White: Lingering on process

April 30, 2009
The switch of Sen. Arlen Specter LAW ’56 from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party has left me with a bittersweet feeling: some genuine happiness, lots of schadenfreude, a fair amount of cynicism. Or maybe graduation’s rapid approach is sparking a similar bittersweet tinge (minus the schadenfreude, of course), and I’m projecting my own »

White: Progress marches

April 9, 2009
Last Friday must have been an easy day for people who get paid to rail against gay marriage on the Internet. The unanimous Iowa Supreme Court decision voiding a law prohibiting same-sex marriage hit the Web before midmorning. No more than an hour later, the tired buzzwords appeared, like clockwork, on conservative blogs: “lawless,” “dictatorship,” »

White: An American hero helps again

February 27, 2009
It’s high time for someone to thank Michael Phelps for taking that bong hit. Not because we should lionize a guy who racked up 14 gold medals to go with his 2004 DUI and his highly public incident of marijuana use — all before age 24! — but because Phelps’ adolescent antics have somehow spawned »

White: Stimulus need seen in Elm City

February 10, 2009
On Monday night, the Senate voted 61-36 to end debate on the $838 billion stimulus bill, precluding a filibuster and clearing the way for an up-or-down vote tomorrow. Barring some calamity that incapacitates more than 20 Democratic senators overnight while leaving the Senate Republican caucus unscathed, the stimulus will clear the Senate today. Before any »

White: Church and state, subtly split

January 26, 2009
The overt Christianity on display at the inauguration of President Barack Obama made more than a few people cringe. Did a nominally secular ceremony that lasted less than an hour really need an invocation and a benediction? Did the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court really have to inquire “So help you God?” at the »

White: Democracy reigns in Colorado

January 15, 2009
This article has been corrected. You may view this article’s correction here. In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution made the federal government more democratically accountable by eliminating state legislatures’ role in appointing members of the Senate. Almost a century later, Barack Obama’s aggressive penchant for filling his administration with sitting senators »

White: Reason, innovation on the way

November 12, 2008
The hallowed editorial page of the nation’s Oldest College Daily hasn’t seen a whole lot of bipartisan good feeling in the wake of Barack Obama’s election. (“Historic romp to victory” would perhaps be a more accurate term, but I’m building consensus here.) While most of the country’s leading conservatives were eloquently congratulating our new president »

White: Treat your vote seriously

October 29, 2008
What do Americans choose when we elect a president? Will we, in six days, vote for a set of guiding principles and policies, along with the judgment capacities of the people who will implement them? Will we vote for the two people we like best? Are we choosing America’s hockey-mom-in-chief? A portion of voters will »

White: More liberty for guns and gays

October 15, 2008
What do guns and gay marriage have in common? Not a whole lot, at first blush. Accurately or not, we tend to associate guns with conservatives in the rural south and Bible belt and gay marriage with liberal urban enclaves in Massachusetts, California and now Connecticut. Most people who advocate increasing the availability of one »

White: Anti-intellectuals run amok in U.S.

September 30, 2008
Exploiting anti-intellectualism by, among other things, caricaturing opponents as pointy-headed academic types from the dreaded Ivory Tower, wins elections. Or at least it did in 1952 and 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower succeeded in portraying Princeton-educated Adlai Stevenson as out of touch. And again — to some degree — in 1972, when Richard Nixon invoked »

White: A Supreme vanishing

September 10, 2008
It happens every year in late June or early July. The judiciary, often the stealth branch in our tripartite federal government, appears on the American public’s radar screen due to a few Supreme Court decisions on Big Issues. This year, the topics were habeas protection for Guantanamo detainees, the death penalty for crimes not resulting »

University only obligated to support safe expression

April 24, 2008
The public outcry over Aliza Shvarts’ senior project focused initially on what her “art” said about abortion. Predictably, anti-choice advocates all over the country (and on this page) tripped over themselves in a scramble to portray Shvarts as representative of the pro-choice movement. Perhaps just as predictably, they ignored the fact that nearly every mainstream »