David Keene | Stories - Washington Times
Skip to content

David Keene

David Keene

Editor at Large — David Keene, a trusted adviser to presidents, a longtime champion of personal liberty and one of conservatism’s most respected voices, is the former opinion editor of The Washington Times. 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. He can be reached at me@davidakeene.com.

Articles by David Keene

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

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

Illustration on the values of "flyover" America by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Where people look after each other

While few admit it, the Washington, D.C. area has about as much in common with the real America as John Phillips Sousa's marches have to do with rap music. We live in a very weird bubble. Virtually everyone has a government job or a job that exists in the private sector only because of the government. We're obsessed with politics and many of us spend hours at our televisions watching Fox, MSNBC, or CSPAN and public television. Published July 20, 2015

Upon announcing his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he would work with Congress to repeal Obamacare if elected in 2016. (Associated Press)

Mike Grebe: The senior hand guiding Walker's campaign

Every successful presidential candidate has a political whisperer, the one adviser with the stature to both channel the candidate's message and say "no" when it needs to be said. Published July 13, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made clear that he plans to distinguish himself in a crowded field of 15 to 17 candidates by embracing conservative policy prescriptions, regardless of their perceived popularity in the media and polls. (Associated Press)

Scott Walker promises to turn back the clock on taxes to Reagan era

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Jumping into a crowded 2016 presidential field, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker vowed Monday to return federal tax rates to their levels under Ronald Reagan, eliminate the sequester cuts restraining Pentagon spending and tackle federal budget deficits by reforming entitlement programs and returning money and power to the states. Published July 13, 2015