Kathleen Parker: The GOP: A tragedy in 52 acts

WASHINGTON — I’m getting that deja vu feeling as House Republicans these past several days have failed to alter the public’s perception that they’re incapable of governing.

Clarence Page: O’Reilly gets a pass due to low expectations

The feisty investigative magazine with a left-progressive slant, Mother Jones, has been on the warpath lately in pursuit of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. The charge: serial exaggerations and outright whoppers of a sort that brought punishment for NBC’s Brian Williams.

Jonah Goldberg: Ready or not, it’s prime time for Walker

Any chef will tell you that you need great ingredients to pull off a great meal. Less discussed but just as true: You need to cook the ingredients in the right order.

Leonard Pitts: ‘My Girl’ keeps on rolling

There are sounds it feels like you’ve known forever, sounds that have been in your ear so long, it’s hard to believe they were ever new. One of those sounds is this: James Jamerson thumps a heartbeat on the bass. Robert White’s guitar corkscrews out in reply. And the immortal David Ruffin sings, in a voice of sweetness shadowed by sorrow, “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.”

Thomas Sowell: Random thoughts spring up on issues

When President Obama keeps talking about “violent extremists” in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok.

Froma Harrop: Open Internet survives

Net neutrality won the day in Washington, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. Republicans indignantly opposed regulating Internet service, currently dominated by a few cable giants. Texas Republican Ted Cruz called it “Obamacare for the Internet” (in his world, fightin’ words).

Walter E. Williams: Multicultural movement a cancer on U.S. society

President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this [barbarity] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Mary Sanchez: Candidate’s suicide shows politics’ bad side

Sometimes the hateful words that slither out of people’s mouths are shocking. But what ought to keep us up at night is the silence that often follows — the way that listeners ignore, or fail to compose themselves to answer, the harmful things that others say.

Jonah Goldberg: Liberalism becoming exhausted

Canaries are not very formidable birds, but they have their uses. For instance, coal miners learned over a century ago that when canaries gag and drop dead at the bottom of the cage, it’s a sign that maybe there’s something wrong with the air in the mine.

Clarence Page: Giuliani sets off uproar

Was Rudy Giuliani playing a race card when he accused President Obama of not loving America? No way, the former New York mayor said later, but his litmus test sounded like he needs an eye test.

Linda Chavez: Democrats giving aid, comfort to enemy

Democrats are playing a dangerous game with Israel by snubbing the prime minister of America’s staunchest Middle East ally.

Doyle McManus: Birther II: Cruz was born in foreign country

Sen. Ted Cruz is getting close to announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. The Texan is spending almost as much time in Iowa and New Hampshire as he does on Fox News; he’s hired a staff and collected a long list of fiercely conservative supporters.

Froma Harrop: New U.S. food agency? Hold the hysteria

As things now stand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees steaks, chicken thighs and eggs out of their shells. The Food and Drug Administration keeps an eye on salmon, apples and eggs in their shells.

Kathleen Parker: Love litmus test rears its head

Republicans seem ceaselessly enamored of litmus tests, but the newest one — Do you believe President Obama loves America? — makes birthers seem witty.

Steve Chapman: Decline of black family multifaceted

The breakdown of the black family is a sensitive topic, though it’s not new and it’s not in dispute. President Barack Obama, who grew up with an absent father, often urges black men to be responsible parents.

Susan Estrich: Parents must counter lies on the Internet

When I was 15, my mother let me take the bus to Lynn, a small city about five miles from our house and two blocks from my father’s office.

Jonah Goldberg: Hillary gets help with her crisis of identity

Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew?”

Leonard Pitts: Giuliani, once heroic, now simply foolish

Amazing. Just … amazing. Here we are, six years later, six years of mom jeans and golf dates and taking the girls for ice cream. And yet, some of us are still hung up on the perceived “otherness,” the “not like us”-ness, of Barack Obama.

Thomas Sowell: Obama's love of U.S. still not clear today

The firestorm of denunciation of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for having said that he did not think Barack Obama loved America, is in one sense out of all proportion to that remark — especially at a time when there are much bigger issues, including wars raging, terrorist atrocities and a nuclear Iran on the horizon.

Clarence Page: GOP woos minorities

Republicans are starting to show some color again. The midterm election that swept Republicans into control of both houses of Congress also brought in the party’s largest group of black lawmakers since Reconstruction: three. Hey, it’s a start.

Walter E. Williams: Liberalism underminesthe spirit of self-help

Today’s liberals are not racists, but they often behave that way. They would benefit immensely from considering some of the arguments in award-winning scholar Dr. Shelby Steele’s forthcoming book, Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country.

Froma Harrop: Should economic policy include senior discount?

We’ve seen senior discounts for buses. We’ve seen senior discounts at movie theaters. We’ve seen senior discounts in supermarkets.

Other Voices

Kathleen Parker: Sniping over words obscures real fight

WASHINGTON — Channel-surfing the nightly cable news, one is reminded that certitude is the enemy of sanity.

Trudy Rubin: Bibi and Boehner playing games

Bibi Netanyahu wants to make sure President Barack Obama doesn’t ink a nuclear deal with Tehran. Any nuclear deal.

AP file photo

Leonard Pitts: Stewart kept me sane

I am not insane. For this, I have Jon Stewart to thank.Thirteen years ago, it felt like I was in a front row seat on the express train to Crazy Town.

Jonah Goldberg: Rhetoric uncovers silver lining

“Could this argument be any dumber?” That’s how I began a column over a month ago in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Froma Harrop: Female stars face dilemma on red carpet

Lupita Nyong’o picked up an Oscar last year for her searing portrayal of a scarred captive in 12 Years a Slave. But many in the Academy Awards audience — just reminded of the misery depicted in a film clip — must have felt a bit mixed up when the woman they associated with a tormented slave floated up the stage stairs in a sumptuous sky-blue Prada gown, holding up the pleated skirt lest she trip on the yards of luxury.

Thomas Sowell: No time for 'happy talk' in nuke age

When Alfred E. Neuman said “What me worry?” on the cover of Mad magazine, it was funny. But this message was not nearly as funny coming from President Barack Obama and his national security adviser, Susan Rice.

Susan Estrich: Every president deserves respect

The headline that caught my attention on Presidents Day could not have been starker, colder: “Intense Republican Hate Is Skewing Obama Polls.”

Kathleen Parker: Riddle of war hard to solve

WASHINGTON — There’s a very 2001 feel to President Obama’s request for authorization to use military force and the nauseating sense that we’ll be at war indefinitely.

Steve Chapman: Limits exist for a reason

I rise today to speak in praise of an underappreciated attribute: mediocrity. Oh, I can hear the comments already: “Who better to do it?” “Finally, something you’re an expert on.” “You should only hope to achieve mediocrity!” But I will not be deterred.

Leonard Pitts: Hoaxes gaining ground as line continues to blur

“Unbelievably sad.” That was the subject line of an email a colleague sent me last week. In it, she forwarded a link to a story that had Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst telling a Des Moines radio host that Congress should outlaw vaccines because they “manipulate brains.”

Walter E. Williams: Check rules to ferret out injustice in actions

Clarence Page: Stewart makes sense of news by making fun of it

“Did I die?” That’s how The Daily Show’s host Jon Stewart opened his program on the evening after he announced that he was walking away from it after 16 years.

Doyle McManus: Obama gains wisdom on foreign policy

When he entered the White House in 2009, Barack Obama had grand ambitions in foreign policy. He planned to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, build a better relationship with Russia, broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians and offer a hand of friendship to Iran and the Muslim world.

Froma Harrop: Consumer race futile

A new report on consumer spending shows that consumers are not spending. Economists thought that the savings from cheaper gasoline — hundreds of dollars a year for most — would be hauled to the stores.

Linda Chavez: Republican lemmings rush to jump over the cliff

Republicans won big in November on the hopes that a GOP-led Congress could counterbalance President Obama’s imperial presidency.

Mary Sanchez: Governor gets desperate

By now, you might have heard about the latest political firestorm out of Kansas. Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican, issued an executive order rescinding protections for state workers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Brownback is all but proclaiming that LGBT people should have fewer rights. The order lifts protections against firing, discriminating against or harassing a state worker for being anything but straight. Under Brownback’s administration, that person now has no right to file a complaint as a member of a legally protected class of people.

Leonard Pitts: Secret Knowledge just plain ignorance

I call it the Secret Knowledge. Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it.

Jonah Goldberg: Bad-faith question of faith dogs right wing

At an event in London on trade policy, Scott Walker was asked about evolution. “It’s almost a tradition now,” the moderator said, to ask “senior Republicans” if they are “comfortable with the idea of evolution.”

Don Smith / Guest column

I take issue with your editorial that opposed government assistance to higher education students. It followed the longtime mantra of that fraction of our political spectrum who contend that education ought to be available for absolutely everyone … who can afford it.

Steve Chapman: Government debt puts us on the road to ruin.

Americans are addicted to living beyond their means, at least when it comes to the functions of government. That’s why the federal debt tripled over the past decade and under President Barack Obama’s budget plan would keep growing indefinitely.

Kathleen Parker: Will Brian Williams be trusted?

These are tough times for NBC’s Brian Williams — and tougher times for journalism.

Froma Harrop: A fine romance: Online daters hire private eyes

She was a lawyer, noisy but nice. He was a Marine, quiet and even nicer.

Thomas Sowell: False claims lead to new resurgence of measles

The current controversy over whether parents should be forced to have their children vaccinated for measles is one of the painful signs of our times.

Clarence Page: Vaccination lie persists

Is support for childhood vaccinations a partisan issue? Polls indicate that it isn’t, yet Republicans appear to be getting stung by this needle more than Democrats are.

Walter E. Williams: Improving education should start at home

New York’s schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away.

Leonard Pitts: Mental disability not some kind of fad

He had his first major breakdown when he was 26. A man who had been known for his sunny, outgoing temperament became suddenly sullen, silent and withdrawn. He spoke openly of suicide.

Linda Chavez: No middle ground in fight against Islamic State

I would not watch the video of Jordanian pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh being consumed by fire, because to do so was exactly what the Islamist barbarians who produced it wanted.