Donald Trump

Trump speaks about the Alabama race

Featured image President Trump made two points today about the Alabama Senate race. First, he called Democrat Doug Jones “terrible on crime, terrible on borders, terrible on the military.” Trump added: “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.” Second, he noted that the alleged sexual misconduct by Roy Moore took place “40 years ago” and that the candidate has insisted “this did not happen.” Trump also said Moore has »

The wages of injudicious insurgency

Featured image Last month, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell got together at the White House. According to reports, they discussed, among other things, Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. I thought that, from McConnell’s perspective, convincing Trump not to support this effort was the primary purpose of the lunch. McConnell reminded Trump about past insurgent primary winners who went »

Trump gets UCLA shoplifters out of China

Featured image Three UCLA men’s basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China are on their way back to the United States after President Trump personally intervened in the case with China’s head of state, Xi Jinping. The three players — LiAngelo Ball (brother of Lonzo and son of LeVar), Jalen Hill and Cody Riley — were caught by video cameras stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to where the team »

Trump vouches for sincerity of Putin’s “meddling” denial

Featured image President Trump returned today to the question of Russian meddling in 2016 president election. He stated that Vladimir Putin, in response to his questions about the matter, has repeatedly denied meddling. Trump added that he believes Putin’s denials are sincere. Trump didn’t say he believes Putin’s denial, only that the denial is sincere. It’s unlikely, however, that if Putin meddled, his denial is sincere. Putin almost surely has a firm »

Understanding Trump

Featured image With the 2016 election now one year behind us, some observers are taking the anniversary as an occasion to assess the outcome. This past June 21 the Claremont Institute called on Charles Kesler and William Voegeli to advance our understanding of President Trump. Professor Kesler is the editor in chief of the Claremont Review of Books; Bill Voegeli is a senior editor of, and a regular contributor to, the CRB. »

Tom Cotton and the future of Trumpism

Featured image Last night, in a post about Tom Cotton, I suggested that the Senator might be one who, along with President Trump himself, helps “shape Trumpism into a functional, more traditionally conservative but still nationalistic approach to governing.” David Azerrad of the Heritage Foundation discusses the kind of synthesis I had in mind. Perhaps the greatest shortcoming of Trumpist populism, in its current form at least, is that it can at »

The New Yorker does Tom Cotton

Featured image The New Yorker is running a piece by Jeffrey Toobin called “Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?” Toobin is a left-wing hatchet man. Ed Whelan has called foul on him several times, including here (for his treatment of Justice Scalia) and here (for his treatment of then-Judge Gorsuch). Adam White did so here. Toobin’s treatment of Cotton is far from fair and balanced. Consider this ludicrous passage: In describing »

Trump at One Year

Featured image I have a short contribution in an LA Times symposium today (just ahead of contributions from Bernie Sanders and Marvelous Maxine Waters!) looking back at Trump a year after the election. One point I make is that it is a mistake to put too much in Trump’s low approval ratings: In assessing Trump’s prospects, let’s keep in mind that Trump’s personal approval rating on election day was nearly as negative. »

Gelernter’s Trump

Featured image The Islamist terror attack that killed eight in Manhattan yesterday fills me with impotent rage, but it also got me thinking about President Trump and his national security team. With them, there will be no hiding or downplaying the underlying reality of the attack. We will not be solemnly instructed to gainsay the truth that stares us in the face. Bill Bennett’s most recent installment of his podcast show includes »

Ed Gillespie’s high wire act

Featured image If this year’s Virginia governor’s race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam is a dress rehearsal for 2018, then next year’s congressional races should present quite a spectacle. If you don’t think so, check out this story in the Washington Post called “Bikers for Trump rallies for Gillespie — without Gillespie.” Gillespie narrowly defeated Corey Stewart in the Republican primary. Stewart managed Trump’s campaign in Virginia for a »

Has the Republican Party “surrendered” to Trump?

Featured image I respect Bill Kristol, Sen. Jeff Flake, and every other conservative who takes a principled anti-Trump stand. I don’t much respect Sen. Bob Corker who supported candidate Trump and reportedly wanted to be his Secretary of State, only later to “discover” what most of us knew all along– Donald Trump is a bad guy. I don’t disagree with many of the criticisms leveled at President Trump by Kristol, Flake, and »

Trump Unplugged

Featured image About 15 years back I happened to catch a live show by Jay Leno, who still toured now and then to do live comedy even while he was hosting The Tonight Show. And he opened by joking that he’d just appeared at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, the large resort run by, and for the benefit of, the tiny Pequot Indian tribe. Leno joked, in a faux-Italian accent, that he »

Bombshell: The Bush Conspiracy Exposed

Featured image Paul (and many many others) others have commented on former President George W. Bush’s recent speech that many, many others took as a thinly-veiled attack on President Trump. However, Power Line has obtained a confidential memo from inside the Bush Family High Command that blows the lid off the Deep State conspiracy to secure the political future of the Bush family, and the whole Bush house of cards could well »

George Bush’s speech

Featured image Last week, George W. Bush delivered an address decrying the rise of nativism, bigotry, and incivility in recent years. The former president did not mention the current one by name, but it is clear that he had Donald Trump mind. Whether Bush blames Trump for the rise of all three phenomena — nativism, bigotry, and incivility — is less certain. I suspect he does. Construing Bush’s speech as an across-the-board »

Listen to Donald Trump speak to gold star widow

Featured image Yesterday, John Kelly provided the context to President Trump’s call to the family of Sergeant La David Johnson. Kelly said that he has talked with Trump about the kind of words that offer some small solace to grieving Gold Star families. Gen. Kelly is uniquely qualified to counsel the president about this. He has made consoling calls to families and received such a call when his son was killed while »

Trump and McConnell hang out

Featured image President Trump met with Senate Majority Leader McConnell today. Then, they held a lengthy joint press conference. The transcript is here. White House officials described the lunch as focused mainly on efforts to cut taxes. Reportedly, Trump and McConnell also discussed Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. It’s likely that convincing Trump not to support this effort was the »

Have Trump’s tweets aided the kneelers’ legal position?

Featured image The Washington Post wants to create that impression. Its story on the subject is called (in the paper edition): “Trump may have bolstered kneelers’ legal position.” No sound argument supports this notion. The Post’s Tracy Jan who, according to the paper “covers the intersection of race and the economy,” peddles the view that Trump’s talk about revoking the NFL’s tax breaks means that the government is now infringing free expression. »