John Judis

Editor at Large
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John Judis is editor-at-large at Talking Points Memo. He is the author of The Politics of Our Time: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism.

Henry Kissinger’s Deviousness Recalled

In the remembrances of Henry Kissinger, much has been made of his deviousness.  I discovered evidence of this quality of his when I was researching a biography of William F. Buckley, Jr.  I discovered in Buckley’s papers at Yale a note Buckley had sent Kissinger, who was Gerald Ford’s Secretary of State, on May 18, 1976, the day of the Republican primary between Ford and Ronald Reagan.  Buckley was responding in his note to advice to Reagan that Kissinger seems to have offered in a telephone call between Buckley and Kissinger:

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Israel and the Question of Jewish Supremacy

Is Israel’s sharp turn away from even a flawed democracy leading prominent Israeli intellectuals to question political Zionism itself? That’s the conclusion I drew from reading Yuval Noah Hariri’s column in the Financial Times, entitled “Israeli Democracy Fighting for its Life.”

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Danny Boy, You Must Go, And I Must Bide
Washington Commander owner Dan Snyder finally departs.

Washington Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder’s sale of the team was greeted enthusiastically by Washingtonians and by sports journalists and commentators. In cheering Snyder’s departure, most of the journalists cited what ESPN called “a culture in Washington that was toxic and predatory” — in plain language, the way that Snyder treated his female employees. Many of those who followed the Commanders, alias Redskins, had been fed up with Snyder for years before the revelations in The Washington Post that led to his being forced to sell. For me, as a journalist, the last straw was what happened in 2010.

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Who To Believe On The War In Ukraine?
Different sources tell different stories leading to very different conclusions about what the U.S. government should be doing

I have been reluctant to write anything about the war in Ukraine, even though it is the American government’s most important current initiative and even though I remain skeptical about the administration’s war aims and about the role that Washington’s leading think tanks and media have played in pressing the conflict. One reason I have been hesitant to venture an opinion is that I am not an expert on the area. But the other reason is that the information we are getting from the mainstream press and official sources is, at best, inconsistent.

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Guns, Abortion, Student Loans and Salience

I favor licensing of gun use and ownership on the model of drivers’ licensing and automobile registration, but I want to comment instead on the politics of gun control. In the wake of this latest school massacre, Democrats and a handful of Republicans may pass something, but it is unlikely they will get sixty votes for a measure that might actually curtail gun use. It’s a question of salience — and similar considerations apply to the politics of student loans and abortion.

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The US is Making a Diplomatic Solution Difficult in Ukraine

Washington is abuzz over the question of who leaked the Supreme Court draft overturning Roe v. Wade. I am far more interested in who were the unnamed officials who boasted to The New York Times and Washington Post about the United States’ success in helping Ukraine kill Russian generals and sink that warship. These boasts are beyond impolitic.

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UNITED STATES - APRIL 5: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies during the House Armed Services Committee hearing titled “Fiscal Year 2023 Defense Budget Request,” in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also testified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) The US Must Seek a Negotiated End to the War

In the wake of his visit to Kyiv, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III declared that America’s objective in arming Ukraine was to weaken Russia. “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kind of things it has done in invading Ukraine,” he said. One can privately hope for such an outcome without declaring it publicly as America’s goal.

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The Future of French Politics is Unclear

Commentators are alternatively seeing the French election as a victory for Marine Le Pen, who exceeded her 2017 showing by eight percentage points, or as a death knell for right-wing populism. I’d say it was neither. The results reflected the peculiarity of the times and of French politics.

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What I Got Wrong About The US And Russia

I made several mistakes in judging the conflict with Russia over Ukraine. In so far as others may have made similar errors, it may be worth saying what these are, and what I think is still valid in my earlier criticisms of the U.S. policy. These observations bear on what is valid and not in the foreign policy outlook called realism.

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A Dissenting View of US Policy toward Russia

I oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to dismember Ukraine, and I support placing sanctions on Russia. But I am leery of the political process by which the United States and Russia reached this turn of the road, which could signal the beginning of a Cold War II. The process is sadly reminiscent of how the United States had previously come to a point in its foreign policy where it had no favorable options.

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