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Columns

  • OPINION: Will a GOP candidate stand up against Trump in 2020?

    WASHINGTON — Republicans who are thinking about opposing President Trump in the 2020 primaries are facing the hardest of political choices.

    Toppling a sitting president of your own party is a maneuver with the highest degree of difficulty. The most relevant historical model is probably Eugene McCarthy’s race against Lyndon Johnson in 1968, which helped convince a politically wounded president to withdraw. But McCarthy had a clear policy handhold — opposition to an increasingly unpopular war — and appealed to a discontented element of his party.

  • OPINION: Despite loss, McGrath could be pivotal in Kentucky Democratic politics

    As Democrats gained power nationally on Election Day, they continued to fall short in Kentucky, doing little to improve their future prospects here, and by one measure hitting a historic low. But now some hope their most prominent loser will lead them to a turnaround.

    Republicans lost the U.S. House, but gained seats in the Senate, making life easier for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In his home state, McConnell’s party used its big advantages — money and President Trump — to keep its supermajority in the state House, a result few expected.

  • Will a GOP candidate stand up against Trump in 2020?

    WASHINGTON — Republicans who are thinking about opposing President Trump in the 2020 primaries are facing the hardest of political choices.

    Toppling a sitting president of your own party is a maneuver with the highest degree of difficulty. The most relevant historical model is probably Eugene McCarthy’s race against Lyndon Johnson in 1968, which helped convince a politically wounded president to withdraw. But McCarthy had a clear policy handhold — opposition to an increasingly unpopular war — and appealed to a discontented element of his party.

  • OPINION: Will the GOP keep dancing with autocracy?

    WASHINGTON — When a national leader urges that votes be ignored or that an election result he doesn’t like might best be set aside, we label him an autocrat or an authoritarian.

    When it’s President Trump, we shrug. Worse, many in his party go right along with baseless charges of fraud.

  • OPINION: Trump the winner of midterm elections

    With so much winning happening on so many fronts, it’s hard to know where to begin, but the meager gains achieved by the left in the midterm election is a good place to start.

  • OPINION: Will hindsight be 2020 for Democrats?

    It wasn’t the kind of shellacking Republicans gave them in the 2010 midterms, but Democrats’ takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives was no small feat.

    Their gains give them a good opportunity to take back the White House and Senate in two years if they learn the right lessons. But I have my doubts. Democrats are masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    If it’s any consolation to Democrats, I don’t think most Republicans will learn their lessons either.

  • OPINION: Free trade, economic order are at risk

    The United Sates took the lead after World War II in building a world economic order. Without that order, the tension and disputes that occur in a complicated world would flare into confrontation and conflict between countries.

    We helped create institutions like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the World Bank and eventually the 164-member World Trade Organization. We helped develop elaborate rules of the road for enforcing trade agreements, with referees in place to settle disputes.

  • OPINION: Cast your ballot against Trump’s racial and ethnic resentment

    WASHINGTON — In Donald Trump’s closing argument of the midterm elections — an attack on birthright citizenship — he has again targeted the children of migrants.

    I say “again” because it is something of a theme. There was the use of family separation as a punishment for illegal immigration — effectively using the traumatization of children as a tool of deterrence. There was the transfer of migrant children under cover of darkness to a tent city in the Texas desert, where the inmates have described cold, hunger and fear.

  • OPINION: Trump poses a danger for GOP candidates Tuesday, including Andy Barr

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – In 40 years of writing about politics for this newspaper, I’ve never seen a run-up to an election like this one ­— mainly because we’ve never had a president like this one.

  • OPINION: What makes us who we are

    “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

    William Wilberforce, 1759-1833

    English abolitionist