National Review, the Musical! [Updated With Comment by John]

Featured image If Broadway can turn Alexander Hamilton’s life story into a rap musical, then why can’t we turn National Review‘s 60th anniversary into a musical number as well? Here it is: NR asked me to contribute a short item to the 60th anniversary issue on what one book stands out for having influenced my thinking at a young age, and I selected C.S. Lewis’s Abolition of Man. Since it’s behind a »

City Journal at 25, with Brian Anderson

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The table of contents for the twenty-fifth anniversary issue is posted here (subscribe here). To salute the magazine’s milestone, and bring the magazine to the attention of readers who might not be familiar with it, I submitted a set of questions to long-time editor Myron Magnet (now retired) and current editor Brian Anderson. I posted my exchange with Myron Magnet »

City Journal at 25, with Myron Magnet

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The table of contents for the twenty-fifth anniversary issue is posted here. City Journal is a fantastic and fantastically influential quarterly magazine that I have read regularly over the years (subscribe here).To salute the magazine’s milestone, and bring the magazine to the attention of readers who might not be familiar with it, I submitted a set of questions to long-time »

Bibi brings it (2)

Featured image Following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama in the White House on Monday, AEI hosted its 2015 annual dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. AEI presented its 2015 Irving Kristol Award to Netanyahu. In lieu of a speech Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to questions put to him by AEI’s Danielle Pletka. The video is below. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has posted excerpts of Netanyahu’s remarks here. »

Unmaking at 50

Featured image Even as a mindless teen-age liberal I read Bill Buckley’s syndicated column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I even learned something from it. I looked up the words I didn’t understand in the dictionary. Reading Buckley was my preparation for the Verbal portion of the SAT exam. Reading Buckley and looking up the exotic vocabulary he employed might have constituted overpreparation, even back in those somewhat more rigorous days. »

What really divides conservatives

Featured image What best explains the division we see among conservatives these days? Is it ideology, strategy, or just tactics? All three factor in. But I believe the biggest source of division is cognitive. Some conservatives perceive that the left is bent on radically transforming American values, institutions, and ways of living, and will use almost any tactic, regardless of its legality, to accomplish the transformation. Others perceive the current moment as »

Ryan’s words show why he’ll be a bad Speaker

Featured image Paul Ryan isn’t even Speaker of the House yet and he’s already broken one promise. Ryan said he wouldn’t run for Speaker unless he had the endorsement of the Freedom Caucus. He doesn’t have it, yet he is plowing ahead. Ryan’s statement of intent illustrates why he likely will be a bad Speaker, and possibly a disastrous one. Ryan said in part: Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking »

Brooks of the Times

Featured image David Brooks is the prominent New York Times columnist who made a name for himself as a conservative writer at the Weekly Standard and in his early books of comic sociology. At the Times, however, Brooks has gone native. He has become a one-man source of global warming. And I don’t mean climate change. Sometimes he can’t see what is in front of his face, as in his take on »

How Jonah Became Jonah! (Part 3)

Featured image In this third and final installment of our conversation with Jonah Goldberg, Jonah recounts the origin of his first book, Liberal Fascism, and reflects on the role of the “Claremonsters” in awakening the attention of conservatives to the importance of Progressivism in deforming America’s constitutional order—a strain that was notably missing from the conservatism of the 1950s and the early National Review school. It’s about nine minutes long: »

Scrutonizing American Conservatism

Featured image Later this week I’m away to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, for a conference Friday afternoon with—and about the works of—philosopher Roger Scruton. If you’re in the Memphis area and would like to come, it is free and open to the public. Here are the full details. My paper, which I’m struggling mightily to finish today, is entitled “What American Conservatives Should Learn from Roger Scruton.” Beyond the obvious opening »

How Jonah Goldberg Became Jonah Goldberg! (Part 2)

Featured image In this second installment of our conversation with Jonah Goldberg, Jonah recounts finishing college and living as an ex-pat in Prague, where the largest difficulties were finding good toilet paper and deciding whether to stay all night at the casino gaming tables, why comic books seem to be a common denominator for certain kinds of conservatives, and how he finally got traction and achieved liftoff with his writing career.  About »

How Jonah Goldberg Became Jonah Goldberg! (Part 1)

Featured image A few weeks back when Jonah Goldberg and I were cruising the Baltic Sea attempting to spot Putin’s subs, undermine Russian autocracy, and re-enacting the Kronstadt rebellion as we sailed close by that memorial of early Leninist terror, I sat down with Jonah not to discuss current issues, but how he came to be a conservative in the first place. Here he explains his childhood and education. We had trouble »

What Next for the House? (Take 2)

Featured image John has offered his opinion that the House GOP should have little to fear if they force Obama to veto a continuing resolution that omits funding for Planned Parenthood, thereby causing a government shutdown. This may be correct, though I have my doubts it would work out well for Republicans. We’ve had this argument before on Power Line, so readers needn’t send in comments that the 2013 shutdown didn’t seem »

Netanyahu returns

Featured image I want to share this announcement from the American Enterprise Institute: American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks announced today that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will receive the 2015 Irving Kristol Award on November 9, 2015, in Washington, DC. The annual award, AEI’s highest honor, is given to individuals who have made exceptional practical and intellectual contributions to improve government policy, social welfare, or political understanding. The winner is »

The Jaffa-Berns Feud Revisited

Featured image When Harry Jaffa and Walter Berns died on the same day back in January, I wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal about how despite their bitter feud, they both deserve credit and praise for reviving some essential aspects of the American Founding. Their shared contributions were overshadowed by the rancor of their feud that spilled out from private letters into public forums. “In your present state of mind,” »

The “Baron,” John Von Kannon, RIP

Featured image More sad news from the ranks of our friends and heroes this week, this time the passing of John Von Kannon at the age of 66. John was one of the founders, with R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., of The American Spectator, and went on to become vice president of the Heritage Foundation. It was during those madcap early years of the Spectator that John acquired the nickname “Baron” that stuck »

Voegelin on America, Part 2

Featured image Last Sunday I mentioned appreciating Eric Voegelin’s Autobiographical Reflections. Here’s another passage that reinforces the point that America is superior to Europe in terms of philosophy and relevant thinking, based on his first extended visit to the U.S. in the early 1920s. (Voegelin could be pretty dense himself at times, but not here.) This literary work in which I assembled the results of the two American years does not, however, »