There really was a liberal media bubble, Nate Silver reports, and the only thing wrong with his assertion is that it’s in the past tense. The lack of diversity among journalistic ranks—even the sort of racial and sexual diversity championed every day in the pages of the Washington Post and New York Times—makes it easy for consensus to form and harden into unshakable groupthink. The media is a crowd without wisdom. There is within it hardly any diversity of opinion, independence of mind is mocked and ostracized, and reporters increasingly are twenty- and thirty-year-olds living in either New York City or Washington, D.C. They are addicted to Twitter, where they try to out-snark each other and determine who can affect the best pose of knowingness.
The Islamic Caliphate announced in 2014 by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, is approaching the end of its short and terrible life. Iraqi forces, supported by Americans, have reclaimed the eastern half of Mosul and are retaking the western one. Kurdish militias in Syria, also backed by the United States, are homing in on the ISIS capital of Raqqa. Word came this week that a contingent of Marines has been deployed in Syria to position heavy artillery for the fight ahead. “We expect that within a few weeks there will be a siege of the city,” a militia spokesman tells Reuters.
Decades of intellectual and political activity preceded the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. William F. Buckley Jr. founded National Review in 1955. A little less than a decade later, National Review publisher William Rusher helped orchestrate Barry Goldwater’s presidential nomination. The following year, 1965, Buckley ran for mayor of New York City and Irving Kristol, then still a member of the anti-Communist left, founded The Public Interest. The year after that, Reagan was elected governor of California. The 1970s saw the proliferation of the single-issue interest groups that comprised the New Right. The first Conservative Political Action Conference was held in 1973. In 1977, a year after losing the Republican nomination to incumbent Gerald Ford, Reagan addressed the conference.
Donald Trump was elected president last November by winning 306 electoral votes. He pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., to overturn the system of politics that had left the nation’s capital and major financial and tech centers flourishing but large swaths of the country mired in stagnation and decay. “What truly matters,” he said in his Inaugural Address, “is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.”
“Republicans seized her microphone,” writes the New York Times. “And gave her a megaphone.”
Who’s she? Elizabeth Warren, the overrated Democratic senator from Massachusetts. The other night Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell rebuked her for impugning colleague Jeff Sessions. Exercising a little-known rule, the Senate revoked Warren’s floor privileges for 24 hours. Now, says the Times, “Ms. Warren is considered a very early frontrunner for 2020, should she run.”
“What happened to the honeymoon?” Charles Krauthammer asked last month. The opposition has long granted presidents time to form their administrations, to announce their signature initiatives. Donald Trump’s honeymoon lasted all of 10 days—from his surprise November 8 election to the rude treatment of his vice president at a performance of Hamilton on November 18. After that, divorce.
“Retreat” is an appropriate description of what took place in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, this week. Senate Democrats took a break from not confirming President Trump’s cabinet to visit this historic city in a state the president won by 40 points. According to Politico the assembled were scheduled to hear from associates of the Clinton family and to “hold lessons on how to talk to real people.” Oh to be a fly on the wall.
It’s rather sickening to watch self-described liberals and advocates of human rights embrace China as a responsible power. The headline on the cover of this week’s Economist, which I now read solely to find out what is not the case, is “China: the global grown-up.” The Washington Post purports to explain “Why China will be able to sell itself as the last liberal great power.” These articles, besides being wrong, have the distinction of following the line set by Beijing itself: “China may lead globalization movement,” says propaganda outlet CCTV.
Donald Trump’s inaugural address was a stirring call for national unity and a declaration of war against the establishment in Washington, D.C. The speech was vintage Trump: politically incorrect, critical of both parties, amped up, biting, strongly delivered, and wildly ambitious. Anyone who believed Trump would change his beliefs or style when he assumed the office of the presidency was proven wrong. He’s not going to change. And he’s not going to let up.