Category 5. Politics

Being There?

The combination of arrogance and ignorance among darlings of the left can reach stunning levels, and in that respect none can match – though seemingly many try – the dizzying heights regularly achieved by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Just days after releasing a “Green New Deal” proposal under which the entire US economy would be reorganized in a time frame and manner that would have caused the late Pol Pot to envy her style, AOC, as she’s called, celebrated the cancellation of Amazon’s plan to build a secondary headquarters in Queens with a tweet excoriating Amazon’s “corporate greed” and its “worker exploitation.”

These are stock phrases for leftists; taken together, they translate loosely as “the characteristics of a private enterprise that hasn’t given in to my dema...

Read More

Coming to Love Trump

In the circles in which I travel, it is considered verboten to express any admiration for President Trump, so writing this post may lose me a friend or two. I hope not, but if that happens I will consider it sad evidence of my former friends’ intolerance.

As longtime readers of these posts know, the most recent presidential election was the first one since I began voting in 1976 in which I did not vote for the Republican candidate. I was so put off by President Trump’s personal shortcomings – and by some of his policy ideas – that I gave my vote to Gary Johnson.

I still have serious disagreements on policy with Trump – on which more later – but I have come to see some of his un-presidential antics as … useful...

Read More

Anathematization as a Strategy

Rather than engage in civil debate, Democrats increasingly make ad hominem arguments against those with whom they disagree. They have become the party of personal destruction.

Every Republican president is portrayed in popular culture and most media outlets as not just wrong on the issues – that much is assumed – but evil. Each one is literally Hitler, until he is out of office. Then they are ignored until they die or criticize another Republican, at which time their images are magically accorded some semblance of dignity. Also, most Republican presidents are stupid; that’s a given, too.

Republican Supreme Court nominees? They must be stopped – or, at a minimum, deprived of their dignity...

Read More

A Squalid Affair

In 1675, a Swedish ancestor of mine named Catharina Bure, the wife of a prominent man who was feuding with Uppsala’s mayor, was convicted of witchcraft along with several of her friends; they were all sentenced to be burned at the stake. The court accepted the testimony of a woman who historians believe had been bribed by the mayor and some children who claimed that the alleged witches had transported them to Hell so that they – the witches – could be watched having sex with the devil.

Catharina was ultimately saved by a last-minute pardon from the king – thankfully for my family and me, since she and her husband had their children thereafter – but her friends had already been burned to death...

Read More

The Impeachment End Game

Early last week, I found myself on an elevator with Tom Steyer. As you may know, he is a billionaire, by far the nation’s largest political donor and a possible aspirant to high elective office; he has given hundreds of millions to progressive Democrats and is currently funding a high profile effort to encourage Trump’s impeachment. A brief, slightly awkward situation arose when he and his lunch companion, and I and mine, reached the lobby – in it, he showed situational awareness and an instinctive personal grace that were truly impressive. He came across as the embodiment of old-school WASP gentility.

I don’t doubt that in advocating for Trump’s removal from office Steyer is sincere, rather than just using his directed spending to establish himself as a force on the left; but I thin...

Read More

Trump/Mueller

In response to yesterday’s post, one of my closest friends emailed me without comment three of yesterday’s presidential tweets. He knows that I don’t ever use Twitter, or customarily read tweets.

Each one was disparaging of Robert Mueller and his ongoing investigation of TrumpWorld. The unwritten text of my friend’s emails would have been something along the lines of: how can you defend this jerk?

For my friend’s benefit, in this post I will give my own sense of the meaning of the current scandals, although it must be said that I am properly humble about what I don’t know – additional pertinent facts will doubtless emerge over time, and they may change how I see these matters...

Read More

Uncivil Discourse

Last night, the Beloved Spouse and I were privileged to attend an absolutely beautiful dinner party given by two of our favorite people. Roughly twenty-four of us enjoyed a rich and delicious meal together in the temperate summer air, overlooking a glorious water view. There was a tent overhead in case of rain, but the weather held until about half an hour after the party ended. Then it stormed. Let’s just hope that wasn’t a portent.

Not long after we were seated, a highly accomplished and generally friendly man at my table, whom I had not previously met, went on a riff about how wouldn’t it be great if the CIA were to kill President Trump. He meant his comments to be taken as humorous, clearly assuming that the rest of us at the table shared his perspective that a deus (or rather, assas...

Read More