“What if?” The Evelyn Farkas Fracas

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

By | 2017-04-11T18:44:56+00:00 April 3rd, 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|

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|

GOP Priorities Don’t Resonate With Voters on Healthcare

The debate over the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republicans’ attempt to replace Obamacare, has been revealing beyond all expectations. For many people, nothing is more important about this bill than the number of people it helps to buy health insurance. For the Republican leadership, however, it seems the most important value of

By | 2017-03-21T18:46:31+00:00 March 21st, 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|

Can Activist Judges Be Controlled?

Congress failed in 1805 to impeach Justice Samuel Chase. But circumstances have changed. The disquieting spectacle of three unelected judges (all appointed by President Barack Obama) enjoining the signature initiative of the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump, without even citing the statute—8 U.S.C. section 1182(f)—that expressly authorizes the action they just stopped, has focused

By | 2017-03-20T15:34:45+00:00 March 20th, 2017|

A Government of Laws, Not Men

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

By | 2017-03-19T09:28:33+00:00 March 19th, 2017|

Iraq: A War in Three Acts

Americans love a good story. Pop culture is littered with the fictional tales of heroic characters. The majority of stories today still follow a three-act structure that dates back to Aristotle. Epic films start with the hero called to action in the first act; then the tension rises in the second (how will our hero

By | 2017-03-18T19:30:10+00:00 March 18th, 2017|

Why Republicans Cannot Bear Trump’s Spending Plan in One Easy Lesson

The White House on Thursday released what officials variously described as a “skinny budget,” a “hard power budget,” and—most memorably—an “America First” budget that begins “a New Chapter of American Greatness.” (I’m partial to the last one.) As flattering as that sounds, the truth is President Trump’s first budget outline is far from “great.” The

By | 2017-03-17T13:35:32+00:00 March 17th, 2017|

Make Democrats American Again!

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Henry Olsen—one of the few analysts who correctly gauged the 2016 election results before they were in—predicts ongoing electoral disaster for the Democrats. Olsen is spot on when he argues that Democrats, whether they mean to regain lost electoral ground or to lay claim to new ground, will have

By | 2017-03-16T20:46:39+00:00 March 16th, 2017|