Conservatism

More Sass and Sense From Ben Sasse

Featured image I think Power Line was among the very first outfits (after Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard) to take note of Ben Sasse of Nebraska back in 2013, when he was still in academia and a run for U.S. Senate was notional, but by now people are starting to wake up to the fact that he’s the real deal. In this 90-second clip, NBC’s Chuck Todd asks Senator Sasse to »

Mindless responses to National Review’s “Against Trump” essays

Featured image Fox News is a large outfit with plenty of on-air personalities. So it’s natural that some of them are pro-Donald Trump, or at least anti-anti-Trump, and that therefore some reacted negatively to National Reviews “Against Trump” issue. The problem is the mindlessness of some of the negative reactions. John Daly documents them at NR’s Corner. Take Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro. She said on Twitter: “The National Review needs »

Forrest McDonald, RIP [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Sad news yesterday of the passing of one of the great conservative historians of our time, Forrest McDonald, at the age of 89. He taught for many years at the University of Alabama, and was the author of several important revisionist works on American history, including a favorable biography of the great electric utility executive Sam Insull (one of the “economic royalists” that FDR hunted down with mixed success during »

Paul Ryan to push for Obama’s legacy “jail break” agenda

Featured image Paul Ryan has made it clear that he considers himself the Republican Party’s “shadow nominee” for president. As such, he’s trying to lock the contenders for the real nomination into positions he favors — positions that, in some cases, are out-of-step with those advocated by the GOP frontrunners and difficult to reconcile with conservatism as we have long known it. This, it seems to me, was the purpose of Ryan’s »

My New Job

Featured image As Scott was kind enough to preview, I have retired from the practice of law and have embarked on a second career as the President of the Center of the American Experiment, a think tank based in Minnesota. I have been associated with the Center for a long time. Scott and I wrote research papers under its auspices in the 1990s, before we started Power Line. In 1995, the Center »

What Happened to the Conservative Book Club?

Featured image Over the years the Conservative Book Club, now over 50 years old, has picked up several of my books as a main selection of the month, so I’m inclined to be well disposed to the CBC. But it is more than a little dismaying to see the CBC’s recent list of the “Top Ten Conservative Books of 2015” include this: I know the CBC, now a unit of Salem Communications, »

The Creaking Joints of Democracy

Featured image One of my favorite liberals, Philly magazine’s Joel Mathis (he’s one half of the “Red-Blue America” column with Ben Boychuk), offers up a conciliatory column in the spirit of Christmas today that I take at face value. A few relevant bits: Some of my best friends are conservatives. . . My life is immeasurably better and richer because of my conservative friends, starting with Ben Boychuk—no RINO he—and extending to »

The Great Republican Revolt: who benefits?

Featured image I’ve never read anything by David Frum, or had a conversation with him, without thinking that I learned something. There’s plenty to learn from him in this long piece called “The Great Republican Revolt.” The revolt, Frum says, is founded on the belief that the Republican party no longer has the interests of “Middle Americans” at heart. It is not really a conservative revolt. Instead, it is populist: [These voters] »

Which Republican has hurt conservatism the most?

Featured image By this time next year the answer might be easy: Donald Trump, if you count him as a Republican. For now, Paul Ryan ranks at the top of my list. Your answer will depend, naturally, on how you view conservatism. But when we look at Ryan’s omnibus spending bill, we see a nearly across-the-board sell out on issues that most conservatives view as fundamental. Rick Manning, President of Americans for »

The limits of the Buckley rule

Featured image The Buckley rule holds that conservatives should support “the rightwardmost viable candidate.” It’s a fine rule for conservatives to apply to races for Congress where the victor’s main role will be to vote on legislation that conservatives either favor or disfavor. The rule is more problematic in a presidential election (note, though, that Buckley formulated it in the presidential election of 1964). The president’s function isn’t just to formulate policy. »

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 »