Phyllis Schlafly, RIP

Featured image I met the great Mrs. Schlafly only once, when we were speakers together on a Hillsdale College cruise some years ago, and found her perfectly delightful, and still full of brim though she was over 80. I don’t think she got the full honors deserved from conservatives, let alone from the mainstream media and feminists, who have mostly airbrushed her out of the class picture of politically important women. Her »

What serious protest by an athlete looks like

Featured image As folks continue to debate Colin Kaepernick’s unwarranted show of contempt for his country, news comes from Prague of the death of Vera Caslavska, a truly heroic athlete-protester. Here is the obituary by Emily Langer in the Washington Post from which this post is drawn. Caslavska won four gold medals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City just two months after the Soviet Union invaded her country. Fearing arrest by »

Lies of “Truth” revisited

Featured image This past October 16 the Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country. John and I warned viewers not to take the film at face value in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful.” On the film’s opening weekend the Star Tribune also carried my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column was published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the »

The worst Democratic presidential nominee until now

Featured image Scott argues that Hillary Clinton is the worst Democratic nominee for president ever. I think Scott has a good case if we confine ourselves to the period since the Civil War. My nominee for the worst nominee in the past 152 years until Hillary is James Cox. He ran for president in 1920 against Warren Harding. Harding, though underrated, was no great shakes. However, America did not err when it »

Why not the worst? [with comment by Paul]

Featured image We are subject to the tyranny of the present. Let’s try briefly to place our current election in historical context for whatever educational and entertainment value it may have. Donald Trump is the worst candidate ever nominated for president by the Republican Party. From John Fremont and Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump — as the Grateful Dead put it in “Truckin'”: what a long, strange trip it’s been. Who was »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll shouts: I DIDN’T DO IT! She writes: When our Citizen of the World President attended a Pan-American Tinhorn Dictator’s Conference in 2009 (I may not have the name completely right), Obama sat and listened to Daniel Ortega give a 50-minute diatribe about the century of sins of the United States. At the end of that tedious hour, Obama never offered a single rebuttal. Later, he made an idiotic »

Jean Edward Smith’s Burning Bush

Featured image I’m not going to read Jean Edward Smith’s new biography of George W. Bush for three reasons, one of them coming directly from Smith himself. Smith, the acclaimed biographer of John Marshall, Lucius Clay, and Dwight Eisenhower, once advised me: “Never write a biography of a living person.” He gave lots of good reasons for this counsel, many of which can be easily surmised. I was a little surprised, therefore, »

CRB: Hamilton versus history

Featured image Richard Samuelson is learned in the things that interest me. As an undergraduate I read and admired Garry Wills’s Nixon Agonistes. During my senior year I even raised the money to bring Wills to campus to speak about the imminent presidential election of 1972. Studying American literature with James Cox and Noel Perrin that year, I also read the novel Democracy by Henry Adams as well as Adams’s classic autobiography »

Lincoln & the Jews

Featured image One can discover, and learn from, the remarkable character of Abraham Lincoln in studying any aspect of his life. Thus even its narrow byways hold interest if navigated by a serious scholar. One such is Jonathan Sarna, perhaps the most prominent living scholar of American Judaism. A week ago this past Sunday the Jewish Review of Books held its second annual event for supporters and subscribers. This year’s event included »

Chappaquiddick movie heads towards production

Featured image Last December, John wrote about the plan to make a movie about the Chappaquiddick scandal. It was at Chappaquiddick where Ted Kennedy, who was drunk, drove a young campaign worker off a bridge to her death, failed to take reasonable steps that might have saved her, and tried to cover up his culpability. The notion of Hollywood going through with such a project struck me as implausible. It’s easy enough »

Ellison exploits the ignorant

Featured image As the Minnesota’s Fifth District representative in Congress, Keith Ellison has a good gig. He’s a hustler who is accustomed to exploiting the ignorance of voters in a one-party district in a town with a one-party newspaper. Ellison has exploited the ignorance of his constituents in lying repeatedly about his personal history, as I tried to show in “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.” Seeking to make himself a player on the »

Kansas City 1976: the last great political convention

Featured image Tevi Troy, writing in the Washington Post, discusses the ways in which technology has changed, and continues to change, political conventions. Tevi’s piece is based on his fascinating essay in National Affairs about the evolution of such conventions. It’s sad that the contested convention vanished from the political landscape before modern high technology had taken hold. Imagine an old-style, multi-ballot convention taking place in our era of high technology — »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)

Featured image President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day

Featured image On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech. In his speech Douglas sounded the themes of the momentous campaign that Lincoln and Douglas waged that summer and »

There’s something about Bill

Featured image As part of its celebration of “400 years of Shakespeare” (it is 400 years since Shakespeare’s death), the Folger Shakespeare Library has mounted the exhibit America’s Shakespeare. Edward Rothstein reviews the exhibit and meditates on the phenomenon it represents in “Our British founding father.” “[W]ith an extended and fervent embrace,” Rothstein writes, Shakespeare “was adopted, from the beginning, as one of our own.” He observes: The spirited displays in “America’s »

Dear AG Healey (Rated R for language)

Featured image I can’t say that this is how all overreaching government authorities should be answered, but it does set an inspirational example. At the Daily Caller Michael Bastach explains: Alex Epstein had a terse response to a subpoena sent by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Wednesday. Healey demanded the oil giant ExxonMobil hand over 40 years of documents, including information pertaining to the company’s dealings with about a dozen think tanks »

College Board mandates left-wing narrative for AP European History

Featured image The College Board is at it again. Having mandated a left-wing narrative for the teaching of AP U.S. History, it is now out with the corresponding narrative for the teaching of AP European History. You can read it here. The invaluable National Association of Scholars is publishing a 12,000-word critique of the new AP European History (APEH) exam. The report, written by David Randall, is titled The Disappearing Continent. Here »