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Mr. Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.
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  • The News Media Vs. the Innocent

    Years ago, Ray Donovan, Ronald Reagan’s Labor Secretary, was prosecuted for corruption, only to be acquitted. After the verdict, Donovan asked plaintively, "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?" Steven Hatfill knows where to go to | Read More »

  • The Wright-Obama Divide

    The important thing about Jeremiah Wright, the inflammatory former pastor of Barack Obama’s church, is not that he thinks America is "controlled by rich white people," that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were the result of our "chickens are coming home | Read More »

  • Why Would Any President Want A Second Term?

    Editor’s Note: Steve Chapman is on vacation. The following column was originally published in April 2004. Calvin Coolidge was probably not the smartest president this country has ever had, but he once composed a statement that in retrospect can only | Read More »

  • In the Fiscal War, AWOL Candidates

    For some time now, the three presidential candidates have been striving to outdo each other on what Hillary Clinton calls "the commander-in-chief" test. She says that she and John McCain have passed it. McCain’s response has been on the order | Read More »

  • The Other Prostitution Scandal

    Politicians take people’s money with a promise to fulfill desires that supposedly can’t be attained any other way. Prostitutes do the same, though by reputation, they are more reliable in delivering. It’s not surprising for people in the same line | Read More »

  • McCain’s Consistent Folly on Iraq

    On the campaign trail, John McCain has retreated on immigration, changed his mind on tax cuts and admitted economics is not his strong suit. But all that’s unimportant, we are told, because he was Right On Iraq — back at | Read More »

  • The Democratic Trade Myths

    Democrats often pillory Republicans for their economic errors. From the 1930s on, they reminded Americans of Herbert Hoover’s Great Depression. In 1960, they blamed Dwight Eisenhower for slow growth. In the 1980s, they decried the "trickle-down" policies of Ronald Reagan. | Read More »

  • The End of the Republican Split

    A couple of weeks ago, John McCain was straining to ingratiate himself with the activists gathered at the Conservative Political Action Conference. It was an uphill climb: By that point, some movement icons had publicly renounced the presumptive Republican nominee, | Read More »

  • The Future of the Imperial Presidency

    After the United States won its independence from Britain, some soldiers had the idea that America should have a king of its own — namely George Washington, their commander. Washington promptly scotched the idea. But if he were to see | Read More »

  • Why Don’t We Incapacitate Drunk Drivers?

    As a rule, it’s a bad idea to let pedophiles baby-sit, to hire embezzlers as tax collectors, or to give a pyromaniac a key to the fireworks factory. We generally try to avoid inviting dangerous people into situations that encourage | Read More »

  • Beyond the Red-Blue Divide

  • The Implausibility of Nuclear Terrorism

  • Surging to Stalemate

    When it comes to the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq, the Republican presidential candidates all seem to be auditioning for the lead in a remake of "Pollyanna." In their eyes, it has been the greatest triumph since the liberation of | Read More »

  • The Latest Version of Hillary Clinton

  • 2007: Damming the Flow of Freedom

    For a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, the world was changing for the better and seemingly destined to keep doing so indefinitely. Back then, freedom resembled justice as described in the Bible — rolling down like waters. But | Read More »

  • Why the Right Shifted on Immigration

  • Romney Flunks a Religious Test

    Mitt Romney is worried about religious intolerance. He fears religious and nonreligious people will unite to punish him because of his Mormon faith. He thinks it would be much more in keeping with America’s noblest traditions if Mormons and other | Read More »

  • A Comeback for Communism

    Communism is dead in Russia, a shell of itself in China and just hanging on in Cuba. But Lenin’s corpse has a rare reason to smile. A new workers’ paradise is sprouting in Venezuela, under the direction of the sometimes | Read More »

  • Pakistan: The Lady or the Tiger?

  • Energy Independence, Past and Future

    The end of President Bush’s time in office is still 14 months away, but already, I can guarantee two things. First, the next president will be elected on a promise to lead the nation to energy independence. Second, the promise | Read More »