Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Automatic forgiveness makes the world more dangerous

April 26, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

WORDS OF FORGIVENESS can be deeply powerful. They can also be deeply misguided.

On April 16, a savage named Steve Stephens shot and killed Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old Cleveland man who was innocently walking home from Easter dinner with his children. Stephens recorded his cold-blooded act of murder, then posted the video on Facebook. For two days the killer was at large; he was eventually tracked down in Pennsylvania, where he shot himself as police approached his car.

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Don't nuke the filibuster — restore it

April 5, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

AS SENATE DEMOCRATS filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans are preparing to invoke the "nuclear option" and allow the nominee to be confirmed by simple majority vote. The abolition of the filibuster for high court confirmations is being described in near-apocalyptic terms (a Washington Post story on the subject was illustrated with a mushroom cloud) and Senator John McCain said on Monday that the confrontation amounts to "the beginning of the end" of the Senate.

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Thirty years of 'varsity academics'
The Concord Review reaches a milestone anniversary

April 2, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

OF THE THREE R's, says Will Fitzhugh, the founder and publisher of The Concord Review, the middle R has long been the most neglected. It was true in his own case — when he arrived at Harvard as a freshman 61 years ago, he had never had to write a single term paper — and it remains true now. On the whole, American students graduate from high school incapable of writing a coherent, well-researched essay. Most of those who continue to college don't become competent writers there, either.

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When presidents break big promises

March 29, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

"THE BIGGEST broken promise in political history" is how Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner characterized last week's Republican health care fiasco. In a nutshell, Klein's argument is that Republicans campaigned for seven years on an explicit commitment to overhaul Barack Obama's signature health insurance law — only to reveal, when push came to shove, that they were never really interested in actually making good on their pledge.

Such a harsh verdict is premature; the GOP hasn't yet given up on scrapping Obamacare. But Klein's essay got me thinking: What is the biggest broken promise in political history?

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Deliver us from Scripture-citers

March 26, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

"THE DEVIL can cite Scripture for his purpose," says the wealthy Antonio to his young friend Bassanio in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice."

So can the politician, he might have added. And the party activist.

Full disclosure: I've never actually read "The Merchant of Venice." Though I'm familiar with the story, I have yet to actually study the text or even view a performance of the play. But that line about the devil citing Scripture suits the point I want to make, so I plucked it out of context to use in this column.

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