The Current Crisis

The Current Crisis

The Shock of Christmas

By 12.4.14

Alas it is over. I am speaking of the Thanksgiving Day celebration—one of my favorite holidays. It is a serious celebration as we give thanks for our many blessings. Yet it is also a jolly day, full of good food, drink, and sport, perhaps touch football, more likely a televised game. The whole family comes together and, often in the company of friends, has a festive time. Moreover, there is a venerable sense of tradition to the feast that renders the whole holiday somehow reassuring.

However, now comes a time troubled by a deep sense of apprehension, especially for people of faith. I am speaking of the Christmas season. The apprehension begins with how we greet people? Last week it was customary to say “Have a Happy Thanksgiving” or just “Happy Thanksgiving.” I must have intoned that line a hundred times, never with a premonition of giving offense or of introducing an evangelizing spirit into a brief social encounter. “Happy Thanksgiving” might be prefatory to devastating a plump bird, but only the very morbid are offended and they can always munch on a nutrition bar.

The Current Crisis

The Joy of Sex Is Over

By 11.26.14

So this is how the Sexual Revolution is ending. It is not ending with the Sexual Utopians of yesteryear shouting “Oh Joy” and extolling the therapeutic orgasm, which was to bring happiness to Americans from every walk of life. It is ending with gangs of angry women—some well into their seventies, some with grandchildren—recalling sexual assaults that allegedly took place up to half a century ago. They are aggrieved. They are angry. Some still burst into tears. And their alleged assailant, in this case the avuncular 77-year-old Bill Cosby, is pictured on the front page of the Washington Post in sullen denial.

The Current Crisis

A Modest Proposal to My Left-Wing Friends

By 11.20.14

I have a suggestion for my left-wing Democratic friends in light of all the controversy over Obamacare. That the controversy continues all these years after the bill’s passage and that today much of the bill is in danger of amputation must be very dispiriting to those left-wingers who had such high hopes for it. They obviously labored assiduously to render it incomprehensible to the electorate and for a long time they succeeded. Yet the electorate wised up this month and voted into office large numbers of Republicans. Those Republicans are out to gut the legislation.

The Current Crisis

The President of No!

By 11.13.14

In the gloom of the day after last week’s election I think even his allies in the media expected something more from the Prophet, Barack Obama. After all, he had just suffered through a wave election and he was left soaking wet. He did not merely lose this wave election. He was swamped.

Republicans were victorious practically everywhere. At times they won by double digits: Senator Mitch McConnell won by 15 points, Arkansas’ Senator-elect Tom Cotton by 17 points; and forget not the governorships: Ohio’s John Kasich by 31 points, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley by 15 points. The sorely pressed governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, won his third race for governorship in four years by five points against unions, big money Democrats nationwide, and Hollywood! As I said last week, it was the second wave in the last three elections and an election more epochal than the President’s in 2008 and his rerun of 2008 in 2012.

The Current Crisis

The Elections and the Last Racists

By 11.6.14

So what did you think of the 2014 election? Do I hear talk of a wave election? Is 2014 another 2010 election? I think it is, and that makes it more significant than any other recent election, as I shall explain in due course.

Yet first review the outcome. Republicans have increased their margin in the House of Representatives. That was deemed unlikely a couple of days ago. They have captured the Senate, again a very questionable outcome according to the polls only a few days ago. They have won a majority of governorships, including in one-party Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Moreover, they probably have a majority of state legislatures. And one thing more—the Democrats’ leading campaigners continue, as has been true for years, to be the kiss of death to almost anyone they endorse. I am speaking of my friends, the Clintons.

The Current Crisis

The Meaning of Goldwater

By 10.31.14

Adapted from remarks delivered on October 29 at a forum at Indiana University marking the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s presidential run.

Nineteen sixty-four was billed then and for years to come as the end of that era’s sudden political monstrosity, American conservatism. For years to come we were told that conservatism died, or committed suicide, in 1964 with the nomination of Barry Goldwater. And so ended—supposedly—another anomaly from America’s one-party state, at least for those who think it is right for there to be a one-party state within a democratic system.

Actually for us—those that are historically minded—1964 was not the end but the beginning, possibly the beginning of the beginning. It was the beginning of what has been for mainstream media—and come to think of it the Academy—the longest dying political movement in American history, American conservatism. Since 1964 conservatism’s obituaries have been filed with timely regularity—and I don’t know about you but I am actually feeling pretty good.

The Current Crisis

Comes the Liberation

By 10.30.14

The wave is approaching the shoreline. No, I am not talking to surfers. I am talking to Republicans and independents. The wave they have been awaiting is an electoral wave, and it seems to be coming in. A veteran of many campaigns, Donald Rumsfeld, came in from the campaign trail a few days ago saying, “It’s feeling good out there.” Nate Silver, the left-leaning psephologist, says the Republicans have a better than even chance to win both houses. He puts their chances of capturing the Senate at 63 percent. Then remember too that the mainstream media is full of uncertainty. That seals it. Republicans are headed for another wave election much like 2010.

The Current Crisis

The Harvard Twenty-Eight to the Rescue

By 10.23.14

Mirabile dictu! Fully 28 profs and former profs from the Harvard Law School have taken a stand for freedom and for the rule of law. They are on the side of the Constitution and simple fairness. As Ivy Leaguers go, their stand took courage. No other Ivy League school has had the temerity to buck the bullying of federal government’s Department of Education Department over the its threat to punish universities that it adjudges as being lax on allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment. That is right. The Department of Education says it will withhold funding if its ukase is not followed by suspect universities. Harvard is suspected of such laxity by the Department of Education, and so the university hopes to mollify the government bureaucrats by enforcing a draconian policy toward alleged sex offenders.

The Harvard Twenty-Eight responds that this policy is unfair. Furthermore the university has a vast enough endowment to go, if need be, its own way. What is an endowment for anyway, if not to ensure the independence of a university? Raise a toast to Harvard Law.

The Current Crisis

Stop This Voter Card Madness!

By 10.16.14

Let us put the forthcoming election into perspective. At least let us put it into perspective as the leftwing sees it.

If, way back in the 1960s, you had wanted to gain an insight into how the left was going to break society down into a series of leftwing interest groups in the decades ahead, those groups always to be harvested as voting blocs for the increasingly leftwing Democrats, you would have done well to read Kenneth Minogue’s1963 classic The Liberal Mind. There Minogue adumbrated the “suffering situation,” the left’s fanciful assortment of constituencies from the very poor in the 1960s right up to today’s poor clods who stumble into the polling booth without a voter ID card or as we say a photo ID card. This poor clod may not have a pair of shoes on his or her feet or even a handbag, but what is crucial the left tells us is that he or she cannot lay hands on a voter ID. So we, blessed with our voter ID cards, are expected to have compassion for him or her, and let the wretch vote anyway—possibly two or three times, possibly in polling booths throughout the city, possibly throughout the state.

The Current Crisis

Good Old Joe

By 10.8.14

What do you suppose our ebullient vice president says to his sorely pressed staff when he rolls into the office at the end of the day and discovers that, yes, he has done it again? He has committed another verbal blunder, a gaffe as it is called. My guess is that he laughs it off. That is what he does in public. Why should he act any differently in private?

He has been committing gaffes since the beginning of his career. Sometimes they have forced him to cancel a presidential race as in 1988 when he was caught using vivid lines drawn directly from a speech by the British Labour leader Neil Kinnock. Who would have ever noticed, right Joe? Sometimes the gaffes have forced him to make a public apology to one or another foreign power as he did recently with three important allies. Yet most of the time he simply laughs and apologizes while we all laugh along with him. Good old Joe. Remember when he was speaking at the last inauguration to the Iowa State Society Inauguration Ball and he yawped, “I’m proud to be the president of the United States.” Good old Joe.