The news yesterday that Kate O’Beirne—longtime Washington editor for National Review, quick-witted talk-show debater for CNN— had died was sad but not surprising. I had had dinner with Mary Ellen Bork, one of her closest friends, a few weeks before and had heard how sick she was. As can be said of us
The great nineteenth-century man of letters William Dean Howells once made a remark that I have long cherished as a sort of personal motto: “The problem for a critic,” Howells said, “is not making enemies, but keeping them.” A critic who does not make enemies is unlikely to be doing his job, inasmuch
Is Donald Trump a student of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand? Some of Trump’s recent actions suggest that he is, at least intuitively. I am thinking in particular of Talleyrand’s observation that “non-intervention is a metaphysical idea, indistinguishable in practice from intervention.” The question is not whether a state like America is part of the process.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that conservatives and Republicans (no, they are not necessarily the same) enjoy playing the counter-factual game of “What if?” What if a Republican had presided over Benghazi instead of Ms. “At-this-point-What-Difference-Does-It-Make” Clinton? What if a Republican administration had intervened to prevent Arizona from enforcing federal immigration laws? What if
As Otto von Bismarck several times had occasion to observe, “Politics is the art of the possible.” On at least one occasion he added, “the attainable—the art of the next best.” Since, as Henry Kissinger once observed in a long essay on Bismarck, the Prussian colossus was a “revolutionary” who sought not to “adapt [his]
I suspect that nearly all readers of American Greatness are familiar with John Adams’ famous statement about the rule of law in his Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved by the voters in 1780. “In the government of this commonwealth,” Adams wrote, “the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or
Writing this month in The New Criterion, I noted the great angst emanating from the “Arts Community” over speculation that the Trump Administration might cut federal funding for various cultural programs. Yes, it’s true: the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities (each of which currently receives about $175 million per year) and the Corporation
Future historians of the liberal arts in American academic life will be able to pinpoint the time and place of its death with remarkable accuracy. The fatal blow was delivered Thursday night, March 2, at Wilson Hall, Middlebury College, Vermont. The victim struggled manfully, but finally expired outside the McCullough Student Center an hour or