Rice’s Mission

If there were any doubts about President Bush’s inclination to learn from the foreign-policy mistakes of his first term, he seemed to lay them to rest this week with his nomination of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state. True to form, the president is not looking back but steaming forward, and critics be damned.Coming on the heelsRead More

The Palestinian Moment

More abruptly than anyone could have predicted, the death of Yasser Arafat has cleared the path for a new beginning in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, if the key players know how to read the signs and seize the opportunities.On the Palestinian side, Mahmoud Abbas, the longtime Arafat lieutenant known as Abu Mazen, has moved withRead More

The President’s Mandate

The results of this election will be analyzed, spun and dissected for years, but one cardinal message must be clear in our minds: The Republicans have become this nation’s majority party. Democrats need to look that reality in the face, absorb it and begin to plan their next moves accordingly.Four years ago, the Republican Party emerged from aRead More

What Democrats Must Do

Democrats face a delicate balancing act. On one hand, they must use every tool at their disposal, building coalitions where possible, filibustering when necessary, in order to slow or block the worst extremes of the Bush agenda. On the other hand, they must begin a long process of reconnecting with the voters. The two goals are potentiallyRead More

Living Under Water

There’s an old joke about the British secret service learning that the polar ice cap is melting, threatening to drown the world within six months. The queen asks the clergy to go on television and prepare the public for the End. The archbishop of Canterbury goes first, urging his flock to receive sacraments and get ready to meet their Maker.Read More

Voting and Change

It may or may not be true that this election is the most important one in living memory, as some of its more heated partisans have taken to declaring. What’s beyond doubt is that it has been the most passionate — and the nastiest. The divisions in our body politic have deepened to the point where opposing camps seem no longer to findRead More

Out of Gaza

After all the buildup, it’s tempting to view the Knesset vote approving Prime Minister Sharon’s Gaza-West Bank disengagement plan this week as an anti-climax. What more can be said of a political idea that already has been discussed half to death and isn’t even close to being implemented?For starters, there is the passage of a momentRead More

No Time for Dithering

American Jews have a long tradition, going back to the early days of the Republic, of laying aside their differences in times of crisis and speaking out with one voice to defend their brethren in other lands. That tradition has become an 11th commandment in the half-century since the birth of the sovereign State of Israel. Jews here haveRead More

Hugging Hezbollah

With relations between the Jewish and Presbyterian religious communities at their lowest point in decades, it’s hard to imagine what could have possessed the Presbyterian Church (USA) to decide this was the right time for a good-will visit with the leadership of Hezbollah.A 24-member delegation from the church met last Sunday in Lebanon withRead More

Tax Season

Sometimes the biggest ideas spring full-blown from a great mind — think of Freud, say, or Keynes — and the truth, once stated, suddenly alters our understanding of reality. Other ideas, like racial equality, bubble up from below, building strength until leaders emerge who can force the issue onto the public agenda.AndRead More

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