In baseball, if things aren't going well with your team and you need to send a message, what do you do? You always fire the manager. Now, it might not be his fault. It might be other people's fault. In fact, it might be that you---the team owner---are to blame. But you can't fire yourself. So you ditch the manager.
Matt K. Lewis | All Articles
Yesterday, Sen. John McCain ignited a bit of a firestorm when he said that President Obama was "directly responsible" for the mass shooting in Orlando. It was a stupid thing to say, but give him credit for not doubling down on it for too long; within hours, McCain walked the comments back, explaining that he "misspoke."
In the wake of Orlando, a bunch of stories in emerged arguing that Republicans who favor gay rights like Donald Trump. Nobody is arguing that Trump will win with gays, but it certainly seems plausible that he will do better than Mitt Romney.
Jonah Goldberg is out today with a piece that he pushed on Twitter as “Muhammad Ali and the birth of bragging culture.”
Yesterday, on my podcast, I moderated a thoughtful debate between two conservatives who differ on whether we should support Donald Trump. Kurt Schlichter, a columnist, veteran, and attorney, backed Cruz in the primary, but argues that Trump is a much better alternative to Hillary Clinton. Rob Neppell, a conservative blog pioneer and erstwhile Tea Party leader, is part of the “Never Trump” movement. Toward the end of our conversation, Neppell asked Schlicther whether we can all get along when this election is over. The general consensus was that it’ll be easy for the reluctant Trump supporters and the “Never Trumpers” to reunite. The bigger question is whether Trump’s most loyal fans can coexist with Trump’s most vehement conservative adversaries.
Waiting for the Trump pivot is like waiting for Godot.
A couple months back, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote about "the online movement known as 'neoreaction,'" of which, he noted, "in its highbrow form offers a monarchist critique of egalitarianism and mass democracy, and in its popular form is mostly racist pro-Trump Twitter accounts and anti-P.C. provocateurs."
Apart from Charles Sumner and a handful of ugly protests and labor incidents over the years, America has largely avoided political violence that has been commonplace in other parts of the world.
Thank goodness he never attended Trump University, but my dad did once drag me to a “timeshare” pitch. The mailer we received promised, “No strings attached.” We had won some sort of prize. Just sit through their spiel, we were told, and walk away with either a car or a boat. Upon leaving, we were handed an inflatable boat in a cardboard box.
"Leap and the net will appear." John Burroughs supposedly said that --- but it also describes Bill Kristol's model of punditry. His track record of making predictions is checkered. On the other hand, he gets a lot of press for teasing us. And there is rarely a price to be paid if things don't pan out exactly as he predicted. There's always a safety net (or a short fall); never a splat.
More of my criticism this year has been directed at Donald Trump than at Democrats, and this is because a) I'm more concerned about preserving conservatism, and b) I take it as a given that liberals are mostly wrong. But I think it's worth noting that President Obama has more in common with Donald Trump than most people realize, and that they both deserve to be criticized for their inappropriate behavior.
As has been noted many times, the general electorate is vastly different from a Republican primary universe. That is the most obvious reason why Donald Trump's success might not be replicable in November. Negative information about Trump that GOP primary voters merely laughed off might actually hurt him among other voters.
I've been attacking "tribalism" a lot lately---and I stand by that. But you can take any point too far. It would be a mistake to conflate the intrinsic desire we all have for loyalty, community, and a band of brothers---our "little platoons," as it were---with the worst kinds of toxic identity politics that are currently infecting our political process.
People keep looking for a silver bullet will stop Donald Trump, and they keep shooting blanks. They think that exposing examples of flip-flopping---or of some other scandalous behavior (say, the way he treats women)---will help. What they don't get is that you can't lose something you never had, or never pretended to have.
My theme this week has been the similarities between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders---and what their success says about us.
Rich Lowry has a piece up at Politico on how Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have moved the political center of gravity Leftward. It's true that Trump and Sanders are both trade protectionists and anti-interventionists, but it's hard to call these policies "liberal," inasmuch as they were once typical of the Old Right.
One of the things we tell ourselves to make us feel better about the more negative aspects behind the rise of Donald Trump goes like this: At least people are now giving voice to their darker thoughts, rather than suppress them.
Back when John Boehner was Speaker, he was the unpopular establishment figure fighting against a passionate Republican base that adhered strictly to conservative orthodoxy. Today, in a surprising turn of events, Boehner---who supports Donald Trump---finds himself in a more enviable position.