Robert G. Kaiser, a native Washingtonian, worked as a correspondent and editor at The Washington Post from 1963 to 2014. His most recent book is Act of Congress: How America’s Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn’t.
 (March 2015)

The Great Days of Joe Alsop

Joseph Alsop, Washington, D.C., 1969
Here is an example of how things once worked in Washington. On July 30, 1958, Joseph Alsop, a leading pundit of the day whose column appeared in The Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune, published an alarming commentary on the missile “gap” he said was about to open …

Our Conservative, Criminal Politicians

Nancy and Ronald Reagan at the Republican National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, 1976
“We are living under the reign of government gone amuck,” the keynote speaker proclaimed: At every station in this society…government is feared and distrusted…. It is the Democrat Party…which has built the federal bureaucracy ever larger and larger and directed the agents of that bureaucracy to penetrate ever deeper and …

Your Host of Hosts

“The other day,” Reagan confessed at an informal news conference, “I had in my possession a kind of scholarly-type magazine—I can’t give you the name of it,…one of those where there are a whole series of essays in the magazine on various national and international topics….” Our presidents are rarely …