It would make things so much easier for everyone if Edward Snowden were working for China.
It's true - no ideal libertarian state has ever existed, and no such state ever will. But here's an important caveat: No ideal state of any other kind will be created, either.
The idealist wants credit for ending the war, while the alleged pragmatist wants to keep a surveillance apparatus that has no justification if the war on terror is truly over. Maybe he's right on the merits. The problem is that fewer and fewer people are willing to take his word for it.
Just because government could, in theory, poison people doesn't mean it shouldn't, in practice, inoculate people. But we're in uncharted territory, and a healthy dose of old-fashioned American skepticism seems warranted, no matter who's in charge.
Proponents of journalist shield laws argue that certain regulations actually limit the power of government by protecting the First Amendment rights of the press. But that begs the question - a journalist shield law must define who is a journalist and who isn't.
If there was a moment when the United States could have productively intervened in Syria, it looks like that moment has passed.
"Could people like Bob Dole, even Ronald Reagan -- could you make it in today's Republican Party?" Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday" asked former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole.
They say all is fair in love and war (I'm skeptical), but that doesn't mean war and love have much in common.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Although there's still a great deal to be learned about the scandals and controversies swirling around the White House like so many ominous dorsal fins in the surf, the nature of President Obama's bind is becoming clear.
Of course the president deserves some of the blame. Yes, it's extremely unlikely he ordered the IRS to discriminate against tea party, pro-life or Jewish groups opposed to his agenda (though why anyone should take his word for it is beyond me).
President Obama was asked about the metastasizing Benghazi scandal in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday.
"Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference -- at this point, what difference does it make?"
At an investment conference last week, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson created a huge mess for himself. He glibly speculated that maybe because economist John Maynard Keynes was a childless, "effete" homosexual, he embraced a doctrine that favored immediate economic gratification.
Is the American body politic suffering from an autoimmune disease?
In the new sci-fi movie "Oblivion," Earth's most precious resource is Tom Cruise. But running a close second (spoiler alert) is water. Aliens want it. All of it.
Over the last few years, the invariably unjustified rush to pin violence on the "right wing" -- particularly the Tea Partiers -- has reached the point of parody. Remember when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speculated that the foiled Times Square bomber might just be angry about Obamacare?
Whether it stems from a grandiose overconfidence in his own powers of persuasion, or the lessons he took from his years as a community organizer, or his own messianic conviction that he is on the right side of everything, including history itself, the president has operated under the theory that he can move the American people to his causes.
If abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is found guilty of homicide, he will be unique among murderers-for-hire: He set his fees based on weight.
Er, no. At least not by my lights. But maybe the country singer and the first-term senator are contenders for that title according to the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder.
Katrina vanden Heuvel: "MS, WI, TX, ND, AR, Have Become States of Misogyny of Bigotry" | Greg Hengler