The Weekly Winston: Chuck Hagel as Thomas Inskip

Featured image The woeful Hagel nomination brings back memories of the 1936 appointment of the “entirely unsuited” (Richard Langworth’s phrase) Sir Thomas Inskip to be the Minister for the Coordination of Defense in the British government—a post that everyone thought Churchill should fill.  William Manchester pointed out that “a  search of The Times files reveals that his only notable public effort had been a successful campaign to suppress revisions of the Anglican »

The Weekly Winston: Painting as a Pastime Edition

Featured image We know that George W. Bush is a Churchill fan who, unlike the current occupant of the White House, both welcomed and was honored by the British offer to have the Churchill bust in the Oval Office.  We now know from the hacks of Bush’s email that he emulates Churchill in other respect—as a painter.  The Free Beacon has the details, but if you think the painting nearby of someone »

The Weekly Winston: Iran and “Unregulated Unthinkability”

Featured image Chuck Hagel’s prevarications in his Senate testimony this week about the prevarications of the Obama Administration’s Iran policy brought to mind one of Churchill’s characterizations of British government policy about disarmament in the early 1930s—what at other times he described more simply as “mush, slush, and gush.”  But this 1934 comment comes close to capturing the essence of Obama’s own brand of mush, slush, and gush about Iran: It is »

The Weekly Winston: Women in Combat Edition

Featured image I doubt Sir Winston would be entirely keen on the proposal to open up combat roles to women in our armed forces.  But he would not be surprised it has come to this, as this excerpt from a Strand magazine article in 1938 hints: We take the immunity of women from violence so much for granted that we do not perceive what inroads are being made upon it.  These inroads »

Obama vs. MLK

Featured image Brother Mathis has done it again.  Not content with provoking me to discourse on the nanny state last week, on Monday Joel produced a column about Martin Luther King Jr. and Obama.  Our mutual pal Ben Boychuk suggested on Facebook that our pieces represented a good Right-Left counterpoint about MLK, as Joel’s account mostly follows the conventional liberal narrative, though with caveats that it’s “complicated.”  (Isn’t everything “complicated” for liberals?) »

The Weekly Winston: Fearful Symmetry Edition

Featured image Churchill’s description of Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, written in his World War II memoirs in 1948, includes a comparison with contemporary significance: All was there—the programme of German resurrection, the technique of party propaganda; the plan for combatting Marxism; the concept of the National-Socialist State; the rightful position of Germany at the summit of the world.  Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant »

The Weekly Winston: Omnibus Edition

Featured image I’ve been thinking about bureaucracy a bit more than usual the last few days, and hence this remark of Churchill’s seems useful in our fiscally challenging times: There is no surer method of economizing and saving money than in the reduction of the number of officials. I bid a 50 percent cut in non-military government agencies.  The only downside here is that most federal agencies would become more productive if »

The Weekly Winston: Fiscal Abyss Edition

Featured image Now that we’re past the “fiscal cliff” (note I didn’t say “safely” past), we really ought to try to promote a term that is more accurate to our real predicament, which is much worse.  How about “fiscal abyss”?  This is the term of art we ought to use as we approach the political sequel to the fiscal cliff, which will come with the expiration of the debt ceiling sometime in »

The Weekly Winston: Fiscal Cliff Edition

Featured image Everyone supposes that supply-side economics was a purely American phenomenon, with its antecedents going back to Calvin Coolidge and his tax-cutting Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon and ending up with the Laffer Curve.  And of course Ronald Reagan liked to quote John F. Kennedy on the wisdom of income tax rate cuts, much to the consternation of good liberals today. But in fact Churchill was part of the early supply-side revolution, »

The Weekly Winston: Christmas Message Edition

Featured image From a broadcast Churchill made from the White House on his visit to FDR in December 1941 a few weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked: Let the children play and have their night of fun and laughter.  Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play.  Let us grown-ups share to the full their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie »

The Weekly Winston: Public Opinion in American Democracy

Featured image This short fragment from volume III of The World Crisis, published in 1927, is worth keeping in mind as we watch the ongoing political fight over the fiscal cliff.  (By the way, notice the curious but prescient mistake in this passage.*) The rigid Constitution of the United States, the gigantic scale of its party machinery, the fixed terms for which public officers and representatives are chosen, invest the President with »

CRB: Code of the gentleman

Featured image We continue our Christmas extravaganza previewing the Fall issue of the Claremont Review of Books through Friday. If you lean conservative and love to read about history, politics, economics, literature, culture and current events, the CRB has earned your attention. Subscriptions are available here for $19.95 (including immediate online access). Students of Winston Churchill know that Aristotle played a key role in his self-education. Churchill’s search for “a concise compendious »

The Weekly Winston: On Lincoln and the Civil War

Featured image I still haven’t got out to see the new Lincoln movie yet—perhaps this week—so I’ll have to let it rest with Scott’s review here, with the caveat that I’m tempted to weigh in on his mention of Richard Hofstatdter, whose views on Lincoln are inadequate and defective in important ways.  (But for a fragment of the argument against Hofstadter, see this old post.) Here’s what Churchill had to say about »

The Weekly Winston: “The Happy Warrior of Squandermania”

Featured image The Wall Street Journal this morning carries a feature by my pal Stephen Moore about the elfin Grover Norquist, who reminds us that Democratic promises about future spending cuts to accompany immediate tax increases are “imaginary unicorns.”  Which brought to mind a useful phrase that Churchill applied to his old friend David Lloyd-George that we ought to revive and deploy just now—“the Happy Warrior of Squandermania.”  Here’s the full quotation, »

The Last Biographer?

Featured image I’m always behind on my reading pile, so I was slow to catch up with the Wall Street Journal’s bizarro review last Saturday of the new Manchester-Reid Churchill biography, The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm.  Most of the “review” was more a memoir of the reviewer’s casual acquaintanceship with Manchester rather than a discussion of the book.  The subtext of the review, most people I’ve spoken with agree, seems to »

The Weekly Winston: Post-Election Edition

Featured image Some of Churchill’s most famous remarks involved election campaigns and their aftermath, especially losing campaigns.  The most often recalled were his comment after the 1945 landslide loss when Clementine said that perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, to which Winston replied that if so, it was certainly very well disguised.  Or: “In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.” But in light of this »

A Last Lion Interlude

Featured image While we await game day tomorrow, let me refresh everyone’s memory about book news. Back in May I brought Power Line readers’ attention to the forthcoming final volume of William Manchester’s multi-volume Churchill biography, The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965.   The official pub date is tomorrow, but Amazon is shipping it already and you can have your copy tomorrow if you want to distract from election day rumors »