One can react in various ways to the unearthing by a Cambridge University researcher of a never-published 1937 article by Winston Churchill. This article, entitled “How The Jews Can Combat Persecution,” may actually have been, we are told, the work of a pro-fascist ghostwriter named Adam Marshall Diston.
One can, for instance, be disappointed to find out that Churchill used ghostwriters. Et tu, Winston?
One can accept Churchill’s use of ghostwriters but still wonder: a fascist ghostwriter? In 1937? And even if for some inexplicable reason Churchill saw nothing wrong with this, why on earth would he have asked such a person to write about the Jews?
Seven years ago, in an article for COMMENTARY called “Yes and No to Gun Control,” I briefly endorsed the views of constitutional scholars who argue that the Second Amendment’s right “to keep and bear arms” actually imposes practical limits on gun-control laws. The article generated a storm of criticism in our letters section, and I replied at length. With the Second Amendment now in the news, thanks to last week’s federal appeals court ruling striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, the case against what the New York Times editorial page calls “the right to ban arms” is very much worth rehearsing. Here are the relevant sections of my December 2000 reply to critics:
A noteworthy feature of the letters from Michael Beard of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Eric Gorovitz of the Million Mom March Foundation is the complete absence of any mention of the Second Amendment. Indeed, as far as the organized gun-control movement is concerned, this part of the Bill of Rights is completely irrelevant to the present-day policy debate, and imposes no limits of any kind on the sort of legal restrictions that may be placed on firearms and their owners.
Some news about the federal budget deficit: the sky still isn’t falling.
It was only a few short years ago that the deficit was held up as evidence of the Bush administration’s fiscal recklessness. From nearly every corner, someone was arguing that the end was nigh. Fortune called the deficit “staggering.” Tim Russert, while interviewing the President, referred to his “deficit disaster.” Andrew Sullivan was convinced that “soaring deficits” necessitated a new gas tax. Even Alan Greenspan went to Europe and told reporters that the U.S. budget deficit was “out of control.”