2016 presidential election

Hillary’s “classified” excuse doesn’t wash

Featured image Scott has called today’s McClatchy story about Hillary Clinton’s emails “must read.” I agree. McClatchy reports that the classified emails known to have been stored on the former Secretary of State’s private server contained information from five intelligence agencies, and included material related to the fatal 2012 Benghazi attacks. And this, if I understand correctly, is just from a sample of 40 emails. Clinton’s defense continues to be that she »

Trump could scramble GOP race even if he fades

Featured image By now, almost everyone has seen the list of presidential candidates who had excellent poll numbers the year before the race, but who eventually faded or collapsed. I won’t rehearse the full list, but think of Rudy Giuliani and Howard Dean. I believe Donald Trump will join this list, primarily because until fairly recently he was a Democrat and more liberal than conservative. But even if I’m right, Trump might »

Hillary Looking for Cover Over Planned Parenthood? [With Observation by John]

Featured image Of course Hillary Clinton hedges over everything—did you see her dodge when asked about the Keystone XL pipeline? Even the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza called it “ridiculous.” I wonder what Cillizza makes of her comment this morning about the Planned Parenthood videos? While Hillary professed that she’s unalterably pro-choice and plans to “stand with Planned Parenthood,” there was the telltale hedging, as though she wants to leave room to run »

More Reader Reactions on Trump

Featured image Last weekend I declared an “open thread” on Trump along with some “interrogatories,” which is a little misleading since all of our posts are open to comment with everyone who is signed up for one of the filtering mechanisms that prohibit anonymous comments. (We do this, FYI, to keep the comment threads from spinning out of control as many anonymous comment boards do, as none of us have time to »

What Carly can do: Quotable quotes

Featured image At my request the Fiorina campaign has kindly forwarded the text of Carly Fiorina’s speech at the Reagan Library this week. I want to post this addendum of quotable quotes to the video of the speech that I posted here this morning. Quotable quote: “When President Obama warned Assad not to cross a red line, Assad took this as an invitation, not an admonition. This administration’s blind eye to aggression »

Trump tests the intelligence of populists

Featured image It’s well documented that until fairly recently Donald Trump was a Democrat and that he took mostly liberal positions on major issues. But Kevin Williamson deepens our understanding of Trump’s non-conservatism — as well as his deep cynicism — by looking at how the tycoon has tried to influence American politics through money. Williamson makes his point by comparing Trump to others who, as Donald likes to say, are “really »

Live from Vox: Bernie Unplugged

Featured image Ezra Klein interviewed Bernie Sanders for his tyro website Pox, and it makes for fun reading. Yes, of course we know Sanders is a socialist, but it’s helpful when a socialist is as open about it as Bernie, and in places it appears he’s even too left for Klein. Sanders emphasizes that he’s a “democratic” socialist. Oh well, then it’s okay I guess for a majority to confiscate the wealth »

What Carly can do

Featured image The field of Republican presidential candidates is extraordinarily impressive. Even so, Carly Fiorina stands out. She’s the only woman and she has articulated her critique of the Democratic opposition with a special zest and bite. In his recent dispatch from New Hampshire, Jay Nordlinger dubs her “Carly the communicator.” I am unsure what the premise of her candidacy for president is, but it seems to me at the least that »

An anti-Trump smear and its aftermath

Featured image Yesterday, the Daily Beast smeared Donald Trump by suggesting that he raped his ex-wife Ivana. It justified digging up this ancient story on the theory that “Donald Trump introduced his presidential campaign to the world with a slur against Mexican immigrants, accusing them of being ‘rapists.'” If Donald Trump committed rape, however long ago, there is no need to justify writing about it. The problem is that, from all that »

Ted Cruz on the Important Question: Kirk v. Picard

Featured image Ted Cruz has upset some of the usual “cultured despisers” (a phrase that I have traced back to sociologist Peter Berger in the 1960s, incidentally, though it may have earlier origins [UPDATE: It was Schleiermacher—I should have tried out that Google thing]) by asserting in the New York Times Magazine Sunday that Captain James T. Kirk of the Original Series is superior to Captain John Luke Picard of the UN-congruent »

Where Did Rand Paul Go? (2)

Featured image Last week we pondered the disappearance of Rand Paul. Once again, Power Line was on top of the curve. Today, Politico has a long feature on Paul’s “downward spiral.” Interviews with more than a dozen sources close to the Kentucky senator, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of an underfunded and understaffed campaign beaten down by low morale. They described an operation that pitted »

Mike Huckabee’s overblown rhetoric on the Iran deal

Featured image Mike Huckabee is under attack for a comment he made about the Iran nuclear deal. Huckabee stated: This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. The comment is over-the-top for several reasons. First, it is too harsh. It’s Iran that »

Trump thought the housing market was “solid” in 2007

Featured image Donald Trump has tried to explain why he was a Democrat by saying that a Republican president, George W. Bush, crashed the economy. He told MSNBC that in the last two years of the Bush administration, the housing market “was a bubble that was waiting to explode.” Bush, Trump claimed, had a “death wish,” so he ignored the obvious weakness in the housing market and the economy collapsed. We have »

What’s Happening In States That Are Paying Attention Is Reassuring

Featured image Following the headlines every day, one could easily give in to despair. But if you want a shot of optimism, focus on these NBC/Marist poll results in states where voters might actually be paying attention–Iowa and New Hampshire. This poll is a simple approval/disapproval comparison. Of course, it reflects the fact that politicians in general are not held in high esteem. And Bernie Sanders scores well, especially in New Hampshire, »

Hillary’s Hot Air Balloon [Updated]

Featured image I’m starting to think Hillary Clinton believes her own B.S., or represents the first attempt at a human self-inflated hot air balloon.  Back in the 1960s, Great Society liberals told us that they’d abolish poverty in 10 years (Sargent Shriver declared this confidently in Capitol Hill testimony). Yeah—how’d that work out for them? Having learned nothing from that kind of grandiosity, Hillary Clinton today “pledged to take steps as president »

Does Trump Trump? Angelo Codevilla on Our Present Moment

Featured image Angelo Codevilla is a former staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, and the author of more than a dozen fine books on politics, arms control, and intelligence (if I had to pick a favorite it might be The Character of Nations), including a fine translation of Machiavelli’s Prince published by Yale University Press. Most recently his essay-turned-book The Ruling Class: How »

Assessing Trump’s conservative conversion

Featured image As Steve wrote today in connection with Donald Trump, it’s not a sin to change one’s political and/or ideological affiliation, provided that the change is genuine. Nor is it always easy to determine whether a conversion is genuine. There are, however, a number of factors through which the authenticity of a conversation can be assessed. As we will see, if we apply these factors to Trump’s conversion to conservatism, it »