Author Archives: Steven Hayward

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.” »

The Community College Subversion?

Featured image Is Obama’s initiative for “free” community college an oblique shout-out to the cancelled NBC show? It wouldn’t seem to have much else to recommend it, and it can be seen as yet another payoff to a key constituency group—community college professors and students. But a sharp-eyed Power Line reader sends in another way of looking at this idea: The One has created a real opportunity for creating havoc in a »

Looking for a Summer Vacation Idea?

Featured image How about a Baltic cruise with Jonah Goldberg, Amity Shlaes, Arthur Laffer, Charles Kesler, and  . . . me?  Yup, that’s right: my pals at the Pacific Research Institute have organized their first ever “Liberty-at-Sea Cruise,” sailing from Copenhagen to Helsinki and St. Petersburg from August 16-23, and I’ll be on board for the whole thing.  You can find out all about it here (including the rest of the speakers), »

The Week in Pictures: Charlie Hebdo Edition

Featured image There is something obviously wrong with all of the “brave” cartoonists doing “pen is mightier than the sword” images.  Yes, ideas rule over the long term, but in the short term bullets can cancel ballots, and end cartoonists, too.  The idea of free expression depends on it being used for what the cultural left calls “transgressive” purposes.  So how about some “transgressive” images directed at “the Prophet”? We’ll go there. »

Take Pity on the Pity Party

Featured image Don’t miss Bill Voegeli in today’s edition of The Weekly Standard on the “Liars’ Remorse” of Democrats over the ongoing albatross of Obamacare, but you should also take in the second installment of Voegeli’s conversation with Charles Kesler on The American Mind about how liberals understand “compassion,” based on his book The Pity Party (about 12 minutes): »

California’s Boxer Rebellion (Updated)

Featured image The cheery news that California’s Senator Babs Boxer is going to retire at the end of this term is tempered by the fact that California is such a heavily Democratic state now that she is likely to be replaced by someone just as bad, but 20 years younger and therefore prolonging California’s national embarrassment for another couple of decades. (You know things are bad when Dianne Feinstein is considered the »