Login

If You Ask Me

A correction, 18 years in the making

Members of four generations, ages 37 to 77, are currently seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. The list includes two from a generation whose political obituary I wrote in this newspaper 18 years ago.

Andrew Johnson’s impeachment killed the idea for a century

We have had 2.5 presidential impeachments in our history. The first occurred 151 years ago and the other one and a half came along in the past 45 years. 

Most recent was the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1999 when a Republican Senate couldn’t come close to getting the two thirds majority needed to find him guilty of perjury or obstruction of justice.  

He’s a Yankee Doodle Donald

I see that our president is proposing some modest changes in Washington’s traditional Independence Day celebration — changes that just might make the day more about him.

There will still be fireworks — the traditional kind, moved from the Mall to the Potomac, and the nontraditional kind in the form of an address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by our pyrotechnist-in-chief, Donald J. Trump.  

A baseball comedy routine, a singer and a song

In the 1940s, my father’s cousin would occasionally get us tickets to the broadcasts of the Kate Smith radio program, which General Foods sponsored. Those excursions across the Hudson to Manhattan’s Radio City and dinner at Tofenetti’s Times Square restaurant were major events for our young family.

Loving and hating presidents, then and now

On an April afternoon in 1945, Johnny Miller and I were shooting baskets in his backyard when his mother came to the kitchen door and told us, “President Roosevelt is dead.”

Johnny jumped and cheered as if he’d scored the winning basket at the buzzer. Even though the president wasn’t popular in our suburban New Jersey neighborhood, my friend’s reaction kind of shocked me. Mine was way different: “He won’t get to win the war.” 

Don’t call these television performances debates

In August of 2015, 15 months before the presidential election, the Republican Party invited 17 of its best and brightest candidates for president to take part in what would be the first of a dozen “debates.”  They would continue until the following March and give us Donald Trump.

Don’t call these TV performances debates

In August of 2015, 15 months before the presidential election, the Republican Party invited 17 of its best and brightest candidates for president to take part in what would be the first of a dozen “debates.”  They would continue until the following March and give us Donald Trump.

Playing politics with a tragic death

Fresh from its crushing defeat in November, the Connecticut Republican Party has managed to demean itself in a new and different fashion by trying to make political capital out of a young woman’s tragic death.   

After the body of 24-year-old New Yorker Valerie Reyes was found stuffed in a suitcase on a Greenwich roadside Feb. 5, a former boyfriend was charged with her murder. It turned out the alleged killer, Javier Da Silva, is a dual citizen of Portugal and Venezuela who had entered the country legally in 2017 but overstayed his visa.

Lessons learned in how to cover demagogues, from one era to another

I’ve been professionally involved in the news — reporting, editing, opining — since the June day in 1955 when I went to work for The Intelligencer, the morning paper in Wheeling, West Virginia.

That first newspaper is in the history books today because it assigned a reporter to cover the annual meeting of the Ohio County Women’s Republican Club on a February evening in 1950. The speaker, an obscure junior senator from Wisconsin, informed the women that he had in his hand the names of 205 communists currently employed by the U.S. Department of State.

Have no fear, voters, the Democratic centrists are coming

Yes, voters, there is more to the Democratic Party than 29-year-old lefties going nowhere who would eliminate cows and airline travel to save the environment and ensure economic security for those who don’t want to work.

They are moderate or centrist or conservative Democrats — pick your own designation — for whom socialism doesn’t go beyond the kind that gave us Social Security and Medicare and not, as the Trumpsters would have you believe, the variety espoused by the late Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.