The Left

A Johnsonian smackdown

Featured image I awakened to the greatness of Samuel Johnson — eighteenth century England’s supreme man of letters — under the tutelage of Professor Jeffrey Hart, who required us to absorb Johnson’s magnificent essay on Soame Jenyns’s Free Enquiry Into the Nature and Origin of Evil. Memory of Jenyns’s otherwise forgettable book lives on thanks to the explosion it triggered in Johnson. Johnson’s essay is available online in a form edited by »

Caravan update

Featured image Last night Tucker Carlson invited gonzo filmmaker Ami Horowitz on his show for a short segment on the caravan heading our way from Central America (video below). FOX News reporter Bill La Jeunesse was on the scene for a while, seemingly to serve as the public relations spokesman for the horde. La Jeunesse (and others) to the contary notwithstanding, Horowitz demonstrates that it represents the organized efforts of unknown benefactors »

Our Present Discontents, Then and Now

Featured image I’m deep into the weeds of Edmund Burke these days, in part for a recent lecture at Yale (video to come) and a series of seminars I’ll be doing soon on Burke (podcasts to come, I think), but even reading this great judicious man from more than 200 years ago can’t draw me away from our current catastrophic political scene. One of Burke’s famous essays was “Thoughts on Our Present »

CRB: Radical prophet

Featured image In the third of the three review/essays I chose to preview for Power Line readers from the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here), Mark Bauerlein surveys the works of David Horowitz after his turn from the radical left. Bauerlein is professor of English at Emory University; he has not previously written for the CRB, but he was an inspired choice to review my friend David’s »

The left’s incoherence on Trump-Putin exposed

Featured image I agree with John’s analysis of the approach President Trump is taking at the NATO summit. In this post, I want to highlight the inconsistency, noted by John, between the left’s criticism of Trump’s approach and its claim that he is soft on, and maybe an instrument of, Putin. Trump has made two main points in Europe. First, key NATO members aren’t doing enough in the area of defense. Second, »

Against XX [Updated]

Featured image If you sense a synthetic quality to the outrage greeting the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by President Trump, you aren’t mistaken. The Women’s March had its statement decrying the apocalypse to be wrought by the nominee before he (or she) was named yesterday. Once the announcement was made, the blank name was to be filled in by the Women’s March functionary. In the event, the functionary »

SPLC hate cult pays up

Featured image The leftist hate cult known as the Southern Poverty Law Center has settled defamation claims by two of the SPLC’s many victims. The Quilliam press release datelined Montgomery announces: MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA — The Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc. has apologized to Quilliam and its founder Maajid Nawaz for wrongly naming them in its controversial Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists. In a public statement, the SPLC’s president, Richard Cohen, explained that »

How anti-Trump hysteria helps the president on North Korea

Featured image Most of us realize that the hysterical anti-Trump resistance has difficulty keeping its talking points straight. The latest example concerns North Korea. Last year’s talking point was that Trump, with his “fire and fury” talk, was leading the U.S. into a nuclear war with North Korea. It was a ridiculous claim. The likelihood of Kim Jong Un launching a first strike against the U.S., thereby bringing on “fire and fury,” »

Reminder: The Left Hates Our Civilization

Featured image I know I’ve made the point before, but there is fresh evidence in recent weeks of how much the left today hates western civilization and human excellence in general. Once again the left is determined to flunk what I’ve long called “the Churchill test.” Once upon a time leading liberals loved Churchill. Think of Isaiah Berlin’s great 1949 Atlantic Monthly essay, “Churchill in 1940,” or how much Arthur Schlesinger loved »

Meet Robert Strong

Featured image Robert Strong is the Los Angeles psychologist who “claims to have left the festively wrapped box of manure outside the Bel-Air home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin that spurred a Secret Service investigation, billing it as a political protest against the recently passed tax bill.” Here I am quoting from Emily Alpert Reyes’s Los Angeles Times story. Robert Strong, in other words, is the face of the Resistance »

Gelernter’s Trump

Featured image The Islamist terror attack that killed eight in Manhattan yesterday fills me with impotent rage, but it also got me thinking about President Trump and his national security team. With them, there will be no hiding or downplaying the underlying reality of the attack. We will not be solemnly instructed to gainsay the truth that stares us in the face. Bill Bennett’s most recent installment of his podcast show includes »

A leading “hate group” is losing its sting

Featured image The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a left-wing attack dog operation that defames and bullies those with whom it disagrees about politics. Its designation of political adversaries as “hate groups” — which amounts to an ideological fatwa — is widely used in the liberal mainstream media and employed even by parts of the U.S. government. How to explain this? For one thing, the SPLC is still riding the good »

Our leading hate group

Featured image The concept of a “hate group” could be useful. In practice, however, it is like the concept of “hate speech,” applied to shut down heterodox speech and confine the public square to dissemination of officially approved thought. The concepts somehow overlook the likes of the hilariously misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center and its works, which direct something far beyond the Orwellian Two Minutes Hate to the likes of Charles Murray »

The ordeal of Bret Weinstein

Featured image The Wall Street Journal calls on Evergreen State College biology professor Bret Weinstein to explain the ordeal in which he is engulfed. Professor Weinstein provides the back story in the column “The campus mob came for me–and you, professor, could be next.” Professor Weinstein observes forthrightly: “Evergreen has slipped into madness. You don’t need the news to tell you that—the protesters’ own videos will do.” Professor Weinstein has the rest »

Charles Murray edits the SPLC

Featured image The Southern Poverty Law Center has become a scam operating as a left-wing hate cult. A 2014 Washington Times editorial nails it. I don’t think the SPLC has made a constructive contribution to anything in a long time, but it has played a particularly malign and malicious role in the case of Charles Murray. He has let it go until now; now he talks back. As he explains: For years, »

The Obama connection, &c.

Featured image Is there an Obama connection to The (so-called) Resistance to the Trump administration? The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo provides a case study in the matter of Michael Flynn. More generally, Paul Sperry asserts the existence of an Obama connection to The (so-called) Resistance in the New York Post column “Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump’s presidency.” Sperry argues that the Obama’s sabotage is to be conducted via a network »

The left does “Groundhog Day”

Featured image Today is Groundhog Day. It may put us in mind of the romantic comedy of the same name starring Bill Murray and celebrated by Jonah Goldberg in the NR article “A movie for all time.” The premise of the film is involuntary repetition. How can we escape from Groundhog Day? Events in Washington and on the left coast display a political analogue. Listening to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi recycle »