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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Leonard Pitts Jr.: This is what actual election tampering looks like

I said it before, I’ll say it again. “As this country becomes blacker, browner, gayer, younger, more Hispanic and more Muslim, it is increasingly the case that the GOP cannot win if all voters vote. It cannot win, in other words, without cheating.” That observation, made in this space a few weeks back, was, let us say, not applauded by conservative readers.

Jim Morin

Cartoon for December 7.

I left the Republican ideological bubble. I don’t want to join another.

Now that I’ve left the Republican Party, I am often asked why I simply haven’t become a Democrat. In part it’s because I don’t agree with the progressive wing of the party: Some of them are as protectionist, isolationist and fiscally irresponsible as President Donald Trump. But it’s also because, after having spent my entire adult life in one ideological bubble, I don’t want to join another. I refuse to make excuses for Trump – and I don’t want to be tempted to make excuses for a future Democratic president, either, as so many did for Bill Clinton after his sexual misconduct. Jerry Taylor, formerly of the Cato Institute and now president of the Niskanen Center, explained the dangers of ideology in an important essay about why he no longer calls himself a libertarian. Ideological allegiances, he argues, impede the search for truth: “Given our very human tendency to filter out information that does not comport with our worldviews – and excessive attention to information that comports with the same – the more we repair to our ideological lenses, the more distorted they become thanks to a spiraling process of confirmation bias.” Taylor now prefers to pursue “moderation” rather than any ideological worldview. So do I.

Tom Toles

Cartoon for December 6.

Michael Gerson: Bush’s life proves that sometimes things go gloriously right

All the talk about the attributes of this or that generation is usually overblown. But there is an exception when a cohort of young Americans shares a massive, overwhelming experience of depression or war. A certain view of their country is often formed and fixed. This can be said of John F. Kennedy, the commanding officer of PT-109. And Lt. Cmdr. Richard Nixon, who ran the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command. And Navy aviator George H.W. Bush. Serving in the Pacific theater of World War II, these young men had few traits of temperament or character in common. But the war shaped their conception of America’s global role, and their view of the necessity and capability of government in general.

Froma Harrop: Why Barbara Bush is so high up in George H.W.’s obituaries

Rarely has a president been identified so closely with his wife. That Barbara Bush never pursued a big-league career made her high profile even more remarkable. Nor did she fashion herself into an icon of elegance and glamour. She rose to prominence for simply being the partner-in-life of George H.W. Bush. It was not just staying married that elevated her status but the nature of their bond. Theirs was an old-school marriage, meaning unbreakable. Prenup not required.

Tom Toles

Cartoon for December 3.

Joe Heller

Cartoon for December 3.

Mary Cullinan: Why go to college? Eastern alumni can tell you

Eastern Washington University celebrated homecoming this year by inviting back to campus the alumni who graduated 50 years ago. More than 100 members of the class of 1968 attended our gala weekend: homecoming parade, football win over the University of Idaho, celebratory luncheon, and an array of festive events. I spoke with many of our guests during that weekend. They shared memories and stories. They talked about how Eastern Washington State College prepared them for their careers: They had gone on to be teachers, accountants, bankers, attorneys, business leaders.