Mona Charen | Editorial
22024
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  • Will Trump Face the Music, Finally? for 02/18/2021

    There has been some cheering about the 10 House and seven Senate Republicans who voted for impeachment. All honor to those who took the difficult path. But, good God! The president attempted to steal the election. He launched an insurrection against Congress. That only a handful of Republicans could vote to convict him is a sign of deep rot. It also leaves millions of Americans who thirst for justice unsatisfied. Chances of a criminal indictment for incitement to riot are slim. What else?Updated: Thu Feb 18, 2021 […]

  • Mitt Romney Tries to Save Policymaking for 02/11/2021

    It may be coincidence that the best policy idea to come out of the 117th Congress was offered by the one guy who has demonstrated the integrity to brave harassment and death threats to do what's right vis a vis former President Donald Trump. Mitt Romney has an excellent plan to reduce child poverty. This country has a serious child problem. Our birth rates are low and heading lower, which endangers the prospects for Social Security and Medicare for our large elderly population. Also, old countries tend to lack dynamism, which has always been an American specialty. Some couples are happy with their small family sizes, but most Americans want more children (2.7) than they are likely to have (1.8). About 20% of American kids live in poverty compared with 13% among all OECD countries. Part of the reason our kids are struggling is due to changes in family structure. Though the marriage norm has declined nearly everywhere, the U.S. holds the dubious distinction of leading the developed world in unstable adult relationships. Child Trends reports that the 2017 poverty rate for children in married couple families was 8.4%. For kids in single mother homes, the poverty rate was 40.7%.Updated: Thu Feb 11, 2021 […]

  • McConnell Condemns QAnon, Except When He Doesn't for 02/04/2021

    So, now Mitch McConnell tells us that Marjorie Taylor Greene's views are a "cancer" on the Republican Party and on the country. Odd that he neglected to make that point when one of his preferred candidates in the Georgia runoff, Kelly Loeffler, campaigned with Greene. McConnell is now leaning heavily on the other body to clean up its act, denouncing "looney lies and conspiracy theories." McConnell's deputy in Senate leadership, John Thune, chimed in, too, asking his colleagues: "Do they want to be the party of limited government ... free markets, peace through strength and pro-life, or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon?"Updated: Thu Feb 04, 2021 […]

  • Proud of My Vote for Biden for 01/28/2021

    I've been getting a lot of mail from critics lately asking if I'm happy with the Biden administration. They point to some of the new president's executive orders — the one about the Keystone XL pipeline, or the one rescinding the "Mexico City" policy withholding funds from international organizations that perform or advocate for abortion. They ask, snidely, whether I'm proud of my vote for the Democrat. My answer is a resounding yes. It's not because I think Joe Biden will pursue a policy agenda I will agree with most of the time. It's because we just came within a whisker of losing our democracy, and this presidency is a chance to rebuild it. We may yet blow it. Matters like the Keystone pipeline and even the Mexico City policy are trifles by comparison.Updated: Thu Jan 28, 2021 […]

  • Republicans Must Confess Complicity in the Big Lie for 01/19/2021

    If you missed the retraction from the right-wing online magazine The American Thinker, it's one for the ages. Noting that they had received a warning from lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems, the editors admitted that they had published pieces that "relied on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories ... These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. ... We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion's track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error." Fox News has issued similar retractions. This is the beginning, not the end, of the story. Dominion has sent letters to 20 other entities and individuals, including One American News Network, Newsmax, Lin Wood, White House Counsel Pat Cippolone and Rudy Giuliani. Sidney Powell, the "Kraken" lawyer in Donald Trump's orbit, got more than a warning. She was slapped with a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit for her outrageous and outlandish claims including that Dominion's voting machines were designed by Hugo Chavez to help him rig elections; that the machines contained secret algorithms to change Donald Trump votes into Joe Biden votes; that Dominion had bribed Georgia officials to obtain its contract with the state; and that she had a video showing the company's founder bragging that his system "could easily change a million votes, no problem." Updated: Tue Jan 19, 2021 […]

  • 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 […]