has 10,000 lakes. The state also has, according to Anthony Sanders, “10,000 campaign finance laws.” He exaggerates, but understandably. As an attorney for Minnesota’s chapter of the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, Sanders represe…

May 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Great Society bifurcates LBJ legacy

WASHINGTON — Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: “We’re in favor of a lot of things and we’re against mighty few.” This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier.

May 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Heavy hand of IRS hits Detroit shop keepers

FLINT, Mich. — Earnest moralists lament Americans’ distrust of government. What really is regrettable is that government does much to earn distrust, as Terry Dehko, 70, and his daughter Sandy Thomas, 41, understand.

May 01, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Tax reformer's uphill push toward economic growth

WASHINGTON — The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable people — those who believe that whatever wrinkle in the tax code that benefits them is an eternal entitlement. Tax reform’s Senate champion is Ron Wyden, the …

April 08, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Geography matters more to Putin

WASHINGTON — Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: "If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus." Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 19…

March 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

George F. Will: Public health campaigns promote benefits of prudence

WASHINGTON — In September 1958, a future columnist, then 17, was unpacking as a college freshman when upperclassmen hired by tobacco companies knocked on his dormitory door, distributing free mini-packs of cigarettes. He and many other aspiring sophisticates became smokers. Six years later —…

March 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

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