History

William Seward, Harriet Tubman, and the Twenty

Featured image William Seward is in the news these days. He was the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860 and had the most first ballot votes, but was surpassed in later voting by Abraham Lincoln. This saga is cited as precedent (and there is much other) for denying the nomination to a candidate who comes to the convention with the most delegates. As I have noted, though, there were no »

The Cold War Never Ended

Featured image A lot of conservatives have expressed shock and disorientation at the revival of enthusiasm for socialism, not to mention the shattering of the consensus for free trade, low taxes, open markets, freedom of expression, and so forth. It is clear—and I wrote a long memo about this at AEI about five years ago that I cannot now find—that we all made a major mistake in the early 1990s when the »

Harriet Tubman? Seriously?

Featured image I have mixed feelings about the Treasury Department’s substitution of Harriet Tubman for Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Some have made the best of it by pointing out that Tubman was a gun-toting Republican. Well, fine. But she was a minor figure in American history. Jackson, on the other hand, was of towering importance. He was the first populist American politician and the founder of the modern Democratic Party. »

Bullish on the Bard

Featured image Today is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (it may also be his birthday; his standard biographies merely say he was baptized on April 26, with his exact birthday uncertain), and while the Left has been trying to kill off Shakespeare for a long time now, they haven’t succeeded. I argue that the best insights on Shakespeare today are to be found from . . . conservative political »

Photo of the Week

Featured image Talk about strange bedfellows: This is Cornel West and Robert P. George—Princeton’s conservative—holding Harriet Tubman’s Bible: And here’s Robbie being sworn in as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by Chief Justice John Roberts while West holds the Tubman Bible: West may be a hard lefty (though a curious and occasionally interesting and independent-minded one—that’s why he hangs out with Robbie), but I’ll bet he doesn’t join »

Leftists Lose Their Lunch Over the Tubman 20

Featured image After years of complaining that America’s paper money featured only dead white guys, a lot of folks on the Left are in a snit that Harriet Tubman is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the twenty-dollar bill. You can practically hear them: “We didn’t mean a gun-toting, Bible-believing Republican black woman! We meant Angela Davis!” Take in someone who goes by the name “Feminista Jones” (described as »

Park Ranger mocks Constitution while leading tour of Independence Hall

Featured image Mary “Missy” Hogan, a National Park Service employee who gives guided tours of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, stunned a group of tourists this week by telling them that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were the product of “class elites who were just out to protect their privileged status.” Christian Adams has the details at PJ Media. Hogan isn’t just a park ranger. She’s the chief of Operations for »

A New York state of mind

Featured image Michael Barone anticipates the result of today’s New York primary in his column “New York exceptionalism and Donald Trump.” Barone seeks to capture the New York state of mind that Trump represents. It’s a characteristically excellent Barone column. I’ve been thinking about the New York state of mind while reading Lynne Olson’s Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. I recommend the book unreservedly. »

Confirmation Bias, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Confirmation Bias,” I discussed “Confirmation,” an HBO film about the 1991 hearings on Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court, and Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against him. When I wrote the post two months ago, Senators John Danforth and Alan Simpson, two moderate Republicans who supported the Thomas nomination, had complained about the script they saw. Simpson called it a “seriously distorted” version of the »

You Knew This Was Coming—Hamilton Angst [Updated]

Featured image UPDATE: No sooner do I send up this post then news breaks that Lin-Manuel Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize for Hamilton. That’s going to cost him some college speaking invitations! One of the delicious and predictable spectacles that has come out of the runaway success of the Broadway rap musical Hamilton is the identity politics left losing their lunch over it. Even though Hamilton was created by and stars a »

Why Do Democrats Hate Their Own Presidents?

Featured image It has been widely observed that Hillary Clinton is having to repudiate the policy legacy of her husband’s tenure in the White House in the 1990s, which is extremely telling about how far down in the deep end Democrats are today. After all, Bill Clinton’s tenure coincided with robust economic growth, a balanced budget, and expansion of free trade. It also saw two of the greatest social policy achievements of »

The Decline of the West in Four Sentences

Featured image News out of Stanford is that students have voted down a referendum on reinstituting a Western Civilization requirement that was abandoned in the 1980s by a margin of 6 to 1. Not sure just what to say about this, but after all Stanford is a junior university, so maybe that explains it. On the other hand, I’m not so sure this is a defeat for conservative education, given how badly »

Why we dropped the bomb

Featured image In the words of the Sam Cooke song, President Obama don’t know much about history. Here I cite my long post “Obama veers into the Daily Ditch,” discussing Obama’s almost unbelievably misguided discourse on Winston Churchill and World War II at his first presidential press conference. What Obama lacks in historical knowledge he makes up in the anti-American attitude of the old new left. David Harsanyi notes that “The Obama »

World War II death totals tell quite a story

Featured image Yesterday, Steve noted that President Obama is considering a stop at Hiroshima some time in the coming months, quite possibly to apologize for our ending World War II by dropping nuclear weapons on that city, as well as Nagasaki. I agree with Steve that Obama should not apologize. However, the main purpose of this post is to cite what I think are extraordinary statistics about comparative death totals from World »

Media Alert: CNN Preview of the Reagan Revolution Tonight

Featured image For those near a TV set around 3:45 Eastern (about one hour from this post time), I’m scheduled for a short CNN segment to comment on the CNN documentary on the 1980s airing this evening at 9 pm Eastern and Pacific time. Tonight’s segment is about the Reagan Revolution, and CNN taped me for two hours last fall for this installment. I haven’t seen the segment, so I’m not sure »

Should the GOP Nominate By Plurality?

Featured image To me, the nomination math is simple. As soon as one of the candidates receives the votes of a majority of the delegates (i.e., 1,237), either on the first ballot or on a subsequent ballot, he or she is the nominee. Until someone gets a majority of the ballots, the delegates keep voting. Historically, it has not been unheard of for 30 or 40 ballots to take place in political »

America First, how sweet the sound

Featured image I’m in the “relax and enjoy it” phase of Donald Trump’s candidacy for the GOP nomination. If he wins it, so be it. His prospects are certainly good, but I rate his chance of winning the general election as asymptotically approaching zero. All I can do is observe the scene honestly. I won’t enjoy watching the damage that Trump’s candidacy will do to the Republican Party in the general election, »