Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Is Scott Walker ready for prime time? [UPDATED]

Featured image In my view, the big question in Republican presidential politics is how Scott Walker will perform as a candidate. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Walker has already proven that he can deliver red meat in a prepared speech. He proved it again at CPAC last week. But can Walker impressively discuss and eventually impressively debate the broad range of issues that will present themselves during the course of »

Beach week

Featured image I’m headed for a week in the Caribbean. By the time I return, Scott Walker probably will have been asked to opine on half a dozen more irrelevant issues, the White House will have selected half a dozen left-wing programs through which to persuade potential jihadists to forebear, and Team Clinton will have picked a symbol for the “rebranded” Hillary. In short, it’s a great time to take a week »

The rebranding of Hillary Clinton

Featured image Phillip Rucker and Anne Gearan of the Washington Post have written an article called “The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help reimagine Clinton brand.” They should have added, “Not a parody.” In the context of this article, the word “brand” means “image.” I’m not sure how “brand” took the place of “image” in marketing-speak. I suppose it was because “image” sounds fake, whereas “brand” sounds solid. Actors have images; »

Why Hillary is no shoo-in

Featured image According to Chris Cillizza, “there’s a strain of thought in politics these days — prominent among Democrats but shared by even some Republicans — that it’s going to be very hard to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016.” Cillizza is right — this strain exists. Based on my conversations with Republicans, I’d even say Cillizza probably underestimates the extent of GOP pessimism, at least here in Washington. But Cillizza sees Clinton »

Obama administration will seek a stay of adverse immigration ruling

Featured image There has been plenty of speculation about how the President Obama would respond to Judge Hanen’s order that blocks him from granting, via executive fiat, lawful status to millions illegal immigrants. Would the administration seek an expedited appeal or would it seek a stay of Hanen’s order? Might it do both? Or would Obama reverse his initial decision and simply defy the court order? This afternoon the Justice Department announced »

Don’t abolish the filibuster

Featured image Charles Krauthammer urges Republicans to abolish the filibuster. He is prompted to advocate this fundamental change for a very narrow purpose — to pass a piece of legislation he expects President Obama to veto. But Krauthammer isn’t talking about an ordinary piece of legislation. He has in mind a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, minus the immigration service which would be denied funds to implement the »

Obama’s “violent extremism” summit: an exercise in community organizing

Featured image Andy McCarthy points out that, even as the White House throws “a public hissy fit” over the upcoming speech to Congress by Benjamin Netanyahu, it chooses to be “chummy” with Salam al-Marayati, the Muslim activist best known for saying, right after the 9/11 attacks, that we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list. You have to hand it Obama, he knows who his friends are. It’s America’s »

Will Obama’s immigration defeat be sustained — Part Two

Featured image In my post last night about the district court decision blocking President Obama’s executive order granting lawful status to as many as five million illegal immigrants, I did not discuss the important threshold issue in the case — whether the plaintiff states have standing to challenge the order. Judge Hanen found that they do. I believe this finding is well-reasoned and correct. Texas argued, and Judge Hanen agreed, that Obama’s »

Jeb Bush will be “his own man,” he feels compelled to declare

Featured image In a foreign policy address delivered yesterday, Jeb Bush stated: “I recognize that as a result [of the presidencies of my father and brother], my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs, but I am my own man.” Of course he is. But the fact that he needs to say so, and will continue to, demonstrates the weakness of his position. It shows that the former governor »

A timely warning from Rep. Gutierrez

Featured image Rep. Luis Gutierrez warns of “unprecedented militancy” from the immigrant community in response to the injunction issued by Judge Andrew Hanen against President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The militancy, he explains, will be directed at Republicans: The Republican party is making a critical mistake. The militancy that will be activated throughout the immigrant community — in terms of voter registration, voter participation, voter anger at the Republican party as »

Will Obama’s defeat on his immigration order be sustained?

Featured image When I first heard that Judge Andrew Hanen had blocked President Obama’s executive order granting lawful status to as many as five million illegal immigrants, I was inclined to downplay the ruling’s significance. Judge Hanen is an able jurist, but a conservative one, and only a district court judge. The opinions that truly matter will be rendered by less conservative judges further up the ladder. That’s still, perhaps, the best »

ISIS: Crush it or bleed it?

Featured image Yesterday, I recommended an article by Graeme Wood about ISIS. Wood closely examines ISIS’s ideology which, not surprisingly, turns out to be thoroughly Islamic, though not embraced by most Muslims. Wood shows that President Obama’s failure to grasp what ISIS is about led to dangerously flawed decisions. He concludes by considering the implications of his analysis for the big question of the moment — how to deal with ISIS going »

Care to turn U.S. domestic anti-terrorism policy over to CAIR?

Featured image The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking to limit our government’s ability to obtain information with which to counter Islamist terrorism and jihad. On the eve of a three-day White House meeting on federal efforts to mitigate jihadi violence, CAIR issued a statement calling, in effect, for the government to farm out its program for dealing with domestic Islamist terrorists to Muslim leaders — in other words to CAIR »

Talk about working the refs. . .

Featured image Today’s Washington Post features a front page story called “Faces of the subsidies case: For families relying on Affordable Care Act, court ruling could be devastating.” Just above the headline, in a picture that runs nearly the full width of the front page, we see a picture of Erin Meredith — the poster woman for the story — with her adorable five-year old daughter. The picture and the headline will »

Why ISIS is Islamic and why it matters

Featured image The question of the relationship to Islam of radical Islam in general and ISIS in particular has never struck me as perplexing. Radical Islam is the radical strand of Islam, and ISIS is an extreme version of the radical strand. Its actions are consistent with portions of the religion’s core text which are founded on the conduct and preaching of the religion’s founder. You don’t need to be a scholar »

Random acts of respect for a random killer

Featured image Shortly after Danish police killed terrorist Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, flowers appeared at the site where he was shot. Hussein had killed two people and wounded others in two random shooting incidents. His first random target was a forum on free speech; his second was a synagogue. Not long after the flowers appeared, a dozen or so men appeared at the site. Declaring themselves Hussein’s “brothers” and randomly shouting Allahu akbar, »

Presidential politics: what to watch for in 2015

Featured image It’s far too early to guess intelligently about who will be elected president next year or whom the Republicans will nominate, but this doesn’t seem to be stopping many pundits. Fox News has its Special Report panels lay odds on the Republican field once a week. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza handicaps the Republican field once a week. And the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes has just produced an assessment of »