Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category Presidents

Will Trump Be a One-Termer?

Will Trump Be a One-Termer?

“Not long ago, an outsider came to Washington to be president of the United States. He ran as an anti-politician, a man who was not going to play politicians’ tawdry games. Washington was broken and he had solutions to fix it. “His political party, which ruled both chambers of Congress, did not much know him. […]

Six Ways Congress Can Curb a Runaway President

Six Ways Congress Can Curb a Runaway President

No bones about it, Donald Trump is a steamroller. He defeated 16 Republican candidates, despite being a political novice. Jeb Bush’s $150 million war chest couldn’t insulate him from Trump’s insults; nor could Hillary’s much vaunted ground game and experience. Now Trump is in the Oval Office, and has shown no sign of taking his […]

Six Quick Takes On President Trump’s Speech

Six Quick Takes On President Trump’s Speech

#1 Thank you for making your speech short. Really, the days when folks enjoyed hearing long orations have passed. #2 I am glad you thanked the Obamas for being “magnificent” to you during the transition. Offering “gracious aid” to an incoming president is part of the orderly transfer of government. I hope you’ll be as helpful when […]

First Among Equals: How George Washington Became George Washington

First Among Equals: How George Washington Became George Washington

George Washington was born to middling stock in Virginia in 1732. He was a “conventional Virginia provincial” whose world had a stable social order and agrarian political economy. A planter class led this stratified society. These gentlemen dressed, spoke, and behaved differently from others, and their mores owed much to the English motherland and to […]

Michael Lewis, “Obama’s Way,” Vanity Fair, October 2012

Michael Lewis, “Obama’s Way,” Vanity Fair, October 2012

Michael Lewis produced a long piece that gives the reader some sense of the day-to-day reality of the modern American presidency. It is manic—issues, many non resolvable nor worthy of a President’s time, are thrust upon his agenda. One of the hallmarks of the modern presidency is this expectation that the president must be involved […]

Kristie Miller, Ellen and Edith

Kristie Miller, Ellen and Edith

For some time I have been struggling to find a near-synonym for “uxorious.” It is an ugly old word that rebukes a man for being “overly fond” (Webster’s) or “submissively fond” (OED) of his wife.  Its earliest written usage (1598), by Joseph Hall, bishop of Norwich and poet, growled of “mannish housewives [who] make a […]

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