The year since Donald Trump was elected president has not been without accomplishment. The investiture of Justice Neil Gorsuch and several lower-court judges, the successful campaign against ISIS, the rollback of intrusive government regulations, the approval of the Keystone and Dakota XL pipelines, the precipitous reduction in illegal border crossings, the decertification of Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, withdrawal from UNESCO, and the ongoing boom of record employment and stock market prices cannot be denied. But those Trump supporters who assumed his election would inaugurate an era of economic nationalism and a rewriting of the rules of the liberal international order have been disappointed so far. The paradox of Trump is that this most idiosyncratic of men has proven to be a rather conventional Republican president.
On Thursday, Politico published two helpful reminders of the Democrats’ existence. Both stories reinforced the idea that, despite the ongoing tumult in the Republican Party, it is actually the Democratic Party that has been most disrupted by the realignment of American politics along class lines. Not that the Democrats, or Washingtonians in general, seem aware of this fact.
The subject line of the email read, “My four rules.” It was from Barack Obama, regarding this week’s inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago. Not having been lectured to by Obama in, oh, about a week, I opened the link.
“In true dad fashion,” Obama writes, “I came up with a set of rules” to guide the activities of the foundation, participants in its summit, and you, too. “I think they’re relevant to our everyday lives.” Maybe. They don’t seem to have been entirely relevant to Barack Obama’s presidential life, though. He observed only one of them.
Prior to October 27, 2017, the Washington Free Beacon published several articles referencing the research firm Fusion GPS that did not disclose the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Washington Free Beacon. The reason for this omission is that the authors of these articles, and the particular editors who reviewed them, were unaware of this relationship.
While visiting Hillsdale College this week, I was unexpectedly bequeathed a gift. When I arrived at the house where I am staying I discovered on the buffet table in the kitchen a small collection of books on military history, grand strategy, and World War II. Among them was the bound galley of Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars, published Tuesday by Basic Books. Having heard advance praise for the book, I picked up the hefty galley. I have not put it down since.
President Trump is expected to announce today that he cannot certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement over its nuclear program that it entered into with the United States and five other nations in 2015. The president’s decision, according to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, will commence a 60-day review period during which the Republican-controlled Congress may re-impose sanctions against the Islamic theocracy for its intransigence and belligerence. Sanctions, I might add, that should never have been lifted in the first place.
For years, reporters were content to obscure their ideological dogmas and partisan objectives behind the pretense of objectivity and detachment. Though the Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN practiced combat journalism against conservatives and Republicans, they did so while aspiring to professional standards of facticity and fairness, and applying, every now and then, scrutiny to liberals and Democrats worthy of investigation.
Roy Moore’s insurgent victory over incumbent Senator Luther Strange in Monday’s Alabama Republican primary has been hyped. Not least by Moore’s nation-state populist supporters online who see the defeat of the preferred candidate of Mitch McConnell and President Trump as a harbinger. Yet there are several reasons a Moore victory should not be a surprise.