David Stokes

Posted February 02, 2014

President Obama had some typical applause lines the other night during his State of the Union address, but evidence abounds that there is less and less applause these days outside the Beltway for his performance and policies.

Posted December 23, 2013

At the risk of having at least some of what I am about to share misunderstood, I venture a few thoughts on the current Phil Robertson-Duck Dynasty -A&E story.

Posted December 10, 2013

Why did one of the most politically savvy leaders ever to occupy the White House—Lyndon Baines Johnson—decide not to attend the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965?

Posted October 03, 2013

On March 30, 1981, Jerry Parr’s quick thinking and reflexes became part of history as he pushed President Reagan into a limousine when gunfire erupted outside the Washington Hilton Hotel following a speech to a labor group. Jerry and his wife Carolyn have written a new book, a moving memoir of that fateful day and of Jerry’s life and career. It’s called, In the Secret Service: The True Story of the Man Who Saved President Reagan’s Life.

Posted September 13, 2013

Vladimir Putin is currently cashing in on an ill-advised promise made when two presidents thought no one was listening.

Posted August 11, 2013

I am aware that most American conservatives find little in the political ideas by Theodore Roosevelt worth salvaging, much less translating into present day policy. But he nailed it...with something he said about “child free living.”

Posted August 02, 2013

Historians tend to bunch the three Republican presidents of the 1920s – Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover – together in a way suggesting they were identical triplets separated at birth. But there were many differences – some subtle, some not so much.

Posted July 04, 2013

If America was born 237 years ago this week, the case can be made that she was conceived decades earlier. Long before men named Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hancock, and Franklin became notable and influential, there were a few clergymen—yes, preachers—who meteorically blazed across the colonial sky.

Posted June 10, 2013

A few years ago, when I finally got around to reading Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, I learned some vital things about culture warfare

Posted June 06, 2013

It made the papers, but was covered far from sufficiently, when Elisha “Ray” Nance died a few years ago at the age of 94. You may never have heard of him, but he was well known around Bedford, Virginia, a picturesque town located at the feet of the Blue Ridge Peaks of Otter. He delivered mail in that neck of the woods for many years. But it was for what he did before becoming a letter carrier that he should be best remembered.

Posted April 23, 2013

The obviously sarcastic title of this column comes from the days of World War II. Noel Coward, then a famous playwright and popular British entertainer, wrote a song in 1943 titled, “Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans.”

Posted April 16, 2013

Wherever the investigation into what happened yesterday in Boston leads, my first reactions were likely in sync with those of most Americans hearing the news.

Posted April 08, 2013

With the announcement out of United Kingdom today that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87, her life, career, and words are being appropriately reviewed. This is an opportunity for some to recall her wisdom and tenacity. For others, it will just be an extended awkward moment as some try to find nice things to say about a leader whose policies and philosophy they despised. The next few days over there will be much like things were here in America in 2004, when Ronald Reagan died.

Posted March 30, 2013

In January of 2009, there was a furor over President-Elect Barack Obama’s selection of California mega-church pastor Rick Warren to pray at his first inauguration. Four years later, another mega-church pastor, Louie Giglio from Atlanta, was awkwardly uninvited to pray at Mr. Obama’s second inaugural.

Posted February 15, 2013

Why do I still find Richard Nixon so fascinating? After all, my political views on many matters are arguably more conservative than his were and would likely be if he were alive and politically engaged today.

Posted December 12, 2012

I grew up in the downriver suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Most of that time in a community (first a township, then a city) called Taylor—a place in the news recently for having closed its public schools in the wake of a massive wave of teachers calling in “sick.”

Posted October 25, 2012

Though he doesn’t talk about it much these days, when Barack Obama was ramping up his campaign for the White House five years ago, there was a deliberate attempt to conjure up images of John F. Kennedy and Camelot mythology. JFK’s daughter Caroline and her uncle, Teddy, were early boosters and certainly helped put the then relatively unknown junior senator from Illinois into that political season’s starting lineup of presidential hopefuls.

Posted October 18, 2012

Forty years ago, an incumbent president was cruising comfortably toward a massive November mandate and a second term. He did this while what was later referred to as a “cancer” was already eating away at his presidency—and eventual legacy.

Posted October 05, 2012

I will come to what I mean by the title of this column in a second—the connection between this year’s first presidential debate and the first ever such televised event more than five decades ago. But first, by all accounts, even those shared grudgingly, Mitt Romney left the University of Denver stage following the debate the other night as the clear winner. There was no knockout, but it was a lopsided decision on most scorecards.

Posted August 28, 2012

The world will be watching this week as Mitt Romney receives the Republican nomination for the presidency and has his moment to speak to history. Hurricane Isaac notwithstanding, this convention, like most in recent memory, has been orchestrated to somehow give a foregone conclusion a hint of drama. It’s a tough sell.