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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

Columns by David Keene

French President Francois Hollande listens to the French National Anthem before reviewing an honour guard, after his arrival for a one-day summit with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, not pictured, at the RAF Brize Norton airbase in Brize Norton, England, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.  (AP Photo/Andrew Winning, Pool)

KEENE: Driving jobs, investment to greener pastures

Last week, it was announced that the Argentine peso has collapsed, that Beretta is expanding (not in Maryland, but is moving much of its operation to Tennessee), and that foreign investment in France has fallen some 77 percent since that nation's socialist government declared war on the country's rich and successful. Published February 4, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014.  REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS)

KEENE: Obama turns authoritarian, rather than working with Congress

Not long ago, reporters asked White House spokesman Jay Carney to react to Iran's new "moderate" president Hassan Rouhani's tweet that as a result of his negotiations with the United States, "world powers surrendered to Iran's national will." Mr. Carney, speaking for the Obama administration, had an answer, "It doesn't matter what they say. It matters what they do." Published January 28, 2014

In this Dec. 17, 2013 file photo, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime deficit hawk, outlines his annual "Wastebook" which points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. On March 28, 2020, Mr. Coburn's family released a statement noting the former senator has passed away. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

KEENE: Sen. Tom Coburn, a tireless foe of wasteful spending

As the bipartisan omnibus budget bill was being signed into law last week, Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn announced that he will retire without finishing his term. Mr. Coburn's decision had nothing to do with the bill, but its authors — those who stuffed it with goodies, and senators and congressmen who will have to defend it to the press and their constituents — probably wish he was already winging his way back to Oklahoma. Published January 20, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks about unemployment benefits, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

KEENE: Obama’s drives to stoke class warfare to win midterm elections

The mantra from the administration, like the rantings of the "Occupy" crowd and the new finger-pointing quasi-Marxist mayor of New York City, is that in today's United States, it is impossible to get ahead unless one is born rich, works on Wall Street or finds some other way to profit from the misery of others. Published January 13, 2014

Illustration by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

KEENE: When ideology replaces reporting, truth suffers

Conservatives spend a lot of time whining about what many see as the partisan bias of what we like to call the "mainstream media," but few grasp just how far ideologically committed journalists might be willing to go to help those they admire. Published January 6, 2014

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urging him to back off his attempt to restore the so-called "assault weapons" ban of 1994. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

KEENE: Rejoining the fight for conservatism

Bob Barr is quite a character. In a career that has included a stint with the CIA, service as a United States attorney during the Reagan years, eight years as a member of Congress who was an early critic of President Clinton and one of the first to call on his colleagues to impeach the president, a columnist and commentator and tilter against both liberal shibboleths and windmills, Mr. Barr has made a mark wherever he's been. Published January 5, 2014

Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: A judicial difference of opinion

Basically, we Americans are a practical rather than an ideological people. We are interested in what's right, but almost obsessed with what works. The two district court decisions that greeted us this Christmas on the constitutionality and practical utility of the National Security Agency's continuing drive to collect all available information on each of us reflects this difference. Published December 30, 2013

Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: Filling out the budget agreement scorecard

Baseball fans were on the edge of their seats last week hoping for news that their favorite teams would come out of Major League Baseball's winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., as winners. Published December 16, 2013

Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress

It was last March when the country's director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper, appeared before a Senate committee, and with the cameras rolling, took an oath to tell the truth, then hunched over, scratched his brow and proceeded to lie. Published December 12, 2013

Nelson Mandela

KEENE: Nelson Mandela’s legacy

I never met Nelson Mandela and like most conservatives and anti-Communists I was more than a little skeptical at South Africa's prospects as his ANC came closer and closer to bringing that country's white rulers down in the late 1980s. Published December 8, 2013

A woman takes a picture on her smartphone of a statue of Nelson Mandela, near the Royal Festival Hall in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Mandela passed away Thursday night after a long illness. He was 95. As word of Mandela's death spread, current and former presidents, athletes and entertainers, and people around the world spoke about the life and legacy of the former South African leader. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

KEENE: Nelson Mandela’s legacy

I never met Nelson Mandela and like most conservatives and anti-Communists I was more than a little skeptical at South Africa's prospects as his ANC came closer and closer to bringing that country's white rulers down in the late 1980s. Published December 6, 2013

Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

KEENE: Something rotten at the IRS

In early November, Bill Elliot appeared on Megyn Kelly's Fox News Channel show to complain about the rock and a hard place he found himself in owing to President Obama's health care scheme. Published December 3, 2013

KEENE: An Obama renaissance of crony capitalism

During his initial 2008 run for the presidency, Barack Obama attacked no-bid and sole-source federal contracting as wasteful and at least marginally corrupt. He promised that when elected, he would end "the abuse of no-bid contracting once and for all." His administration, he said, would be the most transparent in history and would do away with the cronyism that plagued his predecessors. Published December 1, 2013

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

KEENE: Kennedy, the man and the myth

Most Americans of my generation can remember where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been fatally shot 50 years ago because it was traumatic and it all but took place on television. Published November 21, 2013

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

KEENE: An unpredictable political forecast

All one has to do is think back over the developments of the past few months to begin to grasp the futility of making comfortable political predictions. Those in the business of doing so might as well take jobs predicting the course of the next hurricane or next month's weather. Published November 19, 2013

KEENE: Learning the difference between a wary friend and determined foe

Now that the shutdown has been shut down, the media are busy telling us that Republicans may be eligible for endangered-species status for daring to stand up to President Obama's desire to begin implementation of a health care scheme that is not even close to being ready for prime time. Published October 22, 2013

Sadio Balde (left), vice president of the Moroccan Council for Sub-Saharan migrants, joins dozens of Moroccan and foreign activists in a protest Nov. 9, 2012, outside a court in Rabat, Morocco, where Council president Laye Camara is being tried for illegally selling alcohol and cigarettes. Colleagues of Camara say the charges are trumped-up and are part of a widespread crackdown on legal and illegal black African migrants to this North African kingdom that lies just across the narrow Straits of Gibraltar from Europe. (Associated Press)

KEENE: A homeland for deserving Western Saharans

Last month, a Spanish forensics team called in to examine the remains of six adults and two children found in a mass grave in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara raised anew charges that in seizing the area in the 1970s, the Moroccans had captured or arrested and killed hundreds of Western Saharan civilians. Published October 20, 2013