Conservatism

After last night, detoxify here

Featured image Peter Robinson recorded the current edition of Uncommon Knowledge last month with Thomas Sowell (video below). Sowell is a one-man antidote for the evasions and prevarications retailed by Barack Obama along with his supporters and enablers. If you subjected yourself to Obama’s State of the Union Address last night, a dose of Sowell may help detoxify you. If you took a pass, it will edify you. The series summary states: »

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Featured image We have a link posted in our “Picks” section above to the first installment of Harvey Mansfield on the character of our two political parties in the indispensable City Journal, and I do advise you to read it.  But you can also take it in by video, in the latest “Conversations with Bill Kristol,” just out this morning.  The whole conversation is nearly 90 minutes, but Mansfield’s reflections on the »

Berns on Berrigan

Featured image I studied the writings of both Harry Jaffa and Walter Berns intently when I was in the process of abandoning liberalism and becoming conservative. I think I read just about everything each had published as of 1973. Fortunately for me, that included Jaffa’s great book on Lincoln, Crisis of the House Divided. I consumed Bern’s writings on the Constitution and the First Amendment, but I especially enjoyed Berns’s essay on »

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 »

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 »

For Speaker, Louis Gohmert [Updated]

Featured image Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert announced on Fox and Friends this morning that he will challenge John Boehner as Speaker of the House in the new Congress. I hope Gohmert wins, and urge conservatives in the House delegation to vote for him. I have generally defended Boehner in the past, but in my view his conduct with regard to the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill that was passed during the lame duck »

Anyone But Jeb Bush? Pretty Much

Featured image Jeb Bush more or less announced his presidential candidacy today, and the reaction from conservatives was predictably negative. On Twitter, someone pointed out: Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain, Romney…Bush? I agree with Glenn Reynolds’ assessment: Jeb’s a nice guy, and would certainly be a better President than Obama — but, then, my cat would be a better President than Obama, and I don’t own a cat. I don’t want »

The protracted conflict

Featured image Earlier this month The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale held a conference in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of James Burnham’s Suicide of the West, republished in a new edition by Encounter Books. The festivities included introductory remarks by Donald Kagan followed by three panels and a keynote speech by former NSA/CIA director Michael Hayden. The Buckley Program conference videos are all accessible on YouTube here. The Buckley »

Why conservatives should be wary of criminal sentencing reform

Featured image The war on standards in America proceeds on multiple fronts. Employers are under pressure to lower employment standards; public schools to lower student discipline standards; colleges to lower admissions standards; banks to lower lending standards, and so forth. America’s most basic standards are those embodied in its criminal laws. These standards are enforced through the penalites (usually in the form of prison sentences) associated with non-compliance. Conservatives generally have tried »

Clearing my spindle, NR edition

Featured image I have been catching up on the past three or four issues of National Review between breaks in the programming on the NR cruise. Yesterday’s stop in St. Maarten interrupted the excellent programming that is the main attraction of the cruise. When the programming resumed, it kicked off with a panel on feminism featuring NR roving correspondent Kevin Williamson and Christina Hoff Sommers responding to questions presented by Jay Nordlinger. »

Recalling the Buckley legacy

Featured image The National Review Institute put together the video below featuring the estimable William F. Buckley, Jr., the founding editor of National Review and the man without whom….well, listen to George Will’s voiceover tribute in the video. NRI unfurled the video last week at the dinner awarding NRI’s first annual Buckley Prize. The video covers a lot of territory in six minutes. It does so in a manner calculated to raise »

A conversation with Christopher DeMuth

Featured image In the newly posted installment of Conversations with Bill Kristol, we meet up with the formidable public intellectual Christopher DeMuth (complete video below, broken into six chapters here, transcript here). As president of the American Enterprise Institute from 1986 to 2008, DeMuth built AEI into a powerhouse. He currently serves as a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute. In this conversation, Kristol and DeMuth discuss political thinkers including Edward C. »

The New Normal and Millenial Voters

Featured image The Obama administration is in many respects a more sinister version of the Carter administration. Now, as then, we hear talk of a “new normal.” Pundits and news people who recognize that the economy is lousy, but can’t believe that liberal policies are the cause, conclude that we will just have to get used to slow growth, lower incomes, massive underemployment and a fast-rising cost of living. This “new normal” »

Hispanic Voters Are Reagan Voters!

Featured image That’s the message of this hard-hitting new anti-Mark Udall ad in Colorado, which is lighting up the internet this morning. The ad, produced by Conservative War Chest, is playing in both Spanish and English. It is aggressive, to put it mildly; it will be fun to hear the Democrats squawk about it over the days to come. The ad represents the most meaningful effort I have seen to take seriously »

Scruton to the Rescue

Featured image Roger Scruton has a new book out How To Be a Conservative.  Does Roger publish a book every week?  It sure seems like it sometimes; I’m still working my way through The Soul of the World. Anyway, if you’re running behind on your reading pile, as I always am, you should avail yourself of Richard Reinsch’s interview/podcast with Roger about his new book at the Liberty Fund’s indispensable LibertyLawSite.  (In »

Mark Steyn: Preview and retrospective

Featured image Mark Steyn takes note of his appearance yesterday at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for an audience convened by our friends at the Center of the American Experiment. Mark warmed up for his speech with an interview conducted by Dave Thompson on location in Orchestra Hall, broadcast on News Talk 1130 AM and 103.5 FM (video below). The interview went down before Mark’s speech and gave a good preview of it. »

Mark Steyn Live

Featured image Last night, Scott and I, along with around 900 others, had the great pleasure of hearing Mark Steyn at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The occasion was the Center of the American Experiment’s Fall Briefing. I had expected Mark to talk (among other things) about his Michael Mann lawsuit–if you’ve just returned from an extended trip to Albania, Mann is trying to shut up Mark, National Review and others by suing »