Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

George Washington was right about 'baneful' two-party politics

July 14, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

First of two parts

Toxic partisanship in the United States is not a new problem. In 1796, President George Washington was so distressed by the way America was splitting into two political factions — the Democratic-Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson, and the Federalists of Alexander Hamilton — that he devoted much of his Farewell Address to warning his countrymen, "in the most solemn manner, against the baneful effects of the spirit of party." He acknowledged that it was natural for people with common interests to organize into competing groups. But passionate loyalty to political parties too often fueled "the most horrid enormities" — vengefulness, dissension, and repression.

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Your legislature in inaction
Bay State lawmakers blow off their deadline. So what else is new?

July 10, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

IN VIRTUALLY every state of the union, the new fiscal year began on July 1, and in virtually every state of the union, the legislature passed a budget before the deadline arrived. Only in Massachusetts and Ohio have lawmakers failed to put together a spending bill to fund the government for the next 12 months. The nonfeasance in both cases is egregious — crafting a budget, after all, is the legislature's most important task.

But the reaction in the two states could hardly be more different.

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'Proclaim Liberty': How the Hebrew Bible molded revolutionary America

July 7, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS in Philadelphia approved the final text of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July, but it wasn't until July 8, 1776 that the historic document had been printed and could be publicly read. From the tower at Independence Hall the great bell rang out, summoning citizens to hear the new nation's proclamation of sovereignty. What we know today as the Liberty Bell had not yet acquired its iconic crack. But its noteworthy inscription was plain to see: "Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof."

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Biden was right. Busing was wrong

July 3, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

"VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN," demanded Kamala Harris in the climactic encounter of last Thursday's Democratic debate, "do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then?"

Biden wasn't wrong. The forced busing of schoolchildren for purposes of racial desegregation was a wretched, wrongheaded policy that caused far more harm than good. As a young, liberal Democratic senator 45 years ago, Biden firmly opposed busing, and he was right to do so.

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Democrats are having a socialist moment, but it won't last

June 30, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

IN THE SUMMER of 2009, a few months into Barack Obama's first term, posters bearing the caption "Socialism" appeared, on which the president was depicted as the Joker from the Batman movie The Dark Knight. The poster was promptly denounced as racist. "All that's missing is a noose," a columnist for LA Weekly asserted.

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