The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion One challenger stands out against Trump. The others need tips.

5 min

You’re reading the Today’s Opinions newsletter. Sign up to get it in your inbox.

In today’s edition:

No-man’s borderland

Between the Rio Grande and the stretch of the border wall separating Texas and Mexico near El Paso, there’s a 100-yard-wide spit of land that is neither outside the United States nor really in it.

This space where migrants from Central and South America gather to hope for a fresh start stateside is, as photojournalist John Moore writes, “no-man’s land.”

Moore recently spent some time at the waypoint interviewing and photographing migrants waiting to be processed for U.S. entry. Some will be admitted, he writes, but some will be deported.

Their stories — breaking an ankle and pressing on, riding atop a freight train known across Mexico as “the Beast” — are arresting. The images are even more so.

Moore’s photo essay lets you live a moment in this limbo yourself — perhaps the kind of window into the realities of immigration that help us all become more reflective.

Columnist Chuck Lane writes that we could use the tempering, especially as President Biden gets sued from both directions over his new border policies.

Chuck explains in his column how Biden’s policies align with the World Bank’s refreshingly cool-headed model for assessing migration’s trade-offs. Simply put, migration carries potential benefits and potential costs. The right strategy maximizes “matches” where migration “pays for itself,” Chuck writes. He’s hopeful that the model will guide more rational global policymaking.

In the meantime, though, the unmatched still linger in no-man’s land.

Chaser: Biden is doing his best on the border, the Editorial Board recently wrote, despite getting little help from Congress.

Who will be the GOP ‘outsider’?

Columnist Jennifer Rubin says that most of the politicians ostensibly aiming for the presidential nomination sure seem like they’re auditioning for VP — they’re unimpressive and afraid to bash Donald Trump. Well, if they really want the top slot, she has some advice.

First off, go ahead and bash the former president. As Jen writes, picking a candidate under indictment is “politically nutters,” and Trump’s opponents should say so.

She also explains the way to turn education into a truly winning strategy; and no, it’s not with more anti-LGBTQ+ crusading.

But the big tip is to run as an outsider. Jen writes that no one has yet seized the Washington-is-a-swamp mantle — the way Trump so successfully did eight years ago.

Columnist Megan McArdle sees an outsider on the rise in billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, whose numbers are rising faster than anyone’s in the GOP presidential field not named Trump. She sees his trick as being just similar enough to Trump to possibly win his voters while being just different enough to attract some of the “market libertarians” that Trump has repelled.

Megan notes that she’s not compelled herself — but she also recognizes that she doesn’t need to be for Ramaswamy to be a smash hit.

Chaser: Is Target running for the GOP nomination? One wonders, given how it capitulated to MAGA rage against its Pride collection, as columnist Greg Sargent describes.

From contributing columnist Jim Geraghty’s analysis of billionaire Warren Buffett’s business decision. Mind you, Buffett said that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is “one of the best companies in the world. It’s a fabulous enterprise.”

So why pull out? Well, Buffett does not live under a rock and thus worries about China’s increasing aggression toward the island off its coast. Another quote: “It’s a dangerous world.”

“No kidding,” Jim writes. But Buffett’s withdrawal won’t solve that problem. Jim’s column explains how bearishness on Taiwan from Buffett and other investment leaders like him might make this dicey world even more dangerous.

Less politics

Leave it to the West to turn repatriating artwork it looted more than a century ago from an African kingdom into a colonialist enterprise.

That’s what columnist Karen Attiah says is going on with the Benin bronzes, the collection of sculptures Britain boosted way back when from a state in modern-day Nigeria. Many of the museums the bronzes eventually percolated to had agreed to return the works to Nigeria.

But now, a lot of those art-world experts are displeased with what Nigeria plans to do with the bronzes — give them to the current king of Benin — and are making sounds about how the West knows better and ought to intervene. Sound familiar?

Karen explains the almost-laughable hypocrisy and imagines an ending for the bronzes that would be some truly poetic justice.

Smartest, fastest

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s… The Bye-Ku.

Is that tarnished bronze?

Or just the plundering West’s

Dim reputation?


Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/ambiguities. See you tomorrow.