Looking Down on Trump’s Brain

According to Ross Douthat, in his April 1, 2017 New York Times article, “Trump Needs a Brain”: Trump himself doesn’t know what he wants to do on major issues and there’s nobody in his innermost circle who seems to have a compelling vision that might guide him. Douthat says in an “ideologically unstable age” Trump

By | 2017-04-07T15:49:32+00:00 April 4th, 2017|

GOP Leaders, Remember Trump Ran Against Your Pieties … and Won

Politics is a team sport. It’s a basic truth of republican government—one that was even written into the nation’s founding document. The signers of the Declaration of Independence all agreed to “pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” In short, they would stand together or hang separately, to paraphrase Benjamin

By | 2017-04-04T13:36:09+00:00 April 1st, 2017|

The Art of the Possible in an Age of Recrimination

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]

By | 2017-03-26T20:39:35+00:00 March 26th, 2017|

Americanism vs. Marxism-Lennonism

I have a friend who is a retired public school teacher. She is very likeable and in some areas an independent thinker. One day in conversation she brought up the terrible poverty and near-anarchy that prevails just on the other side of America’s southern border. It quickly became clear that she believed America was at

By | 2017-04-03T05:31:05+00:00 March 25th, 2017|

In Feinstein vs. Gorsuch, Originalism Wins

Neil Gorsuch is no Robert Bork—to the great chagrin of the Senate Democrats who are trying to block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thirty years ago, Senate Democrats derailed Bork’s nomination, claiming the judge’s judicial philosophy of “judicial restraint” was well beyond the mainstream. Today, Democrats are looking for any reason at all

By | 2017-03-23T14:53:47+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|

Open Borders Do Not Lead to Prosperity

Illegal immigration has plagued the United States for decades. The business, political, media, and academic elite in America today insist that the unfettered movement of all people will, among other things, lead to a greater level of innovation. According to this theory, whenever America becomes less inviting to foreigners, that talent chooses to go elsewhere.

By | 2017-03-23T21:27:52+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|

Make Americanism Great Again

I recently received an e-mail—you may have seen it, too—from a person who has been a prominent spokesman for the GOP and now is a NeverTrumper. He notes that the GOP and American conservatism appear to have arrived at a turning point. Perhaps, he suggests, we should abandon the label “conservative” and reclaim for ourselves

By | 2017-03-22T15:29:49+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|

Does Europe Treasure NATO Again?

It is a bit rich to hear Europeans insist that any Trump Administration doubts about NATO’s usefulness is heresy—given their occasional popular indifference to and ambiguity about the alliance. In current journalistic groupthink, Donald Trump has endangered NATO by suggesting a) it does not have a clearly defined role and needs to find one for

By | 2017-03-22T11:08:24+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|

Shootout over Natural Law at Gorsuch Gulch?

Supreme Court justices sometimes devise overly clever “tests” in their opinions to determine the constitutionality of a law or government action. Here’s my one-pronged (and multi-part) Supreme Court minimal competency test, derived from Abraham Lincoln’s critique of Chief Justice Taney’s opinion in Dred Scot: Was Lincoln right in making the Declaration of Independence the basis of constitutional government?

By | 2017-03-21T15:39:54+00:00 March 21st, 2017|