Author Archives: Scott Johnson

How to understand Obama’s Iran diplomacy

Featured image I think the easiest way to understand Obama’s diplomacy is this. Assume that Obama believes Iran should have nuclear weapons and would like to facilitate the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program. This assumption is the Occam’s Razor that clarifies what might otherwise be obscure. The assumption may not be correct, but it should prove a handy guide to coming attractions. Obama bids against himself chasing after the mullahs. You can say »

Waves of future passed

Featured image We’ve come a long way since the pundits (and they were legion) declared the imminent death of the Republican Party in 2008. Reports of the party’s death were, to borrow the phrase from Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated. Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? is more like it. In his brief retrospective on Tuesday night’s results, Michael Barone observes the retrograde nature of the Democratic Party in theory and practice. »

Thoughts from the Ammo Line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll returns with reflections on GIFTING AND REGIFTING. She writes: Tuesday night put Ammo Grrrll in an unusually festive mood. And that is why God invented Excedrin. God Bless America and the observation attributed to Lincoln that you can’t fool all the people all the time. I was beginning to think Abe had it wrong. The election feels like a gift and hence our topic today. With the holiday »

Recalling the Buckley legacy

Featured image The National Review Institute put together the video below featuring the estimable William F. Buckley, Jr., the founding editor of National Review and the man without whom….well, listen to George Will’s voiceover tribute in the video. NRI unfurled the video last week at the dinner awarding NRI’s first annual Buckley Prize. The video covers a lot of territory in six minutes. It does so in a manner calculated to raise »

The Pity Party: A word from the author

Featured image William Voegeli is a senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and the author, most recently, of The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion. I read a galley copy of the book this summer and believe it to be an important book. Bill is a natural teacher and he entertains while he instructs. The book was published on Tuesday. I asked Bill to preview it for our »

Obama persists

Featured image President Obama is a man who does not respond well to criticism. He can’t even fake it. When Michael Jordan recently observed that Obama is a “shitty golfer,” to take just one small example, Obama responded in a Milwaukee radio interview that he gave to lend his magic touch to Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke the day before the midterm elections: “[T]here is no doubt that Michael is a better »

What a man we have in Manchin

Featured image The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe explores Senator Joe Manchin’s frustrations with soon-to-be former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Manchin forthrightly describes the election returns as “a real ass-whuppin’.” He then expressed frustrations with Harry Reid’s preventive approach to voting on potentially controversial bills. Is there some reason he has kept silent up till now? O’Keefe follows up: When asked whether Reid wants to do something, or is an obstructionist, or »

One more note

Featured image We have looked to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as the Senate’s conservative leader on the issues closest to our heart in the Age of Obama. My daughter recently profiled him for National Review in “Amnesty’s worst enemy,” still worth your attention. I didn’t know it until I watched the returns last night, but Senator Sessions was up for reelection. He didn’t draw an opponent; he won essentially by acclamation. With »

13 notes in one cover

Featured image In its classic tabloid style, the cover of the New York Post captures the leading storyline in last night’s results with characteristic concision. In my 13 notes, I forgot to mention Republican Tim Scott’s crushing victory over his Democratic challenger in South Carolina. Senator Scott is of course a successful black Republican thriving in the heart of the old Confederacy. He symbolizes the phoniness of the Democrats’ persistent exploitation of »

Thirteen notes on the morning after

Featured image Concerning the election results last night, a few observations: 1. The Republican takeover of the Senate represents a crushing repudiation of Barack Obama and Harry Reid. As I watched the calls in the Senate races via Twitter — Republican holds by crushing margins in supposedly competitive races in Kentucky, Georgia, and Kansas; Republican pickups in North Carolina (narrowly, against the odds), and in Arkansas, Iowa and Colorado in supposedly competitive »

(What’s so funny ’bout) peace, love and compassion?

Featured image Today is the official publication date of Bill Voegeli’s new book: The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion. We’ll hear from the author himself about the book tomorrow. Inviting me to submit a blurb, the publisher sent me a galley copy of the book this summer. I read it and seriously loved it. This is the complete unexpurgated blurb I submitted: In this brilliant book William Voegeli demonstrates »

It matters!

Featured image Tom Blumer of his own BizzyBlog and PJ Media’s Tatler writes us about a music video he has written and produced: It’s about getting informed, getting involved, and (obviously most relevant to tomorrow) voting: “It Matters!” Several who have seen it have said it “brought me to tears” — and I originally thought I was the only one. I am VERY worried that those who need to turn out tomorrow »

How they roll, Iowa edition

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman has an excellent account of the Democrats’ successful suppression of a story that might negatively have affected the Braley campaign in Iowa. The story is headlined “Braley donor threatens lawsuit against National Review, Des Moines Register.” This is how they roll: A law firm aligned with Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley has threatened legal action against media outlets investigating a man featured »

The low spark of Barack Obama

Featured image President Obama is not wanted where he might thought to have been needed during this campaign season. Rather, vulnerable Democrats have needed him to stay away, as he has in Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire. It must be killing him. You’d think he has enough on his plate that he would stay home rather than go out in search of an audience where he is not needed, as »

So close in New Hampshire

Featured image I have really developed a healthy disdain for New Hampshire’s incumbent Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen in the course of this cycle. I would concede that she has an admirable history in New Hampshire politics. Like so many Democratic incumbents who have prospered in conservative or moderate states, however, she is long past her sell-by date in the Age of the Obama and the Reid regency. Having been instrumental in the »

Cook’s pride

Featured image In the light of traditional morality, homosexual practices are a vice. The promotion of “gay pride” has long been part of the “transvaluation of values” promoted by the countercultural left and it proved useful in the campaign against laws prohibiting homosexual acts. Hitching its wagon to the rhetoric of equality and civil rights, the campaign has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its advocates. To defend the virtue of traditional »

The Ernst equation

Featured image In the race for Iowa’s open Senate seat, Republican candidate Joni Ernst has held a slight lead over Democratic contender Bruce Braley for a while. Ernst is a terrific candidate and one of our Power Line Picks. The big political news today is that the last pre-election Iowa poll conducted on behalf of the Des Moines Register shows Ernst opening up a 7-point lead over Braley among likely voters. Jennifer »