Charles Lipson

Peter B. Ritzma Professor Emeritus

University of Chicago

Frequent contributor: 
Real Clear Politics,
Spectator| World, Newsweek, Discourse Magazine, American Greatness, Wall Street Journal

Filters & Sorting

Trump’s never-ending ‘stolen election’ story damages America

Enough is enough. Yes, there were problems with last November’s election, but they have been litigated and audited for months. We know the outcome. To continue questioning those reviews and continue challenging the election outcome does lasting damage to our country. It’s long past time to stop. It is perfectly proper for candidates to demand recounts, audits and judicial review, as former president Donald Trump has done. We need those safeguards to assure the public, especially those who voted

It's Not the Top-Line Number -- It's the Bottom-Line Goal

The news from Washington is all about back-room negotiations, divisions among Democrats, and their failure to reach a spending deal, so far. It’s an easy story to tell, but the focus on dollars and deals obscures a larger question: What’s really at stake in these negotiations? First, let’s consider the bargaining and betrayals. Those begin with bipartisan agreement to pass a “roads and highways” bill, which will cost over $1 trillion. To pass it, President Biden explicitly promised Senate Repub

The Democrat 'squad' will regret shooting down Israel's Iron Dome

America’s left-wing progressives won a victory this week in their long-running battle with Israel. They managed, at least temporarily, to block $1 billion in U.S. funding to replenish the missile inceptors Israel used to shoot down the latest barrage of terror rockets from Gaza. The funding was initially included in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stopgap spending measure to raise the debt ceiling and fund the U.S. government. The victory was short-lived since House leaders stuck the funding into another

The Stain of Afghanistan Will Stick to Biden

President Biden’s supporters are hewing to one message since the disastrous Afghan exit: “Voters won’t remember it.” That analysis—or hope, really—could well be wrong because the evacuation left Biden with so many problems. None are going away soon. The most consequential is that many independent voters are deciding that Joe Biden is simply incompetent. This “buyer’s remorse” is new, and it’s growing. Although Democratic voters are still backing the president, he is now deeply underwater with i

The Deep Politics of Vaccine Mandates

The debate over President Biden’s vaccine mandates has focused, understandably, on the tradeoff between individual rights to make medical choices and the potential harm the unvaccinated pose to others. That tradeoff is unavoidable. It is simply wrong for Biden to say, “It’s not about freedom.” It is. It is equally wrong for some Republican governors to say it is all about freedom. It’s also about the external effects of each person’s choice. To pretend that tradeoff doesn’t exist is demagoguery.

Joe Biden Marches Through History, Checking His Watch › American Greatness

The most solemn and painful duty any president faces is standing silently, head bowed, watching the men and women he sent to war come home in caskets. He sees the terrible cost of war firsthand in those flag-draped coffins and the tears of loved ones there to meet them. Last week, Joe Biden tried to fulfill that duty—and stumbled badly. When he should have waited with patient dignity for the caskets to be transferred from the plane, he furtively glanced at his watch. When he spoke to the famili

Joe Biden’s victory lap around Afghan defeat

President Biden walked to the White House podium on Tuesday and proclaimed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan an ‘extraordinary success’. He relied on the unanimous advice of military leaders and strategic advisers for these wise decisions. If there were any failures, they were due to Donald Trump. Never in history, he said, had there been such a successful airlift. Of the Americans who wanted to leave, we got out an amazing 90 percent. Surely that’s a success all around, despite the collapse of

The cost of the terrible tragedy at Kabul airport

America’s frantic, confused exit from Afghanistan was a humiliating shambles even before today’s terrorist attack. Now, it is something much worse. It is a deadly tragedy, leaving victims dead and injured and trapping thousands of Americans and friendly Afghans in a lethal environment, where terrorists roam free. There will be a huge political price to pay for this unfolding disaster, and President Biden will pay it. This deadly fiasco didn’t just happen on his watch. It happened because of his

Who Wants Biden to Fail?

Oh, for the days when trolls were mythological creatures, living in Nordic caves. Today, they live online, poking us with bitter invective instead of intelligent arguments. That’s what some of President Biden’s defenders are doing, now that he is struggling. With only a weak defense to offer, most are in hiding. The few who venture out in public have turned to a last resort: trolling anyone who dares to criticize the president. Their favorite taunt is “Do you want the president to fail?” The po

Biden’s press conference was a feast of disinformation

Joe Biden emerged from his cave, saw his shadow, and told us there will be three more years of winter. That winter, descending on America’s position in the world, was on public view at Biden’s Friday press conference about Afghanistan. Standing behind him was the Vice President, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state and the national security adviser, a stark contrast to the sad photo of Biden alone on a video call from Camp David with those advisers. Why have them stand there, mute?

Troubles mount for the Biden administration

The fall of Afghanistan is a disaster for the Biden presidency, but it is far from the only one. The rise of inflation and the massive surge of illegal immigrants are sharp blows, too. In fact, Joe Biden's young presidency already faces an inflection point, as the simultaneous failure of so many major policies, foreign and domestic, suggest to many voters that the administration is incompetent. Voters are also beginning to reach a second, troubling conclusion: Biden is pursuing a very different

Why Andrew Cuomo had to go

The announcement that Andrew Cuomo will resign in two weeks follows the total collapse of his political support among Democrats in New York State and Washington. His advisers told him impeachment was now certain, and he resigned just ahead of the inevitable, as President Nixon did when he was given the same message by his erstwhile congressional supporters. The headlight of that oncoming train has been visible in Albany for months. The crash became certain when Attorney General Letitia James of

Democrats' Defund-the-Police Debacle

It’s easy to find politicians saying dumb things. Television news gives them plenty of coverage. Viewers like colorful voices, which are often the most extreme. The resulting Kardashianization of politics doesn’t matter much unless these caricatures tarnish an entire political party, define its public perception, and compromise its chances of passing legislation and winning elections. That’s the Democrats’ problem with “the Squad,” led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This problem arose again

When Confidence in Our Institutions Collapses

Sometimes, stories that appear unrelated share common foundations and have cumulative effects, far more serious than any one does individually. Highlighting these common features tells us something profound about our society and its troubles. That’s the case with four stories over the past few days. The first two involve police. One concerns a New York City gang member who attacked multiple officers and shot one of them. The suspect had more than 25 prior arrests for guns, drug offenses, and ot

Where in the world is Kamala Harris?

When a president pushes big legislative initiatives like Joe Biden's trillions for "infrastructure," his vice president always heads out on the trail, going from city to city, hyping the plan. The Veep holds rallies, appears on news shows eager for exclusive interviews and meets with local bigwigs. It's all designed to build momentum and spur public support. Joe Biden desperately needs that support right now as he works to pass his signature infrastructure bill. So where in the world is Kamala

A Gold Medal Question: Should Women's Sports Even Exist?

The Tokyo Olympics prompted the latest furor over transgender participation in women’s sports. It came when New Zealand named a transgender woman (above) to its weightlifting team. This athlete’s participation raises questions far beyond this Olympics or that particular sport. The same questions arise whenever a transgender person competes at any level, from high school to world-class. When the winner takes the victory stand, biological women can’t help but wonder if they were treated fairly. Tr

Getting UN help on American civil rights is such a great idea

The small-minded people who believe in freedom and democratic self-government have their shorts in a bunch over the Biden administration’s invitation to the United Nations to review our country’s civil-rights record. What a superb idea. Long overdue. The countries filling the human rights bodies at the UN have the kind of expertise you can’t get by reading books or following the rule of law. You have to get that kind of experience in the streets. Police brutality? All you have to do is ask the

Cuba libre?

In the U.S., "Cuba Libre" means a rum and Coke. In Cuba itself, it means something far more intoxicating: freedom. We are seeing that cry for freedom now in the streets of Havana. Regimes do not give up power willingly, and popular protests may not make any difference. Just ask the Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has smashed uprisings repeatedly. Still, the demonstrations in Cuba are big enough that the Biden administration finally offered some quiet praise after remaining silent for days (ju

Biden Inc.: Hunter, Joe, and the Mexican Oligarchs

The indictment of the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer has received a lot of press, and properly so. But while the media has been focused on the former president, they have ignored another corruption story involving the sitting president and his family. Like so much news that has been buried, the latest comes from Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. You know, the one the Bidens and their allies in Congress and the media suggested was a “Russian plant” and disinformation campaign, before

An Unflinching Guide to Biden's Immigration Fiasco

The crisis of illegal immigration—to give this calamity its true name—is growing increasingly grave. The reason is no mystery. The Biden administration replaced policies that staunched the illegal flow of migrants with policies that actually encourage it. Instead of securing the U.S. border, the administration says it wants to deal with the “root cause,” desperation in Central America. That won’t work for two reasons. First, the administration doesn’t have the tools to markedly change condition
Load More Articles

Subscribe free for my latest articles.