History

The Intolerant Left

Featured image The reaction of the media and the left (but I repeat myself) to Mike Lindell’s public profession of piety at the White House this week is one more vivid reminder that liberals are the most intolerant people around today. No wonder they talk about “tolerance” so much: they are compensating for their obvious lack of it. I have an idea for Trump. As the coronavirus crisis continues, and especially as »

Napoleon: Not So Bad After All

Featured image Let’s take a break from COVID-19 and talk books. Last year I read Andrew Roberts’ biography of Winston Churchill, and enjoyed it. I didn’t realize that he also wrote a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte in 2014 until one of my daughters gave it to me for Christmas. It is a terrific book–long, at 800 pages, but so absorbing that it could easily have been longer. I actually enjoyed Napoleon more »

Churchill & the Jews

Featured image Robert Frost concludes his 1916 poem “Choose Something Like a Star” with slightly ironic advice. It isn’t greeting card stuff. It can’t be taken at face value. The conclusion nevertheless comes to mind under conditions like the current panic: …when at times the mob is swayed To carry praise or blame too far, We may choose something like a star To stay our minds on and be staid. In this »

In Hoffa’s Shadow

Featured image If you are looking for a new book with which you can hunker down while you isolate yourself at home, I recommend Jack Goldsmith’s In Hoffa’s Shadow: A Stepfather, A Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth. Goldsmith is the Henry L. Shattuck Professor at Harvard Law School, co-founder of Lawfare, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Before coming to Harvard, Professor Goldsmith served as Assistant »

Sarah Raps [with response and comment by Paul and John]

Featured image For Sarah Palin, it has been a long, strange trip. I have always been a fan of hers. She did a terrific job as a citizen activist in Alaska, and then as governor. I thought she acquitted herself well as a vice presidential candidate; among other things, she thrashed Joe Biden in their vice presidential debate. And that was when Biden was in full possession of his (admittedly meager) faculties. »

Useful idiots, Sanders edition

Featured image The late Paul Hollander wrote Political Pilgrims: Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China and Cuba when the Cold War was still raging (it was published in 1981). It remains a valuable historical study of the phenomenon of political tourism to totalitarian countries by high-minded residents of free Western societies. Hollander briefly observes in the preface that “the pilgrimages to the Soviet Union are a thing of the »

When George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door

Featured image Earlier this week TCM played the classic Robert Drew cinéma vérité documentary “Crisis: Behind a presidential commitment.” The documentary first aired on ABC in October 1963. My only purpose is to bring it to your attention in case you might find it of interest and to recommend it if you haven’t seen it before. The documentary takes us behind the scenes of the Kennedy administration’s efforts the previous June to »

Obama’s airbrushed dreams

Featured image I placed David Garrow’s biography of the young Barack Obama (now available in paperback) in my top 10 books of 2017. Forgive me for quoting myself. This is what I wrote: Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, by David J. Garrow. This staggeringly researched book covers 1078 pages of text supported by 300 pages of footnotes — even though Garrow relegates his comments on Obama’s presidency to a 50-page »

Remembering the indispensable man

Featured image Today we celebrate 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 »

A genius for friendship

Featured image Abraham Lincoln stands not only as America’s greatest president but also as its greatest lawyer. At the time of his election to the presidency in 1860 he was the most prominent practicing lawyer in the state of Illinois. As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom »

Remembering Mr. Lincoln

Featured image Today is of course the anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom at the exact moment when the country was on the threshold of abandoning what he called its “ancient faith” that all men are »

1619 and the Oscars: Fit Companions

Featured image Needless to say, I didn’t watch the Academy Awards show last night. In fact, I didn’t know it was on: Hollywood and I parted company a long time ago. But I was surprised to learn from a friend that the New York Times ran an ad, during the Oscars show, for its 1619 Project. This seems unusual. How often does a paper advertise one of its “news” projects on national »

“Numerous historians and legal experts” are wrong about impeachment

Featured image Among those who write for the Washington Post’s news pages, Philip Rucker is arguably the most vicious and dishonest when it comes to President Trump. Rucker’s latest anti-Trump article is called (in the paper edition) “Probable acquittal [of Trump] will have long-term effects.” The subtitle is “Senate lowering bar for presidents’ permissible conduct, historians say.” In the body of the article, Rucker claims that this view is supported by “numerous »

“Fight House,” Tevi Troy’s superb history of modern White House infighting

Featured image I admire people who do things I couldn’t do. I don’t admire people who do things I wouldn’t do. In some cases, depending on what the “things” are, I have contempt for such people. Cabinet members and high level White House staffers do things I couldn’t do. In most cases, that’s one reason why they get as far as they do. Unfortunately, some cabinet members and high level White House »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 166: America’s Revolutionary Mind, With C. Bradley Thompson [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Prof. C. Bradley Thompson of Clemson University has written a superb new book, the first of two volumes, about the American Founding, America’s Revolutionary Mind: A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration That Defined It. In my opinion this book deserves to take its place alongside Bernard Bailyn’s Ideological Origins of the American Revolution and Gordon Wood’s Creation of the American Republic as one of the indispensable »

Dems then & now

Featured image If there is anything in the sordid impeachment saga that is laugh out loud funny, the video compiled for White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s closing argument on behalf of President Trump in the Senate this afternoon might be it (below). In the video somebody seems to have opened the door of the Dem clown car — the car carrying the once and future Dem clowns — and sent them out »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 164: Special Impeachment Edition!

Featured image This special edition of the Power Line Show offers a panel discussion on impeachment that I hosted and moderated yesterday before a packed house at Berkeley Law School. Its purpose was not to rehash or thrash out the specific issues of the Trump impeachment as much as to illuminate what the founders had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution, and what we have learned from the two »