Mona Charen | Editorial
22024
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  • Trump Always Had a Whiff of Fascism for 01/15/2021

    Throngs of self-styled conservatives and Republicans have now reached the thunderous realization that Donald Trump is not just a harmless clown. Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged to Chuck Todd that Trump's rhetoric was incendiary, but insisted that this kind of incitement was par for the course in politics, and he was shocked that people took Trump literally. It seems we have an entire party stocked with Captain Renaults.Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021 […]

  • The Wall Street Journal Epitomizes the Failure of Elite Conservatism for 01/06/2021

    The Wall Street Journal editorial page is probably the most influential elite conservative outlet in the country. Fox News, talk radio and the rest may hold more sway with the grassroots, but the Journal has always been the gold standard for educated opinion shapers. Millions of busy people who may not follow politics closely rely on the Journal to provide a sober voice of informed conservatism to balance or rebut the editorial page of The New York Times. In the Trump era, the Journal's editorial board has betrayed its readers. It has trimmed and hemmed and to-be-sured its way through the most sustained assault on truth and the American political order of our lifetime. Every now and then — usually on textbook economic matters like tariffs — the board has issued stern rebukes of the president's policies. But rarely. For the most part, it has retreated into anti-anti-Trumpism, averting its gaze from the president and focusing disproportionately on his opponents. Some columnists have become outright cheerleaders for the Russia hoax narrative. Their Jan. 3 editorial is a classic of the genre. They began with both sidesism:Updated: Wed Jan 06, 2021 […]

  • Our Merciless Culture for 12/31/2020

    When did we become so merciless? I'm not talking about the 18-year-old kid, featured in a New York Times article, who elected to torpedo a fellow student over a three-year-old video clip — though what he did was cruel. No, I'm talking about all of the supposed adults who created the world these kids navigate through. The outline of the story is as follows: Mimi Groves, a 15-year-old high school freshman in Leesburg, Virginia, posted a Snapchat video when she got her learner's permit. Speaking into the camera, she said, "I can drive, n——-." Whoa. Who uses the N-word like that? We'll come to that. The video circulated among a few people and was forgotten. Three years later, it surfaced again, this time coming to the attention of a classmate, Jimmy Galligan, who filed it away. Later, after Mimi Groves had been accepted to her dream college, the University of Tennessee, and welcomed onto the cheerleading team (apparently the national champion), Galligan released the three-second video.Updated: Thu Dec 31, 2020 […]

  • Even Trump's Pardons Are Selfish for 12/23/2020

    The list of President Donald Trump's pardons and clemencies so far looks a lot like a supermarket tabloid: In other words, a lot like Trump's life itself. There's Rod Blagojevich with his saucy smile, and there's smug Joe Arpaio. Every president's pardon list contains some self-serving or controversial picks; think of then-President Bill Clinton's pardon for Marc Rich or former President Barack Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence to time served. But every other president in American history has chosen some worthy recipients of executive clemency as well, some reformed souls whose cases sang out for pardons. That's because every other American president has been a more or less normal human being. And normal human beings have some concept of justice.Updated: Wed Dec 23, 2020 […]

  • Lou Dobbs Debunks Himself for 12/22/2020

    Two news organizations issued corrections recently. One was The New York Times. The other was Fox Business. One concerned an honest mistake. The Times admitted to having been scammed by the subject of one of its podcast series. Fox Business did not admit to anything but instead ran an interview that directly contradicted some — actually a small fraction — of the false, hysterical and malevolent conspiracy theories about election fraud the network has been pushing. If you were watching "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on Dec. 18, you saw something jarring — a dose of reality. Dobbs has been peddling outright disinformation for a very long time. Before he moved to Fox, he was a fixture on CNN, where he reported, falsely, that immigrants were causing a huge spike of leprosy cases. Dobbs has a perhaps sincere, but nonetheless maniacal, fear and hatred of immigrants. He pumped out baseless allegations that the LDS church was purposely violating immigration laws to smuggle Mexicans into the country, and said that one-third of prison inmates were illegal aliens (not even close). But nothing has topped his recent fulminations about the election. When Attorney General William Barr said he had not seen evidence of voter fraud significant enough to affect the outcome of the election, Dobbs sailed off the rationality cliff altogether. "For the attorney general to make that statement, he is either a liar or a fool or both," said Dobbs. "He may be, perhaps, compromised." Updated: Tue Dec 22, 2020 […]

  • Bye-Bye William Barr for 12/16/2020

    Some heads snapped when Attorney General William Barr told the truth on Dec. 1. "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election." This was not the Bill Barr we had come to expect. We were surprised again when we learned that Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation for some months, that this was known to Barr, and that he didn't disclose it to President Donald Trump for use in the campaign. These are damning facts — if you're working for America's most corrupt president. Contradicting Trump's wild, absurdist fantasy of a Hugo-Chavez-orchestrated/hammer-and-scorecard/Dominion plot to steal the election that Trump had "won by a landslide" was bound to be a poker in the eye for the chief executive. And to think that Barr had incriminating information about Hunter Biden — the sort of thing Trump had gotten himself impeached attempting to extort — and kept it under wraps? Well, Barr's days were numbered. Barr should be grateful that he was offered the chance to submit a letter of resignation rather than be fired by tweet (though, of course, there was a tweet). And, frankly, it's hard to feel sympathy for the guy. Yes, those last two unexpected spasms of basic ethics must be weighed in the balance when considering his tenure, but Barr has much to answer for.Updated: Wed Dec 16, 2020 […]

  • Trumpism Triumphant -- Even in Defeat for 12/09/2020

    Off and on for 25 years, I participated in National Review cruises as a speaker. I met lots of wonderful people who were intelligent, curious and great company — but there were always cranks and conspiracy theorists, too. Once, during the Clinton administration, people at my dinner table were repeating the story that Hillary Clinton had killed Vince Foster. I choked down my bite of chicken Kiev and responded, as equably as possible, "Well, for that to be true, she would also have had to transport his body to Fort Marcy Park without the Secret Service or anyone else noticing." Several people at the table blinked back at me. Yeah? So? In later years, I noticed that cruisers weren't citing mainstream publications for their information. They were getting their news from email lists and subscription newsletters. Updated: Wed Dec 09, 2020 […]

  • Trump's First Victim -- Truth for 12/04/2020

    The photo looks faked. It's so heavy-handed. A grinning Australian soldier, his insignia clear as day on his helmet and arm, stands on the Australian flag holding a small, barefoot Afghan child in front of him. He grasps a bloody knife to the child's throat. The caption reads "Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!" This not particularly well-disguised piece of propaganda (it's the work of Chinese graphic artist Fu Yu, aka Qilin) was posted to Twitter by the government of China, part of a broad-based campaign China is waging against Australia. Why? Simple: Australia has told the truth.Updated: Fri Dec 04, 2020 […]

  • There Is No Return to Normalcy for 11/13/2020

    The day after the secretary of defense was fired is not a great time for the secretary of state to joke about a transition to a "second Trump administration." If he was, in fact, joking. I've had conversations in the past few days with people who disliked Trump enough to pull the lever for Biden but still believe that the Republican Party is sound and will snap back to normal now that Trump is defeated.Updated: Fri Nov 13, 2020 […]

  • Does This Election Tell Us Something About Men? for 11/05/2020

    As I write, the outcome of the 2020 presidential race remains in doubt, though it seems very likely that Joe Biden will squeeze out a victory. This is a stunning departure from the resounding repudiation of Donald Trump that we had been hoping for. Here are a few groggy, morning after reflections. 1) There is something wrong with polling in this country. Updated: Thu Nov 05, 2020 […]

  • Weak Excuses to Vote for Trump for 10/29/2020

    "Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal." — Robert Heinlein Among many lessons learned over the last excruciating four years is this: Partisanship is a more potent drug than heroin. I consider myself to be in recovery but by no means cured. After decades of Republican loyalty, I now devoutly desire a Republican loss.Updated: Thu Oct 29, 2020 […]

  • Don't Let Trump Discredit Patriotism for 10/22/2020

    Donald Trump has a documented history of driving Americans away from the policies he favors. This is both good and bad. As Catherine Rampell noted, the president has moved American public opinion toward greater approval of immigration. The percentage of Americans who said that immigration is good for the country bounced around in the 50s and 60s in the first decade and a half of this century. But since 2016, the trend has been up sharply. In 2020, 77% of Americans told Gallup that they think immigration is good for the country. Similarly, the percentage who believe that accepting refugees fleeing war or persecution should be a priority has increased from 62% in 2016 to 73% in 2019. Updated: Thu Oct 22, 2020 […]

  • Breaking News: Not Everything Is Terrible for 10/15/2020

    We devote a lot of mental energy to things that are going wrong or could go wrong. It's human nature. As the sociobiologists teach us, our ancestors were not the ones who heard a rustling in the grass and figured, "Eh, it's probably nothing." We are descended from the ones who said: "What the hell was that? Could be a cobra. Better run the other way." Vigilance is our default mode. But seven months after the start of this plague, we shouldn't lose sight of the things that went more right than we expected. Updated: Thu Oct 15, 2020 […]

  • Trump's Republican Party for 10/08/2020

    Kelly Loeffler looked like a standard-issue Republican when she was appointed senator from Georgia in December 2019. She came from a super-rich family (like plenty of Democrats as well), she was pro-gun, anti-immigration and pro-business. Originally pro-choice, her position on abortion evolved in time for her to be accepted by pro-life gatekeepers. Once in Washington, D.C., though, Loeffler quickly got with the program. She described the impeachment of the president as a "circus" and lambasted Mitt Romney for even voting to call witnesses, whom she was sure would "slander @realDonald Trump." Now, she's encouraging hero worship of Trump, tweeting: "COVID stood NO chance against @realDonaldTrump."Updated: Thu Oct 08, 2020 […]

  • The World's Brokest Billionaire for 10/01/2020

    Seated at the breakfast table, scanning The New York Times story on Trump's taxes, I said to my husband, "We have a greater net worth than Donald Trump." He knitted his brow. I was thinking of a story that Ivanka Trump shared a while back: Updated: Thu Oct 01, 2020 […]