Author Archives: Matthew Dickinson

B-E-T-O! Let’s Go Beto!

Beto O’Rourke broke into the national consciousness when, as a sophomore member of Congress, he challenged Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race.  Although initially given little chance of unseating Cruz, O’Rourke parlayed an unconventional  grass-roots campaign (he visited all 254 counties in Texas) and savvy social media presence, fueled by record-breaking […]

The Times, We Are Campaigning! (Starting With Biden)

Those readers familiar with my 2016 election coverage remember that I strongly believe that to fully understand a presidential candidate, it is necessary to see them in their natural environment: on the campaign trail, speaking to, and with, voters.   Without attending the rallies, it is easy to let prior assumptions drive election analysis, as happened […]

On President’s Day, We Celebrate The Guardian of the Presidency

It is Presidents Day – a time to repost my traditional column commemorating the late, great Richard E. Neustadt. This year the post seems particularly timely, given President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to free up money to fund construction of a wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexico. Although […]

The Danger in the Kavanaugh Vote

If the executive summary of the FBI investigation released by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley accurately captures the underlying FBI findings, it appears that Judge Kavanaugh is on track to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, consistent with what I suggested in my previous post. We may know more regarding how the remaining […]

The Truth About the Ford-Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

In response to multiple emails from current and former students, and others, here are some initial and admittedly impressionistic thoughts regarding the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.  As senators Feinstein and Harris were quick to remind Ford, and their audience, yesterday was not a criminal trial.  If it were, the proceedings would have ended quickly. There is […]

The “Gay Cake” Supreme Court Decision: Not A Judicial Masterpiece

Martin Naunov, Middlebury class of ’17, used the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in his senior honors thesis to explore the potential conflict between equal treatment of gays and lesbians in the marketplace, and the Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty and free speech.  Here he reacts to the Supreme Court’s decision, handed down on Monday, in the […]

Mission Accomplished! But On Whose Authority, And To What End?

By now, most of you have heard that Great Britain, France and U.S military forces combined to strike three Syrian chemical weapons facilities earlier this morning (about 4 a.m. Syrian time).  The strikes were in response to the reported use of chemical weapons, most likely chlorine gas and the sarin nerve agent, by the Assad […]