What Were We Thinking? Selected Schar School Op-Eds (May 2022)


From the Washington Post:

The Flawed Math Behind Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal

If Musk’s overvalued and rapidly declining currency — his Tesla stock — is one glaring problem with the Twitter deal, another is that he’s using it to overpay for a company that has lost money for the past two years as user growth has slowed.

—Steven Pearlstein


From the Washington Post:

The Leaked Abortion Opinion Could Lift Virginia Democrats

Twenty-five weeks remain to see whether abortion persists as a red-hot election issue or whether the Ukraine war, the economy, runaway inflation or perhaps a new coronavirus surge elbows it aside.

—Mark J. Rozell


From El Faro:

Guatemalan Judge Under Threat After Ordering Trial in 1980s ‘Death Squad Dossier’ Case

A short, bookish man, Miguel Ángel Gálvez does not seem like much of a threat to anyone. But as an independent judge, he has taken on some of Guatemala’s most powerful individuals.

—Jo-Marie Burt and Paulo Estrada


From the Hill:

‘His Brother Was Worse’—The Rise of a Post-Putin Russia

The siloviki are being embarrassed by what appears to be a “paper tiger” Russian military. They are enraged to the very marrow of their bones—and they will seek revenge.

—Ronald Marks


From the Conversation:

Ukraine Receives Weapons Support from Around the World

The international military support for Ukraine is preventing Russia from holding land and establishing air superiority. If this continues, Russia will need to figure out a different way to wage war, one in which it can take and hold Ukrainian territory.

—Jordan Cohen


From the Hill:

Recession Is the Real Danger for Democrats

Democrats do not tolerate recessions. 

—Bill Schneider


From the Hill:

Executive Privilege for Ex-Presidents? Not This Time

President Biden, in so refusing to act to stonewall Congress, did well to uphold the value of transparency in our constitutional democracy. But he also acted as president to refuse a privilege assertion by his predecessor. 

—Mark J. Rozell and Mitchel A. Sollenberger


From Homeland Security Today:

Emerging Cocaine Trafficking Routes Between Latin America and Middle East Fuel Drug Trade Expansion

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Latin American cocaine traffickers will continue to use Turkey as a passageway to other countries for the sale of illicit drugs and that Middle Eastern and European countries will continue to be targets for a seemingly endless supply of cocaine.

—Mahmut Cengiz


From the Hill:

Trumpism Versus Reaganism

On the surface, there’s not much ideological difference between the Reagan Republican Party and the Trump Republican Party. Both are staunchly conservative. The difference is in the personal style and tactics of the men. 

—Bill Schneider


From the Washington Post:

Youngkin Wades Into National Politics at His Own Peril

Only Virginia forbids sitting governors from seeking reelection. Virginians don’t think four years is too long for a governor to stay focused on governing.

—Mark J. Rozell


From Instick Media:

Cyber and Space Command: The New Geographical Pivot of History?

The maintenance of the liberal international order will require the United States to reconcile two competing ideas: space as a “war-fighting domain” and space as a place for “peaceful and scientific” exploration, as mandated by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.  It’s time for governments, lawyers, and scholars to deliver the appropriate guidance.

—Joanna Rozpedowski


From the Washington Post:

A Former Fed Chair Still Wants the Punch Bowl—and a High-Proof Punch

Unfortunately for Bernanke, however, his book arrives just as this new framework is being put to the test, with an inflationary spiral taking hold, an economic slowdown on the horizon, and tech and crypto bubbles starting to burst. 

—Steven Pearlstein


From City & County:

The MSP Downstream Cyberthreat Paradox: Understanding the City and County Connection

This backdoor-type cyber-attack has been problematic for public entities—especially local governments whose defenses are not geared towards such intrusions. Afterall, the service provider is considered a trusted source.

—Alan Shark


From the National Interest:

How the United States Fell Behind in Climate Leadership

The underrecognized cause is polarization over environmental regulations. The drastic impact of 1970s environmental laws on the economy aroused antagonism in the business community. Conflict over environmental policy widened to political polarization between environmentalists and U.S. industry and their respective political supporters in the 1980s. 

—Frank T. Manheim


From the Hill:

Will the Supreme Court’s Conservatives Save Biden in the Midterms?

Democrats are hoping the abortion issue will be the exceptional circumstance that saves their majorities this year. They are counting on angry pro-choice voters to flood the polls in order to keep Republicans from passing a nationwide abortion ban.

—Bill Schneider


From OpinoJuris:

Why Does the United States Continue to Oppose International Courts?

Whether the constitutional tradition of the United States recognizes the supremacy of international treaty law over domestic laws is a matter of intellectual contestation and legal dispute. 

—Joanna Rozpedowski


From the Diplomat:

When the CCP Thought Taiwan Should Be Independent

The problem with Beijing’s position is twofold: first, it has no solid historical basis, and second, historically speaking it is relatively recent. Thus it is not as “principled” and “consistent” as it is portrayed to be.

—Gerrit van der Wees


From the National Interest:

The Middle East and the Manipulation of Great Power Competition

Washington must fundamentally rethink its approach to the Middle East as the United States enters into a new era of great power competition with Russia and China. 

—Jon Hoffman


From Homeland Security Today:

Sweden, Finland, and NATO: Pawns in Erdogan’s Bid for Re-Election Amid a Tattered Domestic Economy?

The world is quite familiar with Erdogan’s politics, which are based on seeking leverage to protect his own interests rather than the interests of the country as a whole and to maintain his position in the government. 

—Mahmut Cegniz


From the Washington Post:

Virginia Protests Pit Freedom of Speech Against Judicial Independence

It’s an untenable dilemma that American politics has created for itself by subjecting jurists to rigid ideological litmus tests. It has corroded our collaborative lawmaking process and eroded American respect for its highest court’s impartiality, perhaps irreparably.

—Mark J. Rozell