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David Keene

David Keene

Opinion Editor — David Keene, a trusted adviser to presidents, a longtime champion of personal liberty and one of conservatism’s most respected voices, serves as the opinion editor of The Washington Times – overseeing the newspaper’s editorial page, commentary section and online opinion strategy. An author, columnist and fixture on national television, Mr. Keene has championed conservative causes for more than five decades while offering advice to Republican presidents and countless candidates. He additionally served as chairman of the American Conservative Union and president of the National Rifle Association.

Articles by David Keene

Illustration on Ted Cruz in Iowa by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Predicting Iowa

The snowstorm that hit the Washington area last week gave the State Department yet another reason to delay releasing a tranche of embarrassing Hillary Clinton emails, ensnared President Obama's motorcade in the rush-hour disaster that turned half-hour commutes into three-hour nightmares, and revealed how unprepared area governments were to deal with weather they knew full well was on its way. Published January 27, 2016

Illustration of Forrest McDonald by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Remembering Forrest McDonald

Forrest McDonald, perhaps the greatest student of the American founding, passed away late last week at the age of 89. His scholarship and work have had more impact on the understanding of the intellectual and historical context that produced the Constitution and the creation of the United States than most people appreciate. Published January 24, 2016

Illustration on the return of expanded parameters for gun dealership under Obama's directives by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Returning to an era of gun control error

President Obama is at it again, charging that if we could just extend "background checks" to all firearms sales, the world would be a safer place. Terrorists, armed robbers and paranoid schizophrenics bent on mass murder would be turned away by potential gun vendors and would thus be unarmed and presumably, therefore, unable to do harm to the rest of us. Published January 11, 2016

Illustration on GOP choices by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Republican distinctions with a difference

This year's Republican presidential wannabes are finally engaging on real issues and by doing so, they're giving Republican voters a chance to choose among them for serious policy rather than stylistic reasons. The debate cycle began with everyone focusing on Donald Trump's entertaining outrageousness, Ben Carson's laid-back style, Jeb Bush's lethargy and Ted Cruz's off-putting demeanor. Published December 31, 2015

The voters must choose, anyway

Anyone who has been deeply enmeshed in politics at the presidential level knows down deep that it's a good thing the people who vote in the primaries and caucuses don't know the candidates as well as those who work with them on a daily basis. Published December 27, 2015

Illustration on Obama's blind spot on Islamic terror by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Obama misses the mark

As he headed to Hawaii for yet another golf outing, President Obama once again dismissed the "perceived" threat ISIS and radical Islam represents as an overblown reaction to relatively minor incidents hyped by Republicans and their cable television allies. Published December 21, 2015

Illustration on Jewish Muslim harmony in Israel by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Muslims next door

TEL AVIV -- In many ways these are the best and worst of times for Israelis. A decade ago their main fear was an invasion from and through Syria, but with the Syrians fighting among themselves they are no longer seen as a major threat. Published December 2, 2015

Illustration on thecorruption of the justice system by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Punishing the Obama way

Although the rot has been visible for some time, recent actions by President Obama's Department of Justice and director of national intelligence make it possible to say definitively that the United States we once extolled as a nation of laws and not of men no longer exists. Published November 11, 2015

A Secret Service police officer stands outside El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

When 'hang 'em' all meets 'free 'em all'

Political demands for an end to what activists and the media like to call mass incarceration are all the rage these days, but the bipartisan willingness to look at what works and doesn't work in today's broken criminal justice system that has emerged in recent years is being overtaken or hijacked by ideological hucksters who seem more interested in making political statements than in finding real-world solutions to serious problems. Published November 9, 2015

Illustration on John Boehner's long-suffering efforts to reform government by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Boehner's budget legacy

The House Freedom Caucus and conservative outsiders were ecstatic when House Speaker John Boehner decided to throw in the towel out of frustration and a very real fear that he had become, fairly or not, a symbol to millions of Republican voters of just how bad things are in Washington. Published October 22, 2015

Illustration on the change in House leadership by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Deja vu all over again

The more things change, the more they stay the same. A week or so after Bob Dole resigned his Senate leadership role and Senate seat to run for president in 1996, he joined me and Lyn Nofziger for breakfast. We had all been friends for many years and could be honest with each other. Published October 8, 2015

KEENE: Area's diversity can keep any sportsman busy

The blues and rockfish of the Chesapeake, the ducks and geese that darken the skies on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the deer and turkey roaming the hills and mountains within two hours of the White House, along with the bass and shad one finds in the Potomac and the trout in the streams and rivers of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland are enough to keep any sportsman busy for a lifetime. Published September 17, 2015

Peter Hannaford             Photo courtesy Peter Hannaford.net

Remembering Peter Hannaford

It was early 1965. Barry Goldwater had lost to Lyndon Johnson the November before in a landslide that prompted the established media to declare the conservative movement dead in its cradle and the Republican establishment turned its attention once again to moderates. Published September 9, 2015

Uncertain GOP Debate Participants Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Controlling the debates

His critics keep expecting Reince Priebus to trip up, but it hasn't happened yet. Published September 2, 2015

Illustration on the longevity of early presidential favorites by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Trumpian gap between discontent and president

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders are mining the same vein of popular discontent, drawing big crowds in the process, and drawing early support in spite of rather than because of their positions on issues of interest to most Americans. Published August 26, 2015

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Sen. Richard Schweiker in 1980. Associated Press photo

Remembering an unlikely Reaganite

Dick Schweiker died over the weekend. The former Pennsylvania senator had been recruited by John Sears, Ronald Reagan's 1976 manager, and Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt, who chaired Reagan's effort to unseat President Gerald Ford that year as Reagan's running mate. Few of us in the campaign knew the man, but he was, based on his voting record in the Senate, and what everyone said, a "moderate" or even "liberal" senator who didn't seem to many of us a very good fit. Published August 4, 2015

'The Algerian'

"The Algerian," an Independent production written, directed and produced by Giovanni Zelko is a film with a message, a compelling story and a talented if unknown cast. In that sense it like most Independent productions or, as they're known in the industry, "Indies." Like their grownup, big budget cousins, some of them are good and some aren't worth watching. Published August 4, 2015

Waste and Mismanagement in Prince George's County Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

When the problem isn't revenue but out-of-control spending

Maryland, like Illinois, is famous as an integrity-free zone. Former governors, the heads of various school systems in the state, legislators, county executives and law enforcement officials have ended their careers in federal and state penal institutions for confusing serving the public with serving themselves at the public's expense. Published July 22, 2015