Blog - Matt Lewis
Almost six years ago, I awoke bleary-eyed the morning after the Super Bowl to a cryptic e-mail from a journalist friend asking me, "What are you going to do now?" I scurried to figure out what had happened overnight. I discovered that AOL had acquired The Huffington Post, creating all sorts of complications for me as a columnist at AOL's now-defunct Politics Daily.
Something important happened yesterday. Republican members of Congress, bucking their leadership, did something incredibly stupid. (That's not the amazing thing; that's the normal part.) The surprising thing is that a Republican leader had the leverage, authority and ambition to force them to quickly reverse course.
While I was out over the Christmas holiday, Joe Scarborough became embroiled in a Twitter battle over whether he had "partied" with Donald Trump on New Year's Eve. While relitigating the details of the dispute would be both belated and superfluous, the larger issues raised deserve some attention.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through this town
The chattering classes and masses were down
For hovering over this season’s elation?
Impending doom: Trump’s Inauguration.
If 1992 was considered the "Year of the Woman," maybe we should consider 2016 to be the "Year of the Man."
As 2016 grinds to a close, everything seems to be changing. It's fair to say that many of the trends we are witnessing have been a long time coming. But they seem to have come to a head this year. (Lucky us.) Instead of attempting to tackle them all in one fell swoop, what follows is the first in a short series of posts about these trends.
Tucker Carlson's recent interview with senior Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald is getting a lot of buzz on the internets. And rightly so. It's compelling television.
Greetings from Miami, Florida, where I'm attending the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Faith Angle Forum.
I just stumbled across a post that Roger Kimball wrote back in May, titled "How Hayek Predicted Trump With His 'Why the Worst Get on Top." Kimball was referring to a chapter in the 1944 classic The Road to Serfdom, where Friedrich Hayek writes that in a totalitarian regime, "the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful."
The other day, "Alt-Right" leader Richard Spencer spoke at Texas A&M University, and I went on CNN to discuss his seductive message. What I had to say boiled down to this: First, Spencer is charming and intelligent—not the normal Klansman stereotype. Second, his messaging is shrewd.
Right after the election, I interviewed my mom --- a Pennsylvania Trump voter --- about her decision to support him. After all, why would she support him? "I really believe that people want to work," she told me. "The people of central Pennsylvania voted for change. They want jobs. And they want their self-esteem back. And there's nothing like earning a paycheck --- getting a paycheck on Friday night --- to perk up your ego."
Over the last year, Donald Trump has been compared to everyone from Adolf Hitler to Andrew Jackson to Ronald Reagan. His detractors fear he compares to the worst figures in modern history, while his boosters equate him to the greatest.
You might have heard about Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes' recent appearance on The Diane Rehm Show, where she appeared to suggest that truth is not objective, but rather, that it is in the eye of the beholder.
The announcement that Donald Trump has already saved roughly 1,000 Carrier jobs from being moved from Indiana to Mexico struck me as probably bad policy and bad precedent, but definitely brilliant politics. And while few are disputing that, I'm not sure people realize exactly how significant this accomplishment is.
One can argue that the most important moment in American democracy happened when President John Adams (having pushed through his "midnight appointments") snuck out of town on the eve of Thomas Jefferson's inauguration.
There's nothing more emotionally exhausting, but also rewarding, than wading through old keepsakes. A few weeks ago, I wrote about rummaging through some old boxes and finding the first "book" I ever authored.
Regular readers will know my affinity for the movie A Few Good Men, which is a sort of simplistic microcosm of the dichotomy between a civilian versus a martial worldview. These opposing positions are represented by extreme avatars: Jack Nicholson plays Col. Nathan Jessup, the hardened and politically incorrect military man who sees the world as a simple power struggle between good and evil: "We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns," he avers. Tom Cruise plays Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, the cosmopolitan Navy JAG lawyer who goes after him.
As former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is reportedly being considered for the role of Secretary of State in a Donald Trump administration, red flags concerning his business dealings have started popping up faster than a package of Jiffy Pop. One red flag that has been cited frequently involves his work for a controversial group called the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (or MEK).
When conservatives were afraid President Reagan would get rolled by the Soviets at Reykjavik, they sent in old Reagan friend and aide Lyn Nofziger to try to talk some sense into him. Don’t worry, Reagan assured Nofziger. "I still have the scars on my back from fighting the communists in Hollywood.” That's sort of how I feel right now when it comes to my criticism of the media feeding frenzy surrounding Donald Trump naming Breitbart boss Steve Bannon as a senior advisor. The so-called "alt-right" hates me, and I'm not getting soft on them. But that doesn't make Bannon a white supremacist, as some have alleged.