History

The Republican Ascendancy, Quantified

Featured image At Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende and David Byler explicate their index of party strength. To compute their index, Trend and Byler calculate five components, which they weight equally: Our index is the sum of five parts: presidential performance, House performance, Senate performance, gubernatorial performance and state legislative performance. The first is measured by the party’s performance in the previous presidential popular vote (NB: In this, and all other measurements, »

The Lusitania at 100

Featured image Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, one of the markers on the way to U.S. entry into World War I. George Will wrote about it the other day in his column, coming close but not quite embracing some of the old rumors and conspiracy charges that the British wanted the Lusitania sunk in hopes of getting the U.S. off the sidelines: It is commonly but »

Abandoning Vietnam

Featured image PBS’s American Experience series broadcast Rory Kennedy’s documentary film “Last Days in Vietnam” on April 28. You can watch the entire film online at the link; clips and other resources are accessible here. PBS has posted 17 clips from the film on YouTube here. I would post the whole thing here if I could, but I don’t think I can. Prefaced by a 30-second message, the opening of the film »

The End in Vietnam, 40 Years On

Featured image There are surprisingly few recollections under way today of the final ignominious chapter of our Vietnam agony, when the U.S. was chased out of Saigon.  I wonder if there isn’t a larger subtext here.  We not only seem to be re-running the 1960s at home right now (Ferguson, Baltimore, etc), but we seem to be trying to re-run 1970s foreign policy too, with American retreat leading to chaos, instability, and »

Gallipoli, 100 Years On

Featured image Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Gallipoli campaign—ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, since they provided the bulk of the troops for this ill-fated venture that became known as “Churchill’s Folly.”  Anyone who has seen the early Mel Gibson film, Gallipoli, will know that the operation ended up with the same kind of trench warfare and appalling slaughter that characterized the Western Front.  The British »

Give Obama the Hook

Featured image I made the horrid mistake of channel-surfing to C-SPAN Senate coverage a couple days ago just in time to catch Sen. Babs “Don’t-Call-Me-Ma’am” Boxer bloviating about some public letter by “very smart people” backing up Obama’s Iran negotiations. Just then the batteries on my remote conked out, and I had to get up and walk over to the TV to change the channel, just like our great grandparents had to »

Neville Chamberlain and Barack Obama, the similarities run deep

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton recently told Jeffrey Goldberg that it is unfair to Neville Chamberlain to compare his appeasement of Hitler to Barack Obama’s appeasement of Iran. Chamberlain, Tom reminded us, had been told that the British military was unprepared to fight Germany. Thus, he was in a position of weakness. President Obama, by contrast, is in a position of military strength. The Senator is right insofar as the issue is »

Grand Theft Lincoln [With Update by Marco Rubio]

Featured image On this 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, the Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn performs a public service today rebutting the relentless liberal/“Progressive” attempts to pry Lincoln from the Republican Party and claim that Lincoln, were he alive today, would surely be a Progressive Democrat: On this the 150th anniversary of the day John Wilkes Booth fired his fatal bullet at Ford’s Theater, we have a consensus: Today’s Republicans have no »

The Crusades Haven’t Been In the News Lately

Featured image It has been a couple of months since Barack Obama suggested that the Crusades were somehow on a par with, or even a justification for, 21st-century Islamic terrorism. I objected to Obama’s casual slur at the link, saying, among other things: There was nothing wrong, in principle, with the Crusades. They were an appropriate (if belated and badly managed) response to the conquest of the Holy Land by Islam. Did »

A Stillness at Appomattox

Featured image Today is the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, ending our Civil War. Carl Cannon observes the occasion in this RealClearPolitics column as does Jarrett Stepman in a good Breitbart column. To these columns I would only like to append a brief literary footnote. Bruce Catton’s three-volume history of the Army of the Potomac concludes with Catton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Stillness at »

Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 4

Featured image In his latest book Revolt Against the Masses, Fred Siegel offers a novel explanation for the roots and character of modern liberalism—one that differs substantially from my own in many ways.  On page 28 of the book he says, “Modern liberalism was born of a discontinuity, a rejection of Progressivism.”  In this installment of our conversation, Fred explains some key parts of his argument here, and he makes a good »

Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 3

Featured image In this third installment, Fred extends his observations on the Vietnam controversies in the 1960s, the rise of feminism, and current Israeli politics (this video was taped before the recent election).  He also comments on his time with the Democratic Leadership Council, and Michael Walzer of Dissent.  He concludes with some choice comments on Howard Dean and John Kerry.  About 7:30 long: »

Another Blast from the Past: When Biden Teamed up With Helms

Featured image I missed Marc Thiessen’s Washington Post column a couple days ago recalling the time a senator named Joe Biden . . . hmmm, that name seems familiar, doesn’t it?—teamed up with Sen. Jesse Helms (!!!) to interpose themselves in the Clinton Administration’s diplomacy regarding the UN’s International Criminal Court: Biden also surely remembers how in 1998, when the Clinton administration was negotiating a U.N. treaty to create an International Criminal »

Barron’s AP Test Prep Guide equates Clarence Thomas with Fascists

Featured image I’ve been warning for some time about the College Board’s effective mandate that AP U.S. History be taught from a hard-left perspective. But this report by Eric Owens of the Daily Caller leaves me stunned: The latest version of a top-selling study guide for the Advanced Placement European History exam explains the French Revolution with a chart which identifies Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a fascist and pairs him »

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 »

A conversation with Bill Bennett

Featured image In the latest of his Conversations, Bill Kristol draws out the eminent Bill Bennett on key moments in his distinguished career. Bill Bennett is a man who needs no introduction to Power Line readers. I will say only that this is great stuff. The interview is posted here, where it is broken into chapters. (It is also available in transcript or podcast form at the link.) My guess is you’ll »

George Washington: father of our country; symbol of its presidency

Featured image In simpler times, the holiday we will celebrate tomorrow was called “Washington’s Birthday.” In truly simple times, it was celebrated on February 22 (the actual birth date) rather than on the third Monday of February. It seems appropriate, then, to write about our first president. I will rely heavily on the great the conservative historian Forrest McDonald. In the preface to his book The Presidency of George Washington, McDonald writes: »