The Torment of Ajit Pai

The radicals become fanatics.

At some point predating Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency, political activism evolved from a civic exercise into a lifestyle. For the initiated, traditional forms of political organizing are too passive. In the activists’ minds, the objects of their fixations represent an existential threat, and there aren’t many behaviors that are proscribed in a fight for survival. For the fanatical opposition to Donald Trump, in particular, even the most mundane aspects of governance are inflated into a struggle for our very way of life. This is how opposition to an arcane, bureaucratic decision by the Federal Communications Commission transformed from a liberal cause into an obsession. This is also how the FCC’s chairman, Ajit Pai, became the subject of almost daily persecution.

246
Shares
Google+ Print

The Torment of Ajit Pai

Must-Reads from Magazine

How Minimum Wage Dogmatism Hurts the Disabled

Good intentions, tragic consequences.

Chicago, Illinois — Andy has little time to chitchat. There are hundreds of hot towels to sort and fold, and when that’s done, there are yet more to wash and dry. The 41-year-old is one of half a dozen laundry-room workers at Misericordia, a community for people with disabilities in the Windy City. He and his colleagues, all of whom are intellectually disabled and reside on the Misericordia “campus,” know that their work has purpose, and they delight in each task and every busy hour.

30
Shares
Google+ Print

The Democratic Party Gets Specific at Its Own Risk

Reminding voters what Democratic governance means.

To paraphrase New York Times columnist Ross Douthat (with apologies), the less Republicans do in office, the more popular they generally become. That is, when the GOP exists solely in voters’ minds as a bulwark against cultural and political liberalism, it can cobble together a winning coalition. Likewise, Democrats regain the national trust when they serve only as an obstacle to Republican objectives. It’s when both parties begin to talk about what they want to do with their power that they get into trouble.

9
Shares
Google+ Print

Capitalism: Bad Again After All These Years

Meritocracy is in the eye of the beholder.

A running theme in Jonah Goldberg’s fantastic new book, Suicide of the West, is the extent to which those who were bequeathed the blessings associated with classically liberal capitalist models of governance are cursed with crippling insecurity. Western economic and political advancement has followed a consistently upward trajectory, albeit in fits and starts. Yet, the chief beneficiaries of this unprecedented prosperity seem unaware of that fact. In boom or bust, the verdict of many in the prosperous West remains the same: the capitalist model is flawed and failing.

25
Shares
Google+ Print

PODCAST: Crossfire Hurricanes Make Us Dizzy

Podcast: Donald Trump Jr. moves the ball forward.

We try, we really do try, to sort through the increasingly problematic “Russian collusion” narrative and establish a timeline of sorts—and figure out what’s real and what’s nonsense. Do we succeed? Give a listen.

3
Shares
Google+ Print

Questions the Press Hasn’t Asked about Violence in Gaza

A conspicuous lack of curiosity.

COMMENTARY’s Sohrab Ahmari has done invaluable work shaming the Western press for patronizing the Palestinian people and robbing them of their agency. We are told that the Palestinian population in Gaza is acting out in response to a blockade around that tiny piece of land, which has transformed the Strip into “an open-air prison.” Less is said about the actions that led to those blockades: Israel’s unprecedented removal of Jews from Gaza, the 2006 election (Gaza’s last election) that led to Hamas’s ascension, and the conflicts the Hamas-led government waged against Israel and Egypt. All of these things yielded the conditions with which Gazans struggle today.

209
Shares
Google+ Print