by David French • National Review
I’m supposed to be encouraged, but I’m not.
In the aftermath of this month’s violent attack on Charles Murray and a Middlebury professor, I’m supposed to be encouraged, as a supporter of free speech and academic freedom in higher education, that pundits, professors, and writers from across the political spectrum have united to condemn mob censorship. I’m supposed to be encouraged that even stalwart men of the left such as New York Times columnists Frank Bruni and Nicholas Kristof are waking up to the modern American academy’s serious intellectual-diversity problem. And I’m supposed to be encouraged that Middlebury’s president and dozens of Middlebury professors have united to express their support for free speech.
But I’m not.
I’m certainly grateful for the near-unanimous condemnation of the protesters and rioters at Middlebury (and also at Berkeley, where the so-called “black bloc” shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’s planned speech, started fires, vandalized shops, and beat Trump supporters in the streets), but I’m not encouraged, and I don’t think other free-speech advocates should be either. Continue reading
by Julie Kelly • National Review
Climate-change alarmists who have been largely unchallenged by the media over the past decade have finally met their match in Fox News host Tucker Carlson. And it ain’t pretty.
Since the premiere of his new nighttime show, Carlson has frequently confronted the dogma of man-made global warming, pushing “experts” to cite data and evidence to back up their claims rather than allowing them to repeat well-worn platitudes about a scientific consensus and the planet’s impending doom. In January, Tucker took on California State University professor Joseph Palermo, who wrote, “If President Trump and his cohort believe the science of global warming is bogus, then they shouldn’t be allowed to use the science of the Internet for their Twitter accounts” based on the commonly accepted factoid that “98 percent of all scientists” believe the climate is changing because of human activity. When Carlson repeatedly asked Palermo to give the source of that figure, which Carlson correctly said was unknowable, the professor couldn’t do it. Climate fail. Continue reading
by Mary Katharine Ham • The Federalist
I try to make it a habit not to hate too much on the rebuttal to any president’s joint session or State of the Union address. It’s a nearly impossible task to come on right after the pomp and circumstance of the full chamber and tepidly voice the opposition’s concerns. Quirks as varied as a wandering eyebrow, a sing-song voice, or a (gasp!) sip of water have been the downfall of many a good politician in this unenviable position.
Perhaps that’s the reason the Democratic Party couldn’t manage to find anyone more promising than a septuagenarian former governor of Kentucky to take on the task. Luckily, in keeping with my habit, I need not even venture into the substance of former Gov. Steve Beshear’s speech to diagnose the problems with the Democratic Party. I need only examine the selection of Beshear.
Beshear giving the speech is in itself an admission of failure. You know who’s not giving the speech? The young, promising, telegenic former Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who was the presumptive heir to Beshear’s office until he was defeated by double digits by Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin. Continue reading
by Ben Domenech • The Federalist
Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a Kellyanne Conway sketch that turned out to be very controversial, even for journalists who are generally very anti-Trump in their signaling. The depiction of Conway as a Fatal Attraction sex fiend obsessed with the limelight and furious at being closed off from CNN isn’t funny, it’s just disturbing – even if you don’t know her or her family. But the real indication here is in how quickly SNL moved from a depiction of Conway that was considered empathetic and showed a harried family woman who couldn’t escape the crazy demands of working for Donald Trump to a crazed lunatic obsessed with getting in front of a camera. It’s a total inversion of their earlier sketches, and it shows what happens when partisanship totally skews the perspective comedians have on the characters they’re mocking.
The saddest part about this moment is how revealing it is of the illiberalism of some pockets of American society. Continue reading
by W. James Antle III • Washington Examiner
If you thought Super Bowl week would provide a much-needed respite from our polarized national political climate, think again.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have been getting the third degree on whether they support President Trump.
Not only have the two leading NFL figures been peppered with questions about Trump at their media availabilities, but editorialists and opinion writers have been demanding to know: Are you now or have you ever been a passenger of the Trump train?
Brady in particular has found questions about Trump as persistent and difficult to dodge as the New York Giants pass rush circa 2007. Continue reading
by Justin Haskins • Philly Inquirer
Shortly after being sworn into office in January 2009, President Obama, along with Democrats in Congress, spent trillions of dollars on government bailouts, stimulus packages, and various social welfare programs – all passed with the promise they would reverse one of the most significant economic crashes the country has experienced.
After nearly eight years in office, though, Obama has failed to deliver on many of his campaign promises and has left America worse-off than it was when he entered the White House.
During the Obama administration, there hasn’t been a single year in which the nation’s gross domestic product grew at 3 percent or higher, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That’s a first for a modern president. Continue reading
By The Federalist Staff
Federalist senior contributor and senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute Ilya Shapiro joined Fox News’s “Special Report with Brett Baier” on Monday to discuss the gloomy future of President Obama’s legacy. Continue reading
by Kenneth L. Woodward • Chicago Tribune
Whether out of anger or of angst, Bill Clinton spoke from the core of liberal presumption when he told a Westchester County, N.Y., journalist recently that Donald Trump “doesn’t know much” but does know “how to get angry white males to vote for him.” After all, this was supposed to be the Republicans’ season of discontent. Instead, Democrats emerged from the election with less political clout on the national and state levels of government than at any time since 1928. And Hillary Clinton was again denied her appointed role in history.
If Trump pursued the politics of resentment in courting white, working-class voters and their rural cousins, liberals succumbed to what I call “the politics of righteousness” in overlooking their concerns and underestimating their power. By righteousness I mean the tendency of liberals to assume ownership of the moral high ground whenever cultural values and social norms are at issue in American politics — and to presume that those who disagree are, as Hillary Clinton put it, “a basket of deplorables.” Continue reading
By Matt Mackowiak • Washington Times
With only weeks left in his presidency, President Obama has been reduced to issuing unprovable boasts, sounding like the senior quarterback at a small high school.
In a recent interview on “The Axe Files” podcast with former senior strategist David Axelrod — which makes you wonder if Mr. Obama’s blood relatives were unavailable to interview him — the president claimed he would have been re-elected to a third term had he been allowed to run again. Perhaps conservatives should cheer, as the president finally appears to appreciate the constitutional constraints of his office, but here’s the real takeaway from this softball interview with a South Side Chicago pal.
Mr. Obama is either reeling or delusional. The truth is, his presidency is crumbling as he departs.
Let’s rummage through the wreckage: Continue reading
by Joel Goodman • The Federalist
Some disparage the Founding Fathers’ distrust of the population. They constructed a representative republic rather than a pure democracy, even in a time when voting was limited to white yeomen—those who owned land and had what was considered a “stake in the country.”
The example of the French under Napoleon Bonaparte, who were constantly engaged in referendums that determined the amount of authority Napoleon should have, provide an example of why the Founders eschewed democracy. These referendums were direct votes, considered to be the most democratic of all voting methods. Each vote granted Napoleon more power until he became an absolute emperor over the French people. The French democratically and freely voted away their own liberty.
It appears the American Founders had presaged the events in France by examining the history of earlier democracies. The reasons America is a republic are more basic. Continue reading
by Andrew Kugle • Washington Free Beacon
For weeks, liberals railed against then candidate Donald Trump for refusing to say he would accept the results of the presidential election.
Trump asserted multiple times throughout the campaign that the election could be rigged against him and he could lose because of voter fraud. At a campaign rally in October, Trump said he would accept the election results but reserved his right to challenge the outcome if there was reason to do so.
“I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result,” Trump said.
In the third presidential debate, Trump said he would keep people in suspense when asked if he would accept the results of the election. This answer drew an immediate rebuke from his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Continue reading
by Edward Morrissey • The Week
In the wake of a stunning election result, many people — especially in the media — have struggled for an explanation. Rather than acknowledge the obvious and prosaic answer — that voters in swing states chose change rather than the status quo — analysts have sought a Unified Theory of Donald Trump’s Success. Trump couldn’t possibly have won fair and square, the assumption goes, so all that’s left is to identify whatever went wrong and banish it so this never happens again.
Over the past week, the consensus Unified Theory from the media is this: Blame fake news. This explanation started with BuzzFeed’s analysis of Facebook over the past three months, which claimed that the top 20 best-performing “fake news” articles got more engagement than the top 20 “mainstream news” stories. Continue reading
by Peter Roff • Townhall
Despite what many people think the left-liberal coalition’s decision to base so much of its effort on keeping the government out of our bedrooms is, long term, a losing strategy. Conservatives have a slight advantage where these issues are the only ones considered by people when deciding how to vote. If they could redirect their efforts to keeping government out of the kitchen they might have something.
Uncle Sam has decided what we eat and drink is somehow his business. The government says it wants to bend the healthcare cost curve downward but really this is just another version of the ”we know what is best for you” argument that has so many people up in arms. Continue reading
by Daniel J. Mitchell • Foundation for Economic Education
Hillary Clinton has an editorial in the New York Times entitled “My Plan for Helping America’s Poor” and it is so filled with errors and mistakes that it requires a full fisking (i.e., a “point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies”).
We’ll start with her very first sentence.
The true measure of any society is how we take care of our children.
I realize she (or the staffers who actually wrote the column) were probably trying to launch the piece with a fuzzy, feel-good line, but let’s think about what’s implied by “how we take care of our children.” It echoes one of the messages in her vapid 1996 book, It Takes a Village, in that it implies that child rearing somehow is a collective responsibility. Continue reading