George W. Bush

Observations On Some of the Day’s Lesser Stories

Featured image There has been a spate of bomb threats against Jewish institutions lately, some of them coordinated. Naturally, the Democrats are peddling the claim that the perpetrators are Trump supporters. I don’t believe the authorities have yet gotten to the bottom of the coordinated ones, but the first person to be arrested for a series of anti-Semitic bomb threats is a left-wing African-American journalist apparently motivated by spite against a former »

Donald Trump, George Bush, and the press

Featured image George W. Bush is a good man. The mainstream media hammered him mercilessly and mostly unfairly for eight years. One media mainstay tried to take Bush down late in the 2004 campaign with fake news. Yet, Bush spoke up for the embattled mainstream media today. He called it “indispensable to democracy.” Politico portrays this as “a break from the position of his fellow Republican, President Donald Trump, who has called »

Trump still sees Putin and Bush as morally equivalent

Featured image Last night, I caught part of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Trump, including an exchange that drained the moderate amount of enthusiasm I’ve been able to muster for the new president. O’Reilly asked Trump whether he respects Vladimir Putin. Trump said he does, but that this doesn’t mean he will get along with him. No major problem so far. In a sense, I think you have to respect what Putin, »

How to Drive a Liberal Completely Insane

Featured image I distinctly recall, during the George W. Bush years, reading and overhearing liberals express a strange new respect for previous Republican presidents like George H.W. Bush and Reagan, who they now said towered head and shoulders above the cretinous, antedulivian, swaggering Texan that the GOP had forced upon the nation. But now that Donald Trump is president, guess what? Yup—strange new respect from liberals for George W. Bush, as reported »

Stalin? Whodat???

Featured image I think the study of ancient history extends to the advent of the first Clinton administration in 1993 or so. As we all know, and as former Latin students might say, ancient history has fallen into desuetude. I think this may explain the finding reported in Jamie Gregora’s Daily Signal story “This is the percentage of millennials who believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.” I’m sure millennials »

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 »

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, »

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 »

Trump channels Code Pink

Featured image It’s no secret that Donald Trump is a vicious bastard. It’s no secret that his views have often been more aligned with liberals than with conservatives. But until tonight, I didn’t know that his stance on George W. Bush is more vicious than that which leftist politicians are willing publicly to take. Nor did I know that Trump once urged Nancy Pelosi to impeach President Bush. In tonight’s debate, Trump »

Gilson’s gallimaufry

Featured image In today’s letters to the editor the Star Tribune publishes Gary Gilson’s apology for his sideswipe of John Hinderaker while swiping me head-on. Here is how it is published it today’s paper: DEBATE OVER THE MOVIE ‘TRUTH’ I apologize for a statement made about the Power Line blog In a Nov. 8 letter to the editor, I wrote that John Hinderaker, a founder of the conservative blog Power Line, had »

Discipline in the 2016 race

Featured image John Sears, Ronald Reagan’s one-time campaign manager, once said “discipline is nine-tenths of politics.” And, as Tevi Troy reminds us: Candidate Reagan put Sears’ dictum into action, running a relentlessly focused communication operation that kept to its message of the day, often to the consternation of the reporters following the campaign. This approach continued into Reagan’s presidency. As the authors of All the President’s Spin put it: “Ronald Reagan’s administration »

“Truth” hurts [corrected]

Featured image The Rathergate film Truth opened in wide release this past Friday. I took a look at the weekend box-office estimates posted by Box Office Mojo in “Truth doesn’t pay.” The film did not appear to be doing well even by comparison with Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Hollywood Reporter observes that the film flopped on its opening this past weekend. Nevertheless, we may have underestimated the magnitude of the »

Lies of “Truth”

Featured image The Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country this past Friday. The Sunday Star Tribune carries my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column is published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the movie ‘Truth.'” I am grateful to Star Tribune commentary editor D.J. Tice for letting the column see the light of day in the hometown paper. Please »

“Truth” and other lies (5)

Featured image Dorothy Rabinowitz is a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board who also contributes excellent reviews of television programs and series to the Journal’s coverage of the arts. This past Friday, I wondered what was up when Journal film reviewer Joe Morganstern omitted any mention of the Rathergate film Truth, which had just opened in New York. Perhaps Morganstern had given way to Ms. Rabinsowitz, for now comes Ms. »

Donald Trump’s most offensive Democratic talking point yet

Featured image Donald Trump is fond of using Democratic talking points. This isn’t surprising. Not that long ago, he admitted to being more of a Democrat than a Republican on the issues. Among other Democratic talking points, Trump has erroneously blamed Republicans for the recession of 2008 and criticized Scott Walker for not raising taxes while parroting Democratic claims that Wisconsin has a $2.2 billion deficit. And I’m not even counting Trump’s »

“Truth” and other lies (4)

Featured image In his article on the New York Times love-in with the perpetrators of Rathergate and the stars of the Rathergate film Truth, Times reporter John Koblin quotes director/writer James Vanderbilt: Mr. Vanderbilt said that he did not want to impose a specific point of view in the movie but instead wanted to simply raise questions. “As a filmmaker I’m not interested in re-prosecuting something, so much as this was a »

“Truth,” according to the Times (5)

Featured image John Koblin reports in the New York Times on the Times‘s own love-in last week featuring Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Dan Rather, and Mary Mapes discussing the Rathergate film Truth. Rich Lowry likened the festivities to “a dispatch from another planet.” Koblin’s report captures none of the weirdness. It’s just another day’s work. Perhaps most notably, Koblin observes strict limits reflecting his apparent lack of knowledge regarding Rathergate itself. To »