URLs du Jour

2017-01-21

Inspired by Jay Nordlinger: fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, reactionaries (like me) gotta react. So:

  • Gee, I wonder whether Robert Higgs liked the Inaugural Address?

    […] I would rank it among the very worst political speeches I have ever had the displeasure to hear. Its recipe seems to have been: combine three parts mercantilist fallacies, three parts offensive nationalist bombast, and four parts sheer populist hot air about how great the American people are and how great they will soon be again, thanks to Trump. Serve accompanied by half-hearted applause from the assembled members of the political criminal class. All in all, simply an appalling performance, even by the abysmally low standards applicable to such egregious ceremonies.

    … I guess not.

  • Back to Jay Nordlinger:

    Before the Republican convention, I had this thought: that Trump’s acceptance speech would be artful, nuanced, pretty — not the true Trump. Trump with a mask on. I was wrong. It was pure, 100 percent Trump. Total Trump.

    Same with today’s speech. Same with the inaugural address. Exactly the same.

    People waiting for Trump to turn down the thermostat on overheated political rhetoric should not hold their breath.

  • Walter Olson notes missing words from the address:

    […] I wish the speech had used the word “Constitution,” or “law” in a way beyond the phrase “law enforcement,” or “Framers” or “Founders,” or “Declaration” or “Amendment” or “individual” or perhaps “rights.” The one occurrence of “right” was in a passage about “the right of all nations to put their interests first.”

    OK. For other entrail-readers out there, Aaron Bandler does some textual analysis and comparisons of Inaugural Addresses past and present. For our porpoises, the most interesting stat:

    References to liberty or freedom:

    • Trump: One.
    • Obama: Two.
    • Bush: Two.
    • Clinton: One.
    • Reagan: Eight.
    • Roosevelt: Zero.
    • Wilson: Zero.

    Moan.

  • It's not all thumbs down. Paul Mirengoff liked it:

    It was well-written, well-delivered, and very powerful. He struck many of the right themes. There was plenty to like about it.

    As did Granite Grok's esteemed founder, Skip Murphy:

    […] My initial takeaway is that this was the antithesis of Barack Obama’s Presidency. I think its theme, America First (and screw the references back to WWII and Charles Limburgh), summarized why people voted for him. The last 8 years has been the Progressive Period on steroids and Flyover Country got short shrift.

    I'm not sure if the "Limburgh" is a pun. America First has a stinky history, for sure. But puns are my thing, Skip!

  • We can only take so much reassurance from the plain fact that, while Our Side's reactions are mixed at best, The Other Side has gone off-the-rails deranged. The Daily Signal provides a photo essay of the vandalism and violence committed by the forces of Peace, Love, and Understanding. KDW's tweet is spot on:

  • There was a lot of rhetorical bomb-throwing as well. Stacy McCain notes Chris Matthews' Reductio ad Hitlerum (with bonus Mussolini reference). And Andrew Stiles at Heat Street noticed:

    ABC News’ Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran criticized Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “America First” in his inaugural address on Friday, saying the term contained “anti-Semitic” “overtones from the 1930s.”

    I don't believe Trump is anti-Semitic. But it's stupid to resurrect "America First" in any context.

  • The aforementioned Kevin D. Williamson detects "an epidemic of political diaper rash" on the left.

    Funny word, “adult.” We use the word communicating “maturity” to describe the most immature forms of expression. “Adult entertainment” should mean Moby-Dick. But this is a time of childishness, which, in some ways, should give us hope: If the Democrats really thought President Trump were going to be some sort of Hitler figure, they’d be acting differently. They’d be stockpiling firearms and that freeze-dried apocalypse lasagna they’re always peddling on talk radio, or looking very closely at the real-estate listings in Zurich or Montreal. They would be acting like adults.

    In reality, they are doing the opposite.

    If you must Read only one Whole Thing today, make it that one.