The Current Crisis

The Current Crisis

My Response to Mitt Romney

By 2.20.14

WASHINGTON —First Mitt Romney loses a presidential election that he was predicted to win in a walk. Then he appears some 15 months later on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” to lecture the nation on how Republicans might lose the presidential election once again. “I don’t think Bill Clinton is as relevant as Hillary Clinton if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016,” Mr. Romney opined. Perhaps he forgot that Bill was elected president 21 years ago promising that a vote for him would mean acquiring two presidents “for the price of one.” Mr. Romney, Hillary is actually pretty tightly entangled with Bill, now and forever. May I suggest that you read up on their peculiar relationship? They are even closer than Bonnie and Clyde.

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The Current Crisis

Welcome to the Presidential Race, Hillary

By 2.13.14

Washington

It is happening again. The media tell us there is a huge groundswell of support for Hillary to run for the presidency in 2016. Already an enormous political action committee has been formed. She is again—as she was in 2008—the Inevitable Candidate and, by the way, the Inevitable President. Moreover, the mainstream media are, of course, with her.

These are what I have been calling for over twenty years the media’s Episodic Apologists. Their professional lives have followed a well-worn arc since at least 1992 when the Clintons first emerged nationally—though the arc was there in Arkansas back in the 1980s. At first the Episodic Apologists are full of hope for the Clintons—they have such charisma, such political promise. Then, splat, they fall headlong into a scandal of their own making—Troopergate, Travelgate, Monicagate, Impeachment, or Their Incomparable Exit from the White House. Of a sudden, the Episodic Apologists fall into darkest despair. “How could they? They had it all,” and The Episodic Apologists’ funk continues.

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The Current Crisis

On the Abortion Front, Good News for Babies

By 2.6.14

Washington
Does everyone agree? The recent news on abortion is actually quite promising? Abortions are in decline.

Abortion is at its lowest level since Roe v. Wade in 1973 legalized it. There were 1.05 million abortions in 2011, down 13 percent from the 1.21 million abortions committed in 2008. We are heading back in the direction of the 1.03 million abortions committed in 1975. All this information comes from the Guttmacher Institute’s report “Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2011,” and the Guttmacher Institute favors abortion along with the more humane forms of birth control. So when even the Guttmacher Institute agrees abortion is down, it has got to be down.

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The Current Crisis

On the Abortion Front, Good News for Babies

By 2.6.14

WASHINGTON — Does everyone agree? The recent news on abortion is actually quite promising? Abortions are in decline.

Abortion is at its lowest level since Roe v. Wade in 1973 legalized it. There were 1.05 million abortions in 2011, down 13 percent from the 1.21 million abortions committed in 2008. We are heading back in the direction of the 1.03 million abortions committed in 1975. All this information comes from the Guttmacher Institute’s report “Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2011,” and the Guttmacher Institute favors abortion along with the more humane forms of birth control. So when even the Guttmacher Institute agrees abortion is down, it has got to be down.

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The Current Crisis

Politics’ Double Standard

By 1.30.14

WASHINGTON—Events of this past week have lent credence to one of my most dearly held beliefs. A double standard in political life is better than no standard at all. The Democrats have—as to their behavior in politics—almost no standards at all. The stuffy Republicans have—as to their behavior in politics—a pretty hard and fast set of standards and they stick by them.

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The Current Crisis

Bike Lane Indignados

By 1.23.14

WASHINGTON — There are many different indicators of an unhappy society.

Sociologists point to crime rates, suicide rates, the incidence of divorce, even the frequency of customers leaving the lights on in public restrooms. Economists point to economic growth rates, unemployment rates, the University of Michigan’s monthly economic outlook for the United States. One of my own personal favorites is the sudden transformation of the Republic’s healthy, happy, rosy-cheeked bicycle riders into a mob of angry cranks. It happens every few decades and is a sure sign of an unhappy society.

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The Current Crisis

Bob Gates and Politics

By 1.16.14

WASHINGTON — You will perhaps forgive me if I have found all this bellyaching about retired Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ so-called indiscretion, indignation, and candor a bit hard to take. I first got to know Bob in the early 1980s, thanks to Bill Casey. Through all these years Bob has not changed fundamentally. What has changed is Washington. It is more politicized with an especially shallow politics, more parochial, and more in need of candor, indignation, and even moments of indiscretion. Bob did not let the country down when he wrote his memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense.

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The Current Crisis

A Bad Apple for the Big Apple

By 1.8.14

Washington—I am afraid that fewer than one million out of the 4.3 million registered voters of New York City have settled upon the Big Apple a Bad Apple for mayor, the Hon. Bill de Blasio. What some three million registered New Yorkers were doing when 752,604 of their fellow citizens elected this Bad Apple to the mayor’s mansion I do not know. New York City embraces a very sophisticated citizenry, possibly the most sophisticated of any city in America. So perhaps they were all at a museum on Election Day or writing poetry or learning ancient Greek. But while they were indulging themselves the moron vote brought from obscurity to Gracie Mansion a clod.

He worked for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in 1988! He honeymooned in Cuba in 1991! He claims he never saw any Sandinista brutality in Nicaragua, and that “it’s well known that there’s been some good things that happened in” Cuba. He might be referring to the Cuban gulag. From now on I am traveling to New York incognito. I suggest you do too.

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The Current Crisis

Woman of the Year

By 1.2.14

WASHINGTON — “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” observes Camille Paglia, the learned iconoclast and professor of humanities at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She made that observation in a lengthy interview with the Wall Street Journal, the highbrow newspaper that proves daily that intelligent journalism in America is neither dead or near bankruptcy as long as it holds to the right values. Miss Paglia was talking about our civilization and I have nothing to add save one caveat. I recall the late 1970s when America was pretty much in a heap, and suddenly along came the oldest president in American history — a president whom his friend William F. Buckley adjudged too old to govern — and that president, Ronald Reagan, won the Cold War, revived the economy, and still managed long naps in the afternoon.

Miss Paglia, America still has enormous restorative powers, and I think 2014 is going to see those powers revive. Yet, for now you are right.

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The Current Crisis

Taking Tolerance Too Far

By 12.26.13

WASHINGTON — In a recent and very good book, John L. Allen comes to the judgment that “Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet,” and he concludes that “the transcendent human rights concern of our time is this rarely noted persecution.” In the affluent and comfortable West we take for granted a tolerance that is not shown Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, or Eritrea, much less North Korea.

Yet the war against Christians exists here at home too. It is not as ugly, but it exists and with it Americans have witnessed an amazing reversal in our history. After all, this country was originally a Christian country. It was a refuge for all Christians, and, as the years passed, all Western faiths—eventually all humane faiths. America became a land of religious tolerance. Given the intolerance toward Christianity that we see in America today, possibly it is time for Christians to rethink this tolerance. Possibly, tolerance can go too far.  

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