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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: No flip-floppery, just flim-flammery

If someone is determined to embrace suicide, there's not much someone else can do about it. If a gun isn't handy, a knife will be, or a bottle of sleeping pills, or even a video of a speech by Joe Biden. If you're Barack Obama in a vengeful mood, you just shove a health care "reform" that nobody wants at reluctant congressmen in your party. It's just as effective and just as quick. Published March 5, 2010

PRUDEN: An FDR lesson Obama missed

Barack Obama is trying to be the new FDR before the concrete settles around his image as the new Jimmy Carter. History will ultimately decide, but last week's celebrated health care summit made him look more like Mr. Jimmy than FDR. Published March 2, 2010

PRUDEN: Time for a nap, then a retreat

Only an hour into the great health care summit and Barack Obama, though trying to stay awake, thought he could safely call it a success. Joe Biden had slipped into the land of dreamy dreams, and the president, resting his chin on his hand, was trying hard not to nod off. The C-SPAN camera caught nap time for all to see. Published February 26, 2010

PRUDEN: Laying a trap for Republicans

Barack Obama has laid a not-so-clever trap in this week's "health care summit," and it doesn't take someone smarter than a Republican senator to figure out how to escape from it. Published February 23, 2010

PRUDEN: Obama's two-step to the right

A deathbed conversion is better than no conversion at all, unless the convert survives and retreats from his new convictions. Barack Obama is hale, healthy and very much alive, for which we can be thankful. His agenda is not so slowly assuming room temperature. Published February 19, 2010

PRUDEN: The red-hot scam unravels

Not everybody is on to the global-warming scam, not yet, but all the people — or enough of them — are getting there. Published February 16, 2010

PRUDEN: Scaring a president straight isn't easy

Barack Obama dropped by the White House press room the other day to stick it to the Republicans in the name of comity and fellowship. He offered to cooperate with the Republicans in the Mafia spirit of making an "offer you can't refuse." Published February 12, 2010

PRUDEN: Hatching the Silly Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, but a lot of little guys with a big idea are still trying to suit up the worst idea of the season. So is a certain senator who ought to know better (and probably does). Published February 9, 2010

PRUDEN: Nothing gay about this mission

There's really not very much gay about war, as anybody who has seen a battlefield up close and personal will tell you. The nation's Army and Navy are organized for a simple ultimate mission, to kill people and break things. Published February 5, 2010

PRUDEN: An Alcatraz solution for Obama

The White House has to be tuning up Barack Obama's teleprompter, which the president regards as America's Maginot Line. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is once more talking some big talk. Blabbermouth or not, he has to be taken semi-seriously. Published February 2, 2010

PRUDEN: Racing towards destination unknown

So it's full speed ahead, even if nobody knows where we're going. We can console ourselves that if we're lucky we might not get there. That's the main point of President Obama's eagerly awaited assessment of the State of the Union. He said, as all presidents do, that the state of the union is pretty good on his watch, considering that George W. Bush, his favorite bad boy, bequeathed a sad-sack union. Published January 29, 2010

PRUDEN: When 'change' isn't all it's cracked up to be

The president himself is trying to rally Democrats ready to bail. Hang on, help is coming. One Democratic congressman who bailed on Monday, Rep. Marion Berry of Arkansas, says enough already. Published January 26, 2010

PRUDEN: Is Obama the physician, or the embalmer?

The gentlemen of the press (and the ladies, too) are mostly a decent sort, often a bit prideful and sometimes with not very much to be prideful about. They're comfortable only by running in a herd. Trying to think alone gives them a migraine. Published January 22, 2010

PRUDEN: Spinning the lesson of Mass.

You have to be a true believer in Barack Obama's radical agenda to be a Democrat in Congress, and believe with the intensity of a suicide bomber. Mr. Obama can't even promise a harem of virgins in paradise. Published January 19, 2010

PRUDEN: Google to China: No more dirty work

Shortly after it officially told the Chinese to buzz off, the Google Web site answered questions about the infamous massacre at Tiananmen Square and other "sensitive" events the Chinese government pretends never happened and tries to punish anyone who doesn't play its game. Google even got an assist from Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, who is said to be throwing her weight, such as it is, behind the campaign against China's suppression of speech (and thought). She has already met with executives of Google and its rival, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems, one of the designers of the Chinese Internet technology to talk about how to deal with China's war on free inquiry. Published January 15, 2010

PRUDEN: Another raid by the Gaffe Patrol

What this country really needs, more than that famous "good nickel cigar," is a federal agency to regulate the apologies of public officials. Published January 12, 2010

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