History

Trump too shall pass — the case against a third party candidate

Featured image In 1872, the Democrats were in such disarray (taking the wrong line on the Civil War will have that effect) that they backed a lifelong Republican, publishing tycoon Horace Greeley, for president. Greeley was trounced. Four years later, the Democrats reverted to traditional Democrat Samuel Tilden, who won the popular vote but lost the election. In 1896 and 1900, the Democrats nominated prairie populist and easy-money man William Jennings Bryan. »

Homage to Catalonia, Washington Post style

Featured image In this obituary, the Washington Post celebrates Delmer Berg, the last known living U.S. volunteer in the Spanish Civil War. The Post’s Emily Langer informs us that Berg served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This unit “was named in honor of the 16th president,” she adds helpfully. The Communist Party’s appropriation of the Great Emancipator’s name was one of the most cynical public relations stunts ever. Other than Adolph Hitler, »

Nancy Reagan, RIP

Featured image News out in the last hour that Nancy Reagan has passed away at 94. I don’t have much to add beyond the obvious—that she was a significant influence on her husband’s career and course once in office, though I also think her influence was distorted or overstated in some ways. I didn’t write about her much in my two Reagan books in part because I became convinced that the most »

A word from Edmund Burke

Featured image In the spirit of Steve Hayward’s occasional blasts from the past, I offer these words that have been going around in my head over the past week: Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is »

Dirty Campaign? Puh-leeeze

Featured image Once again, our media betters were filling dead air on TV last night about how “dirty” the GOP campaign is getting—why it’s the wurst in history! Okay, so Rubio made a joke about Trump that might get him banned from Power Line’s comments, but seriously? Historian Tom DiBacco reminds us today in the Wall Street Journal that campaigns of the 19th century were just as nasty, of not more so, »

Come, ye puzzlewits and honeyfuglers

Featured image As the contest for the GOP presidential nomination continues after last night, Donald Trump will continue to dish out his carefully crafted insults to Ted Cruz (“Liar”) and Marco Rubio (“Little Marco”), and Senators Cruz and Rubio will be hitting back. Trump slammed Rubio in the course of his victorious press conference last night; Cruz and Rubio both slammed Trump in the course of their remarks as well. The insults »

Will this year be an 1860 moment? No such luck

Featured image In an interview with Chuck Todd, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse discussed the possibility that this year’s election might be “an 1860 moment.” He’s referring to the dissolution of the Whig Party and its replacement by the Republicans. The process produced “four-ish choices” (as Sasse put it) in 1860, and he submits that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, “the American people are going to get a lot better choices »

A Reminder from 1980

Featured image Everyone says Trump can’t win in November. But everyone said he’d fade from contention in the GOP primaries by now. Which I why I am not so sure. A reminder from 1980, from volume 1 of my Age of Reagan: The two Republicans Carter’s political team feared most were Sen. Howard Baker and George Bush. Their favorite opponent: Ronald Reagan. Handling the extremist 69 year-old ex-movie actor would be an »

CRB: The higher shamelessness

Featured image Yesterday I noted that the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books is in the mail and, thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I have read it in galley to select a couple of articles to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. At the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 a year, the CRB affords the most cost-effective political education available in the United States »

A diverting move

Featured image If you, like me, are looking for something completely different, you may want to check out Bill Kristol’s just-released conversation with former world chess champion and human rights activist Garry Kasaparov (video below). In the conversation Kasparov reflects on his upbringing in the old Soviet Union and his journey from questioning whether Communism could be reformed to his ultimate conviction that the Soviet Union had to go. Kasparov recalls his »

The View from Woodrow Wilson

Featured image I’m a certified Woodrow Wilson hater, and when the left at Princeton demanded a few months ago that Wilson’s name be stripped from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs because of his racism, I thought of printing up a bumper sticker: “Conservative: Hated Woodrow Wilson before it was cool.” But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. From an 1889 essay entitled “Nature of Democracy in the »

Black Panthers Redux: When Will They Ever Learn?

Featured image Alex Rackley was a 19-year-old member of a criminal gang. In May 1969, gang members suspected that Rackley had been disloyal. They kidnapped him and brought him to a house where he was tied up and tortured for two days, mainly by having boiling water poured over much of his body. He was also beaten with a blunt object in the “face, groin and lumbar region,” as Wikipedia describes it. »

Remembering the indispensable man

Featured image Today is the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest and the most needed. At this remove in time, it is also the hardest to comprehend. Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that resulted »

“Confirmation” bias

Featured image We have observed before that the American left never gives up. That’s admirable when it comes to matters of principle and policy. Here, conservatives also fight hard, though they probably could take a page or two from the left’s playbook. But when it comes to he-said-she-said type factual disputes about personalities or events — was Alger Hiss a Russian agent; did Clarence Thomas harass Anita Hill; did Dan Rather and »

The Times Does Supreme Court History

Featured image On Wednesday, the New York Times published an article on the impending nomination of a replacement for Justice Scalia headlined Should Obama Pick Nominee? Your Answer May Depend on How Much History You Know. The point of the piece was to suggest that better-informed people–those who know the most about history!–want the choice of the next justice to be President Obama’s. No surprise there. What’s funny about this is that »

The “Strange New Respect” Award Makes a Comeback

Featured image The “Strange New Respect” Award is the invention of Tom Bethell, who noted decades ago how liberals would always start praising a conservative or Republican who showed signs of moderation, Bob Dole being a great example. “New respect”—a phrase you’d actually see in the media—was a euphemism for “moved to the left.” It is a totem of insincere liberalism, a coy way of attacking present-day conservatives. My corollary is that »

Jason Riley Rocks Minneapolis [Updated]

Featured image Today Center of the American Experiment, the think tank of which I am president, put on a lunch forum in downtown Minneapolis featuring Jason Riley of the Manhattan Institute and the Wall Street Journal. Jason talked about his blockbuster book, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed. We interviewed Jason last night on the Power Line Show. If you haven’t listened to that interview, »