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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

Brenda Snipes. (Associated Press)

A little corruption greases the wheels

Americans are an impatient lot. Given a choice between corrupt and incompetent, we're likely to choose corrupt. Both corrupt and incompetent is rarely popular. Published November 12, 2018

Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of "PBS Newshour," takes part in a panel discussion during the 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Doesn't anybody here respect us journalists?

The snowflake disease is catching. Donald Trump, of all people, tried to teach a couple of White House reporters a little needed manners this week and you might have thought he had repealed the First Amendment with an executive order. Published November 8, 2018

Maxine Waters   Associated Press photo

So long to the end of the beginning

Just as soon as they get the dead carried out we can dispense with the last rites and continue the election that counts most. Ready or not, like it or not, the 2020 presidential election campaign begins this morning. Published November 5, 2018

James Carville (Associated Press) ** FILE **

But is it still 'the economy, Stupid'?

We're about to see whether James Carville, the dark genius of Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns, knew what he was talking about when he posted the famous warning to the Clinton campaigners in the war room of campaign headquarters in Little Rock: "The economy, stupid." Published November 1, 2018

Barack Obama (Associated Press)

When 'civility' becomes all the rage

Mr. Dooley wouldn't understand our politics at all. Someone asked Finley Peter Dunne's mythical Chicago bartender-cum-philosopher where he was going in such a hurry with a pair of brass knuckles. Published October 29, 2018

George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations listens to the conference after his speech entitled "How to save the European Union" as he attends the European Council On Foreign Relations Annual Council Meeting in Paris, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) ** FILE **

Never letting the outrage go to waste

The Washington bombers seem to be a curious collection of political partisans, music critics and aspiring killers. Published October 25, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh

The little surprises of October are at hand

The infamous October Surprise, without which we can't hold a November election, are soon upon us, and right on schedule there's a real one. Almost no one saw this one coming. Published October 22, 2018

Mohammed bin Salman (Associated Press)

Looking for answers beyond the pale

Nobody in the West really understands the Arab mind. Killing a political adversary is understandable, though heartily to be disapproved of. But cutting up the corpse with a surgical saw, and doing it without first waiting for the poor guy to die, is beyond the Western, Judeo-Christian pale. Published October 18, 2018

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat (Associated Press) **FILE**

Playing percentages of the noble blood

There's no law saying how much Indian blood a body has to have to have to qualify as an Indian, but it's surely more than Elizabeth Warren's blood-o-meter registers. Donald Trump is clearly entitled to keep his checkbook in his pocket. He doesn't want to be an Indian giver, but he doesn't want to be a sucker for a pretty face, either. Published October 15, 2018

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Lurid tales of blood from the crypt

Certain female journalists, dispensing with the ancient newsroom tradition of keeping keep cool when the going gets hot, had confessed that listening to Christine Blasey Ford made them want to cry. But not everyone, and not anymore. Published October 11, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks to the media, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., about the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ** FILE **

Singing only sad songs is no fun

Politics is fun, but not when you're losing. Then it hurts. When Adlai Stevenson lost his first race for president in 1952, he said it "hurts too much to laugh and I'm too old to cry." But it didn't hurt too much to not try again (and lose again). Published October 8, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh. (Associated Press)

The long, long trail of trashed reputations

Great reputations are difficult to make, requiring time and dedication, and they are reputations easily destroyed, sometimes in a moment of careless passion, sometimes with a word not spoken. Published October 4, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford accused now-Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago, but her story could not be corroborated. (Associated Press/File)

Sen. Schumer, 'have you no decency?'

Nothing recedes like success, and Christine Blasey Ford's accusations that Brett Kavanaugh was a serial sexual monster when they were teenagers, taken by Democrats as a Gospel account a week ago, have begun to fray at the edges. Published October 1, 2018

Sen. Dianne Feinstein. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Whatever happened to the old Dianne Feinstein?

Dianne Feinstein is not exactly the Wicked Witch of the West, though she is from the Left Coast and does a convincing imitation of Cruella de Vil, who tormented all those innocent puppies in Walt Disney's "101 Dalmatians." Alas, this is real life. Published September 27, 2018

Sen. Mazie Hirono. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A puff or two of smoke, but no fire

Women are entitled to change their minds. We all learn that early in life. Some of us would be here with a different father if a certain woman hadn't changed her mind (and good for her, I say). But some women, bless their hearts, abuse the female privilege. Published September 24, 2018

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The Kavanaugh farce descends into tragedy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg denounced what "a highly partisan show" the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings had become when she described to law students at George Washington University a fortnight ago how such confirmation hearings used to be. Published September 20, 2018

Sen. Chuck Grassley. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The march of the September Surprises

Everyone knew a September Surprise was coming. Supreme Court appointments are a big deal. The Republicans are determined to get an "originalist" justice, one who honors the Constitution as written by the Founding Fathers, subject to amendments duly adopted. Published September 17, 2018

Kathy Griffin. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

When debate turns to visions of murder

Bill Clinton, the beau ideal of Democratic women, once promised to make abortion "safe, legal and rare," which sounded pretty good to the ladies of the left. Except, of course, for the little ladies waiting their turn to slide down a birth canal. Published September 13, 2018

Colin Kaepernick. (Associated Press)

Taking a knee looks like the Democratic strategy

The Democrats appear to have given up on their long-anticipated "blue wave." This was the wave of sound and fury that was to sweep out everything before it. The wave, alas, is still on the far horizon, if that's not merely a mirage of whine and wail, and the Democrats are left with only manufactured hysteria. Published September 10, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Let's plot the Trump coup together

Impeachment is too slow. Assassination is too messy. A coup d'etat sounds just about right, and it sounds French besides. Come, let us plot together. Published September 6, 2018