White Lies Matter

Hillary Clinton

Over the course of three decades in public life Hillary Clinton has misspoke and misled the public and mismanaged herself and her team to such a degree that voters cannot help noticing. Yes, many of her falsehoods are white lies. But white lies accumulate. They matter. Not only do they harm the truth. They are turning Hillary Clinton into one of the least popular presidential candidates in history.

Bernie Sanders Smears Israel

Bernie Sanders

Can he take a Mulligan? Bernie Sanders’ interview with the editorial board of the New York Daily News revealed a candidate more interested in platitudes and dreams than in specifics and realities. He couldn’t even explain how his signature policy—breaking up the big banks—would work. His campaign might as well have sent Larry David in his place. The comic is better informed.

The Donald Turns Into a Pumpkin

Donald Trump (AP)

Donald Trump had by far his worst debate of the 2016 campaign on Thursday. He was defensive and vulgar, evasive and condescending, rude and imperious. He moved drastically to the center on immigration, repudiating his position on H-1B visas on stage and saying “everything is negotiable,” including the border wall and the fate of illegal immigrants already in the United States. He defended his calls for expansive torture and the killing of civilians related to terrorists, saying the military “will do what I tell them” even if his orders contradict the law. He dismissed his opponents as “little Marco” and “lying Ted” and bragged about his manhood. Over two hours he provided reams and reams of material for Hillary Clinton’s ad writers.

John Kerry’s Ridiculous Trip to Hollywood

John Kerry meets with LA studio executives

Oh, to have been at John Kerry’s meeting Tuesday with a dozen Hollywood executives at Universal Studios. To have sat in one of the cushy leather chairs beneath a vintage poster for The Phantom of the Opera, sipping bottled water, relaxing in the Mediterranean climate of southern California, and be solicited by the U.S. secretary of State for advice on how to defeat radical Islam. What a confirmation of one’s status in the film industry, of one’s place in the global economy, of one’s importance to the Democratic Party. “Great convo w studio execs in LA,” Kerry tweeted after the discussion, “Good to hear their perspectives & ideas of how to counter #Daesh narrative.”

The Populist Earthquake

Donald Trump (AP)

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders overturned American politics with their stunning wins in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday. As I write, with two-thirds of the vote in, Trump leads John Kasich by almost 20 points on the Republican side and Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by 21 points on the Democratic side. Those numbers are incredible. Trump outperformed his ideological precursor Pat Buchanan, who won the New Hampshire primary in 1996. And Sanders—well, what can one say about Sanders?