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Wesley Pruden

Wesley Pruden

American journalist legend and Vietnam War author James Wesley Pruden Jr. is Editor Emeritus of The Washington Times. Mr. Pruden’s first job in the newspaper business dates back to 1951 as a copyboy at the now defunct Arkansas Gazette where he later became a sportswriter and an assistant state editor. In 1982, he joined The Washington Times, four months after the paper began, as chief political correspondent. He became assistant managing editor in 1983, managing editor in 1985, and editor-in-chief in 1992. He retired in January 2008 and became editor-in-chief-emeritus. Mr. Pruden is known for his coverage of President Ronald Reagan. In 1991, he won the H.L. Mencken Prize for excellence in writing and commentary. Mr. Pruden writes a twice-weekly column on politics and national affairs for The Times.

Articles by Wesley Pruden

PRUDEN: There's no penalty for sleeping on the job

If it's true, as Dr. Johnson famously told us it was, that the prospect of hanging focuses the mind in a wonderful way, maybe the prospect of facing angry voters sharpens a politician's instincts (if not necessarily his mind). Published January 8, 2010

PRUDEN: A little religion for the messiah

Since it's an ill wind that blows nobody good, even downwind from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his deadly skivvies, we may owe a profound debt of gratitude to the Detroit underwear bomber. Published January 5, 2010

PRUDEN: Obama has little to show for '09

The bad news for Barack Obama is that everyone, even here in Baghdad on the Bay, Ground Zero of Dreamland, says he must improve his performance in the new year. The good news for Barack Obama is that there's lots of room for improvement. Published January 1, 2010

PRUDEN: Most important civil right of all

Well, to paraphrase a famous president of a slightly earlier time, "you're doing a heckuva job, Janet." That goes for everybody at the White House. Published December 29, 2009

PRUDEN: Christmas morn's amazing grace

The malls and the Main Streets fall silent. The ringing cash registers and the happy cries of children ring like ghostly echoes across silent streets. But the Christ born in a manger 2,000 years ago lives, liberating the hearts of sinners and transforming the lives of the wicked. Published December 25, 2009

PRUDEN: How to lose friends for little gain

Rarely has a cowboy castrated himself in public like Ben Nelson, the senator from Nebraska, who becomes an object lesson in how a United States senator easily trades his "convictions" and "principles" for perfectly legal bribes from cynical party leaders. Published December 22, 2009

PRUDEN: High season for fraud and farce

President Obama finally makes it back to familiar and frozen Copenhagen, scene of his earlier success in winning the Olympics for Chicago, trying to figure out a way to make zero plus zero amount to something big. His prospects are not good. Published December 18, 2009

PRUDEN: Relief from rotten calls in Denmark

Barack Obama is eager to return to Copenhagen, where he couldn't rescue the Olympics for Chicago, for a dramatic last-minute liberation of the world just before we all sink into a boiling sea with the polar bears. Published December 15, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama's remarkable tutorial

Nobody teaches harder lessons than Experience, the lady who grades on the steepest curve. But sometimes even her most difficult student looks like he's beginning to get it. Published December 11, 2009

PRUDEN: Saving world from Copenhagen crackup

Al Gore, a closet T.S. Eliot. Who knew? Harry Reid, channeler of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Who could have guessed? The heat of a globe that won't continue warming, despite all that Al can do, is getting to these guys. Are we watching a Democratic crackup? Published December 8, 2009

PRUDEN: One large step, timidly taken

There's no fury like the fury of a disappointed wife who discovers that the man of her dreams isn't the man she wakes up with. This sometimes goes for presidents and their followers, too. Published December 4, 2009

PRUDEN: More Dr. Bureaucrat horrors

A liberal mistrusts lessons bought with experience. For him, theory is all. He's the only man who would sit down on a red-hot stove twice. That makes well-meaning Democrats marks for shysters selling health-care "reform," global warming and appeasement of radical Islamists. Published December 1, 2009

PRUDEN: Trouble afoot for high priests

Can this marriage be saved? The union of junk scientists, on the prowl for government handouts to pay for their computer games, and eager politicians sniffing an enormous new source of tax revenue was a match made in a dark alley. The always gullible mainstream media was the guest at the wedding, and everybody won. Only the public was duped. Published November 27, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama's due process doctrine

Willing student or not, reality continues to give Barack Obama a late education in how the world -- including the United States -- actually works. The president and his attorney general are giving the rest of us an Ivy League tutorial in constitutional law. Published November 24, 2009

PRUDEN: The Third World and Obama

Now that every nut in America is equipped with a laptop computer, you're likely to run afoul of a nut on the loose almost anywhere. Published November 20, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama bows, the nation cringes

A little traveling, like a little learning, can be a dangerous thing. Barack Obama on the loose in a foreign land is enough to frighten protocol officers and embarrass the rest of us. Published November 17, 2009

PRUDEN: On vacation with Mr. Dithers

Every modern president takes refuge abroad when the going gets rough at home. (Before the jet airplane life was simpler and presidents could get respite with a train trip to Cleveland or Buffalo.) So President Obama is off to Asia, where never will necessarily be heard an encouraging word, but he won't have to listen to criticism in the Queen's English. Published November 13, 2009

PRUDEN: Fatal reluctance to see evil

The general is eager to get the situation in hand, but he's got his tactics backward. And not just the general. So have a lot of other people in the government. Judgment flees in the face of a challenge by goody-goody intentions. Published November 10, 2009

PRUDEN: Corpse sits up, gets nice salute

Neither Barack Obama nor Nancy Pelosi can be as clueless as they want us to think they are. The White House said the president was so uninterested in the results on election night that he watched a documentary on the '08 presidential campaign, no doubt eager to see who won. Mzz Pelosi, as oblivious of the scoreboard as a ditzy cheerleader unaware of which team has the ball, insists her side won the night. Published November 6, 2009

PRUDEN: Day of reckoning for the GOP

Elephants are supposed to have long memories, but not all do. The royal household in Thailand even assembles its elephants once a year so a holy man can preach an annual sermon to the gentle beasts, urging them to mind their manners in the presence of the king. As eloquent as the homily may be, it has to be repeated the following year. Published November 3, 2009