A Split-Personality White House

Trump's tweets distract, but do they hinder his White House?

“Imagine how much closer to normal this administration would be in the absence of Twitter,” I pondered, also on Twitter, following a weekend consumed by a frenzy of activity resulting from President Donald Trump’s tweeted accusation that Barack Obama wanted his communications surveilled. The stream of self-righteous replies from incensed Trump skeptics and liberals over the very notion that this administration could ever be construed as “normal” made my point. The president’s preferred social media venue is one that rewards instant gratification and emotive preening. This is a form of art that Trump has perfected, but is it an impediment to running a successful White House? That is far from certain.

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A Split-Personality White House

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The Graying Lady

How not to report on tax code reform.

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Sabotage

The nationalist wing in the White House has led the president astray.

Donald Trump’s most avid supporters are truly concerned. The president and his administration, they frequently contend, are being sabotaged.

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Turkey: Neither Enemy Nor Ally

Trump must set some boundaries for Turkey's president.

Two of America’s illiberal allies in the Muslim world have just received expressions of support from President Trump. He rolled out the red carpet at the White House for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, and he rewarded President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey with a congratulatory phone call after Erdogan “won” an apparently rigged referendum enhancing his already vast power. But while both Sisi and Erdogan appear to be in Trump’s good graces, they have reacted in very different ways to the American support they are receiving.

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White House Daze and Campus Contempt

Commentary Podcast: The Trump administration on autopilot, and Berkeley under threat.

In the second of this week’s COMMENTARY podcasts, we ask whether the president might be relaxing into his job—and whether this means he knows now that he doesn’t have to fulfill every agenda item at once but can take them on over the course of the next four years. And then we delve into the horror on college campuses and the grudging acknowledgment by the mainstream media that things are bad for free speech there—which, of course, they blame in part on bad conservatives. Give a listen.

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Israel’s Wrongheaded Retreat on BDS

Anti-BDS efforts are essential, so they must be engaged seriously.

Regardless of whether you support or oppose a new law allowing Israel to bar entry to prominent supporters of anti-Israeli boycotts, one outcome was eminently predictable: Israel would lack the guts to enforce it even when doing so was most justified. That was amply proven by Wednesday’s decision to grant a one-year work visa to Human Rights Watch researcher Omar Shakir. By this decision, Israel eviscerated the one crucial point the law got right, despite the many it got wrong: You cannot wage an effective war on the BDS movement while giving the people behind it a pass. As the old truism goes, people are policy.

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