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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, 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 continuing bigotry by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Bigotry that's still in style

Chuck Morgan, who headed the American Civil Liberties Union Washington office in the early 1970s, was both a character and a good friend. Chuck hailed from Birmingham, Alabama, and was, of course, a graduate of the University of Alabama who gained notoriety as a staunch champion of civil rights at a time when standing up for blacks in Alabama was neither all that safe nor a career enhancer. Published November 7, 2017

What once was: Donna Brazile brandishes a Hillary Clinton campaign sign at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, 16 months before the publication of her new book "Hacked." It comes out Tuesday. (Associated Press)

What 'Hacks' reveals about Hillary

Donna Brazile's revealing look at what was going on within her beloved Democratic Party in the days leading up to Donald Trump's victory over party favorite Hillary Clinton last November has finally forced media pundits to realize that the hated Republicans aren't the only dysfunctional family in town. Published November 6, 2017

Turning Monuments into Parking Lots Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Washington falls to the American Taliban

A few days after demonstrators for and against removing a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, rioted, President Trump asked where it might end. "I wonder," Mr. Trump said, "is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself: Where does it stop?" Published November 1, 2017

Illustration on keeping government sponsored surveillance legal by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Keeping surveillance constitutional

Two years ago, in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelation of sweeping electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, Congress enacted the USA Freedom Act, to put an end to the NSA's nationwide bulk collection of telephone "metadata" -- who we call, when we call and for how long -- on everyday Americans. At the time, some warned that the law would weaken efforts to stop terrorism, but there is no evidence it has done so. Published October 31, 2017

Liberal Base Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

On safari outside the progressive bubble

Conservatives and liberals today rarely talk with -- as opposed to past -- each other. They disagree not just on the solutions to societal problems but on what those problems might be, and see very different worlds as they tune into their favorite cable news or internet outlets. In short, they live on different planets and speak different languages. It's little wonder they don't get along, or even begin to understand each other. Published October 30, 2017

Illustration on bump stocks by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Not soft but sensible on the 'bump stock'

The National Rifle Association's statement following the Las Vegas shootings earlier this month was seen by some as a crack in the organization's blanket opposition to legislative attempts to undermine Second Amendment rights in this country. Some pro-gun activists quickly criticized the move as evidence that the NRA has gone soft, and anti-gunners like Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi said she dearly hoped the move would put the organization on the very "slippery slope" its members feared. Published October 24, 2017

Illustration on Mitch McConnell by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

More than just a swamp dweller

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is regarded by most conservatives and Republicans outside Washington as the embodiment of all that's wrong with Washington. A recent Harvard study found him the least popular of all nationally known political figures and a group of my fellow conservatives told him in an open letter that as far as they're concerned, he is "the swamp." Published October 18, 2017

National Guardsmen arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress said Sunday that Hurricane Maria's destruction has set the island back decades, even as authorities worked to assess the extent of the damage. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Disappointed by good news from Puerto Rico

They're hoping for "deja vu all over again," as Yogi Berra might have said. Liberals looking for a silver bullet to take down a president they can't stand are hoping they've found it in the administration's response to Hurricane Maria. After all, they found one in President George W. Bush's perceived bungling of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort in 2005 and used it to almost terminally undermine his popularity. Published September 27, 2017

Democrat Thumb on the Scale Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Fuzzy polls that trash Trump

How soon they forget. Heartened by a stream of poll data suggesting that the public is less than enamored with his performance as president, Donald Trump's critics who've been taken in by polls before seem to think they have the man on the ropes. Published September 25, 2017

Duplicitous Durbin Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

When Democrats try to impose a 'religious test'

The attempted Senate mugging of Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin was ugly and may have amounted to an attempt to impose an unconstitutional "religious test" on a judicial nominee seeking Senate confirmation, but said more about the muggers than their intended victim. Published September 18, 2017

Making the best of a bad nuclear hand

That so many of the nation's leading Democrats believe President Trump poses a greater threat to world peace than the mad dog leader of a nuclearized North Korea says more about them than either the president or Kim Jong-un. Published August 30, 2017

D.C. Isolated Under Glass Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The unobstructed view from flyover country

As summer winds down, District-area schools are reopening and those who escaped the heat of Washington to vacation outside the Beltway are returning to their desks, one can only hope that the time they spent outside the D.C. bubble gave them some insight into the parochialism of thinking here. Published August 29, 2017

Smoking Gun Flash Drive Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The Rohrabacher-Assange meeting

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's recent three-hour meeting with WikiLeaks head Julian Assange as reported earlier this week by The Hill may prove interesting in light of the allegations of several former high-ranking U.S. intelligence analysts that the Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians or anyone else prior to last fall's presidential election. Published August 20, 2017

Illustration on the challenge for Trump posed by North Korea by Nancy Ohanian/Tribune Content Agency

Making the best of a bad nuclear hand

That so many of the nation's leading Democrats believe President Trump poses a greater threat to world peace than the mad dog leader of a nuclearized North Korea says more about them than either the president or Kim Jong-un. Published August 14, 2017

Illustration on the deteriorating Venezuela situation by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The coming collapse of Venezuela

As U.S. policymakers fret about Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine and North Korea, far too little attention is being paid to the powder keg to the south of us that may be about to blow. Once-prosperous Venezuela has been coming apart for years, but the roundly condemned Constituent Assembly election engineered by presidential strongman Nicolas Maduro lit the fuse that could ignite a civil war in his country. With a Sunday attack by uniformed insurgents on a military base, the internecine battle may have already begun. Published August 7, 2017

Illustration on foul language by the administration in the White House by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

No, this is not exactly 1974

It was 1974. Richard Nixon was in the White House fighting for his political life and James L. Buckley, who had been elected to the Senate on the Conservative Party line in New York four years before was privately wondering whether he could in good conscience continue to support a president who he believed had betrayed his principles, the presidency and the nation. As the Watergate revelations built, Democrats were demanding the president's head, but most Republicans were still nervously defending their president. Published July 31, 2017

In this July 17, 2016, file photo, then-Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Robert Mueller team shows history of crossing ethical lines

President Trump's advisers and defenders in trying to undermine former FBI Director Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign's alleged pre-election "collusion" with Vladimir Putin's Russia are pointing out that Mr. Mueller and another former FBI director, James Comey, are longtime buddies. Published July 25, 2017

Spiro Agnew in 1969    Associated Press photo

Removing the media manhole cover

On Nov. 13, 1969, Spiro T. Agnew walked to the podium in Des Moines, Iowa, to deliver perhaps the most famous speech ever by a U.S. vice president. It was, of course, the famous "Des Moines Speech" in which Mr. Agnew for the first time took on broadcast media commentators in a way that must make President Trump green with envy. Published July 11, 2017

Illustration on the decline of the FBI by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why the FBI is hard to trust

Can anyone with a modicum of common sense trust the Federal Bureau of investigation? The answer to that question is a resounding "no." The claim that the FBI strives to be above politics is today and has always been absurd. Published June 24, 2017

Illustration on vocational education for manufacture by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

In praise of apprenticeship

My father was the president of the Rockford, Illinois Labor Council when I was a kid. He was a machinist at a time when Rockford and Cincinnati were the centers of the nation's machine tool industry. I remember that many of those working as machinists in Rockford back then were Hungarian refugees; skilled machinists who had fled after Soviet tanks had put down their attempt to topple their Communist government in 1956. Published June 18, 2017