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By: George Will | Posted: May 18, 2015 7:00 AM
 

A near miss can be a sharp spur, so Rick Santorum wants to say something to those who profess condescending puzzlement about his persistence in pursuing the Republican presidential nomination: You probably have no idea how close I came to defeating Mitt Romney in 2012.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 14, 2015 7:00 AM
 

Controversies about "free-range parenting" illuminate today's scarred cultural landscape. Neighbors summon police in response to parenting choices the neighbors disapprove. Government extends its incompetence with an ever-broader mission of "child protection." And these phenomena are related to campus hysteria about protecting infantilized undergraduates from various menaces, including uncongenial ideas.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 7, 2015 7:00 AM
 
America's smallest state -- one Nevada county is nearly eight times larger -- has the longest name: In a 2010 referendum, voters kept the official title, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The state also has a dark-horse presidential candidate who is the only Democratic candidate so far who can shoe a horse. "Put a blacksmith in the White House" could be Lincoln Chafee's slogan.
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By: George Will | Posted: April 2, 2015 7:00 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was born in 1970, six years after events refuted a theory on which he is wagering his candidacy. The 1964 theory was that many millions of conservatives abstained from voting because the GOP did not nominate sufficiently deep-dyed conservatives. So if in 1964 the party would choose someone like Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, hitherto dormant conservatives would join the electorate in numbers sufficient for victory.

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By: George Will | Posted: March 24, 2015 7:00 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The rate of dog ownership is rising ominously. How can a profusion of puppies be worrisome? A report from the Raymond James financial services firm concerning trends in the housing market explains: Increasing numbers of women "are adopting dogs for security and/or companionship," partly because of "the great education divide."

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By: George Will | Posted: February 26, 2015 6:00 AM
 

 

CHICAGO -- The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century's most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six elections. But by electing businessman Bruce Rauner, it initiated a process that might dismantle a form of governance that afflicts many states and municipalities.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 22, 2015 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- America's national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:

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By: George Will | Posted: January 18, 2015 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- After his third loss, in 1908, as the Democratic presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan enjoyed telling the story of the drunk who three times tried to enter a private club. After being tossed out into the street a third time, the drunk said: "They can't fool me. Those fellows don't want me in there!"

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By: George Will | Posted: January 14, 2015 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Not since the multiplication of the loaves and fishes near the Sea of Galilee has there been creativity as miraculous as that of the Keystone XL Pipeline. It has not yet been built but already is perhaps the most constructive infrastructure project since the Interstate Highway System. It has accomplished an astonishing trifecta:

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By: George Will | Posted: January 8, 2015 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- We know, because they often say so, that those who think catastrophic global warming is probable and perhaps imminent are exemplary empiricists. They say those who disagree with them are "climate change deniers" disrespectful of science.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 5, 2015 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Standing at the intersection of three foreign policy crises and a perennial constitutional tension, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, may be the senator who matters most in 2015. Without an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) tailored to novel circumstances, America is waging war against an entity without precedent (the Islamic State).

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By: George Will | Posted: December 29, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- In 1968, a singularly traumatic year -- assassinations, urban riots, 16,899 Americans killed in Vietnam -- Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the ebullient Minnesotan, said his presidential campaign was about "the politics of joy." This was considered infelicitous.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 15, 2014 3:55 AM
 

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
-- Mr. Micawber in "David Copperfield"

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By: George Will | Posted: December 8, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. -- advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank -- have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives' promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- In 2010, Plymouth, Conn., was awarded $430,000 for widening sidewalks and related matters near two schools. This money was a portion of the $612 million Congress authorized for five years of the federal Safe Routes to School program intended to fight childhood obesity by encouraging children to burn calories by walking or biking to school. Really.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 1, 2014 3:55 AM
 

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

     -- Newton's Third Law of Motion 

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By: George Will | Posted: November 24, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Seen through the prism of subsequent national experience, Nelson Rockefeller resembles a swollen post-war automobile -- a land yacht with tail fins, a period piece, bemusing and embarrassing. He remains, however, instructive.

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By: George Will | Posted: November 13, 2014 3:55 PM
 

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama's coming request for Congress to "right-size and update" the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development -- the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks.

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By: George Will | Posted: November 10, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Now that two of the last three Democratic presidencies have been emphatically judged to have been failures, the world's oldest political party -- the primary architect of this nation's administrative state -- has some thinking to do. The accumulating evidence that the Democratic Party is an exhausted volcano includes its fixation with stale ideas, such as the supreme importance of a 23rd increase in the minimum wage. Can this party be so blinkered by the modest success of its third recent presidency, Bill Clinton's, that it will sleepwalk into the next election behind Hillary Clinton?

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By: George Will | Posted: November 6, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Unlike the dog that chased the car until, to its consternation, he caught it, Republicans know what do with what they have caught. Having completed their capture of control of the legislative branch, they should start with the following six measures concerning practical governance and constitutional equilibrium:

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By: George Will | Posted: November 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

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.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 27, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The early morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens' homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 16, 2014 3:55 AM
 

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 broadcasters who use the word "Redskins" when reporting on the Washington Redskins.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 13, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking -- the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs a judicial scowl at North Carolina's State Board of Dental Examiners, the court will thereby advance a basic liberty -- the right of Americans to earn a living without unreasonable government interference.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 9, 2014 3:55 AM
 

NEWARK, N.J. -- Gov. Chris Christie could be forgiven if he had chips on both shoulders as big as those shoulders. This year, the first of his second term, has been overshadowed by often partisan investigations, more protracted than productive, of the involvement of several of his former aides -- he fired them -- in the closing of some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 2, 2014 3:55 AM
 

"The legislative department is everywhere ... drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."
-- James Madison, Federalist 48

WASHINGTON -- Unfortunately, Congress's vortex now spins the other way, throwing off powers that the executive scoops up. Hence this autumn's spectacle: Feverish House and Senate candidates waging ferocious campaigns to win or retain offices that are of rapidly diminishing significance.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 22, 2014 3:55 AM
 

 

WASHINGTON -- The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying -- starchier ethicists might call it bribing -- people to vote.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 11, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans' 1964 presidential nomination, said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Democrats have been decrying Republican "extremism." Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism -- measures or movements that menace the Constitution's architecture of ordered liberty -- is rare. This week, however, extremism stained the Senate.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 8, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Speaking on Aug. 29 -- at a fundraiser, of course -- Barack Obama applied to a platitude the varnish of smartphone sociology, producing this intellectual sunburst: "The truth of the matter is, is that the world has always been messy. In part, we're just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through." So, if 14th- century Europeans had had Facebook and Twitter, they would have noticed how really disagreeable the Hundred Years' War was.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 4, 2014 3:55 AM
 

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.

Putin's serial amputations of portions of Ukraine, which began with his fait accompli in Crimea, will proceed, and succeed, until his appetite is satiated. Then the real danger will begin.

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