George F. Will

'Run, Jesse, Run,' Redux?

THE "K STREET CORRIDOR" IN WASHINGTON IS A STRIP of high-rent office buildings full of high-rent lawyers and lobbyists who toil on behalf of interests strong enough to hire expensive talent to help them use the government to become even stronger.

Presidential Minimalism

Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, fresh from winning 91 of 92 counties and 67 percent of the vote and a fourth term, is seeking the Republican presidential nomination so he can be on the receiving end of what he was dispensing four decades ago.

Good Man . . . Wrong Job?

When democrats were thinking of offering their 1948 presidential nomination to Dwight Eisenhower, taciturn Speaker Sam Rayburn said of him, "good man, but wrong business." Does Rayburn's estimate of Eisenhower suit Bob Dole?

About Those 'Orphanages'

With a tendentiousness that seems characteristic, Hillary Clinton has entered the welfare reform debate by denouncing ""the unbelievable and absurd idea of putting children into orphanages because their mothers couldn't find jobs.'' But the serious idea being considered by serious people is that infants whose mothers are, say, 16, unmarried, uneducated, unemployed, addicted and abusive might be better off in institutions.

The Restoration

Americans bandy the word ""revolution'' with the insouciance of a fortunate people whose history has spared them any recent acquaintance with the rigors of the real thing.

A Kind Of Compulsory Chapel

The high school test asked students to identify the ""Hellenic epic which established egotistical individualism as heroic.'' The correct answer was ""The Iliad,'' the message of the question being this: Individualism is egotistical and egoism, rather than anything more noble, defines Western civilization.

The Curdled Congress

THE CURDLED 103RD CONGRESS, DURING WHICH THE first member ever indicted for child pornography (Mel Reynolds, a Chicago Democrat) dashed back from his arraignment to vote for the crime bill, began with an abuse of power and ended in bitterness.


He was proud to be an Okie from Muskogee. But in Congress he voted like a liberal from Manhattan. And last week his career collapsed under the accumulating weight of its contradictions, crystallizing a Democratic worry: This year, money may not be enough.

Forrest Gump On The Potomac

As members of Congress crept back into Washington from America, their eyebrows singed and their ears ringing from close encounters with constituents, there was a tasty omelet of events demonstrating how dicey it is to be a Democrat as this autumn's elections draw near.

Up From Geniality

As slender as a Stiletto, and as cutting, David Frum's "Dead Right" arrives at a moment when conservatives, flush with some summer successes resisting Clintonism and anticipating substantial gains in this autumn's elections, are feeling chipper.

Tony Gwynn, Union Man

Tony Gwynn, baseball's best pure hitter, stood in the Padres' dugout in San Diego listening to a friend talk about Ted Williams. The friend said that when Williams hit .388 in 1957, his 38-year-old legs probably cost him at least the five hits that would have given him a .400 average.

R = C2

TODAY'S POLITICAL CLASS DIVIDES ITS TIME BETWEEN deploring the public's cynicism and doing things that deepen that cynicism. Hence the public's mood may be, if anything, insufficiently dyspeptic.

The Tenth Problem

President Clinton, the uncoolidge, is relentless-ly garrulous, but he is reticent about the Korean crisis. The United States is on a narrowing, descending path to a fearful choice between the risk of war half a world away, or a retreat from the world.

Since Mckinley's Cigar

IN THE SUMMER OF 1901, AT WILLIAM MCKINLEY'S HOME in Canton, Ohio, a photographer approached to take the president's picture. McKinley laid aside his cigar, saying, ""We must not let the young men of this country see their president smoking!'' That camera was a harbinger of the graphic revolution in communication that would help enlarge the place of the presidency -- the most photogenic piece of America's government -- in the nation's consciousness.

A Stupendous Mystery

IF SOMEONE SURREPTITIOUSLY TOOK EVERYTHING BUT ESPN from my cable television package, it might be months before I noticed. But I am up to speed on the subject du jour: Why are so many baseballs flying over fences?

Sheldon Hackney's Conversation

SHELDON HACKNEY HEARS AMERICA TALKING AND IS dismayed. He thinks the talk is inexpert and unorganized and needs federal help. Hackney, who heads the National Endowment for the Humanities, wants Washington to organize a "national conversation" about pluralism.

Orwell In New Jersey

THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE HAS BEEN JOINED. A SUIT filed in New Jersey by the National Organization for Women, the state American Civil Liberties Union and others claims that mothers on welfare have a constitutional right to additional payments for however many children they choose to have, in or out of wedlock.

Came The Revolution...

HAVING STORMED, IN THE NAME OF LES MISERABLES, the ramparts of Republican reaction, Democrats, who call themselves "the party of compassion," now have produced a budget that slashes assistance to poor people for home heating, but cuts nary a nickel from the National Endowment for the Arts, an agency paradigmatic of government's solicitude for the already comfortable.

Coming Next, Clinton's Year One

HOLLYWOOD'S 1929 PRODUCTION OF "THE TAMING OF the Shrew," starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, had this credit line: "By William Shakespeare, with additional dialogue by Sam Taylor." We have now had a year of government as scripted by the Founding Fathers, with additional thoughts by the Clintons and associates.

A Trickle-Down Culture

SHORTLY AFTER 7 A.M. ONE DAY LAST SEPTEMBER, driving through rural South Carolina, Edwin Delattre, Dean of Boston University's School of Education, saw something that was both "a breathtaking picture of hope" and a dismaying reminder of "what dreadfully diminished signs of civility I look for." What he saw by the side of the road were brightly clad black schoolchildren, with backpacks, the older children attentive to the younger, heading for schools not marred by litter, graffiti, barbed wire,...

Are We 'A Nation Of Cowards'?

JEFFREY SNYDER'S TIMING IS EITHER PERFECT OR PERFECTLY awful. Just as there seems to be a coalescing consensus that the keys to controlling violent crime are more police and fewer guns, along comes Snyder to trouble the conscience of anyone who thinks so.

The Athletic Jazz Of Michael Jordan

BASKETBALL MAY BE "THE CITY GAME," BUT ITS greatest performer soared out of Wilmington, N.C. That is how it should have been. As "Hoosiers," one of the best sports movies, made vivid, basketball often means most in small towns where the community gathers in a cramped gym on winter nights, imagining their boys teaching humility to some team from an arrogant metropolis.

Sex Amidst Semicolons

THE SOCIAL AIR IS HEAVILY SCENTED WITH SEX. It saturates commerce and amusement-advertising, entertainment, recreation. Eros is rampant everyWhere. Make that almost everywhere.

So, The Culprits Are Now The Cure?

Our current president, never a slave to the rule "save your breath to cool your porridge," is particularly loquacious when his subject is, as it usually is, "change." He got awfully wrought up at a recent governors' meeting, calling for "fundamental and profound and relentless and continuing change." The blizzard of adjectives does not disguise the emptiness of his relentless praise of "change." Anyway, as Heraclitus said and American history confirms, change is one of life's constants,...

America's Inoculation By Somalia

A policeman's lot is not a happy one. "The Pirates of Penzance"The intervention in Somalia has had elements of opera bouffe. Remember the Marines splashing ashore in December in the dead of night but not in darkness, bathed by the bright lights of waiting camera crews?