URLs du Jour


  • Okay, so it's Wednesday. But that doesn't mean you can't go to National Review and read The Tuesday, Kevin D. Williamson's new weekly feature. Excerpt, after noting that he doesn't think highly of the current group of candidates:

    If you at any point feel feverishly obliged to send me a note that may be summarized, “But what about that other guy?” please save yourself the time and go back to . . . whatever it is you do. Not that any of the people reading this newsletter are like that guy. What guy? That guy. You know that guy. The lefty version of that guy will tell you that Trump is Hitler, and the incarnation of that guy you meet at church will tell you Trump is a version of the Bible’s King Cyrus. You do not want to be that guy. That guy cannot and will not hear criticism of any candidate other than the object of his hatred, because, “But what about that other guy?”

    When somebody says to you, “Elections are binary!” he is more or less showing you a flashing neon sign over his head announcing that he intends to be intellectually dishonest and is not worth discussing anything of substance with.

    The things that are wrong with Trump exist independently of the things that are wrong with Biden or Sanders, and vice versa. Yes, those of you who vote will on Election Day be obliged to choose one or the other (or the Libertarian Party candidate, or another third-party candidate), but there are conversations to be had and thoughts to be thought other than “Is it x or y?” Pretending that x/y is the only conversation to be had is sometimes stupidity but more often a form of intellectual cowardice and laziness, a way of not having to think too hard about the flaws and deficiencies of the man carrying the banner behind which you march.

    Partisanship makes you stupid, if you let it.

    There are people in this business who believe that their principal responsibility in professional life is getting somebody elected — or, as they will more likely put it, ensuring that the villain of the season does not get elected. My own belief is that advocacy journalism should still be journalism. I’m not in the propaganda business or the elections business, and I am not planning to go into the propaganda business or the elections business. And if what you want is to be propagandized, then you might want to skip over my byline.

    That was long, but worthwhile. The third-paragraph link goes to his latest book at Amazon, which I strongly recommend.

  • Also at NR, Kyle Smith casts his dispassionate eye on the ability of some to emulate Whitman and contain multitudes, specifically: ‘Grow Up’ vs. ‘Me Too’.

    A  favorite buzzword of the moment, along with “intersectional” and “gaslighting,” is “badass.” It’s peculiar to observe young women applying the label to themselves (though it would seem to be one of those honorifics, such as “intellectual,” and “hero,” that can be bestowed only by others) even as they publicly disintegrate at the slightest perceived transgression. Can you really be a “badass” if you profess also to be traumatized by a bad date, or by a man telling you he thought you attractive, or by being interrupted by a man at a meeting? Very often the self-styled badass woman will tell us that some quotidian male infraction rendered her short of breath, or bereft of speech, or nauseated in the tummy, or unable to work. Why do today’s “strong, confident” women so often make very public displays of weakness and an inability to cope?

    Because, as George Will eloquently put it, victimhood confers privileges. To put it another way, thin skin is now weaponized. Chris Matthews said two flirty things to a woman at a workplace; this “undermined my ability to do my job well,” the woman reported as though she’d been assaulted or brainwashed; and MSNBC brass were, in the current burn-the-warlocks atmosphere, obliged to take her at her ridiculous word that this was a shattering event. Wacky old Chris got the sack. Was firing him really the only suitable remedy? Not apology, not suspension — only ritual electronic seppuku would suffice? For issuing compliments in the third degree? (Oh, let’s not forget — he also made fun of Hillary Clinton a few times and questioned Elizabeth Warren with mild skepticism. A three-count indictment!)

    Fortunately, I'm out of the workplace and most other social interactions, so I don't have to worry overmuch about offending the oversensitive.

  • Pulling a good lesson out of the flaming campaign wreckage is Jacob Sullum at Reason: The Bloomberg and Steyer Fiascoes Should Give Pause to Speech Restrictionists.

    (And when I read that headline, my inner cynic said: "Should. But won't.")

    Two and a half weeks after Bernie Sanders slammed Michael Bloomberg for trying to "buy this election," the former New York City mayor dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, having spent $570 million of his own money to win 61 delegates. Tom Steyer, the other billionaire in the race, did even worse, abandoning his campaign after spending more than $250 million and earning zero delegates.

    Those spectacular failures should give pause to the politicians and activists who argue that money poses a grave threat to democracy—so grave that the Constitution must be amended to authorize limits on campaign spending. The Bloomberg and Steyer fiascoes show that no amount of money can buy victory for candidates who fail to persuade voters.

    I'd be open to the argument that "money" can help to get a message out to voters that they would not otherwise hear. But that's a good thing, friends.

  • Steve MacDonald has some thoughts on that line too, as he notes Philippe Reines' review of the new Hillary "documentary" on Hulu. Clinton FanBoy Wishes Her Hulu Documentary was Available in 2016. Specifically:

    Hillary (the Four-Part Series) would have violated McCain-Feingold on the identical terms under which Citizens United brought their suit to the Supreme Court.

    In other words, the ‘Hulu’ Riefenstahl Documentary on Hillary would be illegal to air as desired if the left got what it keeps saying it wants and overturned ‘Citizen’s United.’

    Unless of course by ‘overturn,’ they mean, as I suspect, that the goal is to silence speech they oppose while allowing biased multi-billion dollar left-wing corporate media to sell the Democrat agenda (for free), and smear their opponents while they have no recourse but to take it and voters to listen or turn it off with no opposing commentary – so many days before an election.

    Can't wait for… December, I guess.

  • At the Washington Examiner, Byron York provides Three reasons Joe Biden will never be president. And number one is:

    So the first reason Biden will not become president is that no one who served 36 years in the Senate has ever become president. No one who served 30 years in the Senate has ever become president. No one who served 25 years in the Senate has ever become president. No one who served 20 years in the Senate has ever become president. No one who served 15 years in the Senate has ever become president.

    That was lined up so well on the Examiner website that I thought it was a typo.