Author Archives: Steven Hayward

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Featured image We have a link posted in our “Picks” section above to the first installment of Harvey Mansfield on the character of our two political parties in the indispensable City Journal, and I do advise you to read it.  But you can also take it in by video, in the latest “Conversations with Bill Kristol,” just out this morning.  The whole conversation is nearly 90 minutes, but Mansfield’s reflections on the »

Intelligence Tests for Liberals

Featured image American Sniper has lit up the box office over the weekend, with packed theaters having to turn away moviegoers. Selma, not so much. The total box office for American Sniper may well top $100 million by the end of the weekend. And guess who really really hates the success of this movie? Liberals. Like Guardian columnist Lindy West: “The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots »

Can We Get an Injunction Against Ignorance?

Featured image Many weeks back I wrote here about the polls from the 1990s in which a majority of Democrats favored repealing the Public Affairs Act of 1975 because Bill Clinton was said to recommended repeal, with the punch line being that there is no such thing as the Public Affairs Act of 1975. It was a contrivance of pollsters to check on public ignorance. Well, some merry pranksters at Oklahoma State »

The Week in Pictures: Arms Are For Hugging Edition

Featured image No sooner does Les Gelb say the Obama Administration is incompetent at foreign policy than the Obama Administration goes out to prove Gelb right in spectacular fashion.  If you’d pitched The Onion the scenario of John Kerry going to Paris to offer France “a big hug,” and be serenaded by James Taylor, they would have thrown you out for being too ridiculous even for them.  It’s enough to make Joe »

Does The Democratic Party Have a Future? (Part 2)

Featured image John introduced this subject a few items below, and it deserves not just a hopeful “NO!” in response, but additional analysis.  The Washington Post yesterday put together a nice little scoreboard of Democratic losses during the Obama years (displayed below), and it is stunning to realize how disastrous Obama has been for Democrats not named Obama. Obama has seen the worst party erosion ever, more than Republicans during the Watergate »

Gelb Makes Obama A Gelding

Featured image I remember as a mere callow college student when I made out that Jimmy Carter was finished: when liberals turned on him. For example, Ken Bode, then the revered moderator of “Washington Week in Review” on PBS, wrote in 1979 “It’s Over For Jimmy” in The New Republic: “The past two weeks will be remembered as the period when President Carter packed it in, put the finishing touches on a »

A Few Loose Ends on Jaffa & Berns

Featured image My Wall Street Journal article today on the Jaffa-Berns feud had to be shortened down for page space reasons, which often happens in newspapers, of course. But one of the sacrificed lines was my favorite joke of the piece, which was that Harry Jaffa was relentless, and would always send you another letter if you responded. The only way to get in the last word with Jaffa was either complete »

The California Donnybrook: Start the Popcorn Machine

Featured image I have a good conservative friend who has lived in Washington, DC most of his adult life, where he is a registered Democrat, so that he could vote for Marion Barry in Democratic primaries, on the theory that “if you can’t have effective government, at least you can have entertaining government.” That’s how I’m starting to feel about the Democratic horse race to replace Babs “Don’t Call Me Ma’am” Boxer »

Fox News Derangement Syndrome, or, The Left Out-Fox-es Itself

Featured image If there’s any conservative media the Left hates worse that Rush Limbaugh and AM talk radio, it’s Fox News. The Left is obsessed with Fox News, and just as the Left floated the idea of reviving the “fairness doctrine” to shut down Rush Limbaugh (the “hush Rush rule,” as it was called), the Left would love to find a way for the government to shut down or regulate Fox News »

Harry Jaffa on Woody Hayes

Featured image Congratulations to Ohio State on winning the national championship last night (though for the record I detest the entire BCS derangement of college football of the last decade). I’m reminded that Harry Jaffa taught at Ohio State in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and was friendly with Hayes.  He told this story upon Hayes’s passing: In 1956 Ohio State was placed on a one-year probation because of Woody’s having »

Je Suis Hypocrit

Featured image Everyone feels great about proclaiming the slogan “Je suis Charlie,” but as David Brooks points out (okay, okay, get your catcalls and boos out of the way here), if Charlie Hebdo were published on just about any American college campus, the PC police would shut it down as “hate speech.” Jonathan Rauch, who as mentioned here before is an advocate of gay marriage, has some useful observations about the campus »

Midweek in Pictures: Special Paris Mis-Match Edition

Featured image Can’t wait until Saturday to share all of the memes piling up about Obama’s egregious decision to skip the largest political gathering in Western Europe since World War II.  I recall being in Europe in December 2008, shortly after Obama’s election, and just about every European I met was giddy over Obama.  I wonder what they think of him now.  Have they figured out that he’s just not that into »

Calling All Students

Featured image With so many universities being either leftist swamps, or, with their crucial departments such as history, philosophy, and political science being mindlessly boring, serious students now must look outside the universities to complete their education. If you’re especially perceptive and disciplined, you can read good books on your own. This was Churchill’s method, as described in the chapter “My Education at Bangalore” in My Early Life. But it is not »

The Field Narrows: Paul Ryan Out for 2016

Featured image Paul Ryan has announced this afternoon that he won’t run for president in 2016: Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, told NBC News in an interview Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016. “I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016,” Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is “at peace” with the »

Breaking: CENTCOM Hacked

Featured image Good grief: just as Obama is giving a speech on cybersecurity to the Federal Trade Commission, the Twitter and YouTube accounts of U.S. Central Command—CENTCOM—have been hacked and taken over by someone claiming to be ISIS: The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was hacked Monday while President Barack Obama was delivering an address about cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission. The hack, by an individual or group claiming to »

Walter Berns and Harry V. Jaffa, RIP

Featured image By an extraordinary coincidence that summons up the idea of Providence, Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa both passed away yesterday. These two intellectual giants, graduate school classmates and students of Leo Strauss, carried on a long-running and sometimes bitter feud (“the feud that saved conservatism,” as I shall argue more fully in a couple days). This found me caught in the middle, as a student of Jaffa and a colleague »

A Reminder from . . . Woody Allen?

Featured image It is not often that I turn to Woody Allen for practical wisdom—or any other kind of wisdom—but John Podhoretz brings to our attention a fragment of dialogue from Manhattan that fits the Charlie Hebdo aftermath just right: “Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey, you know? We should go there, get some guys together. Get some bricks and baseball bats and explain things to ‘em.” »