Ruth R. Wisse on COMMENTARY

Irving Kristol once called COMMENTARY the most influential magazine in Jewish history. Certainly, no publication had a greater influence on me as I evolved from adolescent reader (arguing over its articles with my father and older brother) into a “frequent contributor” who made it my intellectual home. The magazine did not exploit American freedom to escape from civilizing duty but rather activated the intertwined responsibilities of citizens and members of a group. American Jewry can boast of many contributions to the welfare of this country and the Jewish people, but few as fortifying as COMMENTARY. Please click here to donate.

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Ruth R. Wisse on COMMENTARY

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Bolton-Bannon Cocktail at Turtle Bay

Not a departure but a partial return to the norm.

President Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday stuck to the core themes that have defined his foreign policy since he took office. The ideological cocktail was two or three parts John Bolton, one part Steve Bannon. From his national-security adviser, Trump absorbs the traditional GOP hawkishness and sovereigntism that forms the cocktail’s base. Meanwhile, distinct traces remain of the ex-Breitbart chief’s harder-edged populist nationalism. Call that the modifier.

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The Deep State Conspiracy Hits the Skids

A blow for sanity.

At some point earlier this year, America’s sources inside the Kremlin went dark. U.S. officials who spoke to the New York Times about their dangerous new blindness said they didn’t believe that their formerly reliable sources had been neutralized. Instead, their spies went into hiding amid a newly aggressive counter-espionage campaign from Moscow. The Times sources offered a variety of theories to explain what could have spooked their assets, but the most disturbing among them was the fact that the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee had exposed a Kremlin-connected FBI and CIA source as part of a campaign of unprecedented disclosures regarding America’s intelligence gathering process.

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An Antidote to American Political Squalor

RIP Paulina Płaksej.

It’s only Monday evening, which means Americans face another full week of political and cultural squalor. For an antidote, consider Paulina Płaksej, who died Sunday, aged 93. Our former COMMENTARY colleague Daniella Greenbaum broke news of Płaksej’s death on Twitter, which alerted me (and many others) to her inspiring life and that of her family, Polish Catholics who fed, hid, and rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

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Conservatism’s Contradictions

Ted Cruz channels the right's id.

Ted Cruz thought he had Beto O’Rourke right where he wanted him. Without commentary, Cruz tweeted a video of his Democratic rival expressing outrage over the killing of Botham Shem Jean–an African-American man shot dead in his own apartment by an off-duty police officer.

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PODCAST: Can We Judge Kavanaugh Fairly?

Podcast: Kavanaugh and Rosenstein.

Can you take what we say about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh seriously considering we’re conservatives and he’s a conservative? Are we defending him because we are genuinely discomfited by how insubstantial the allegations against him are, or are we doing so because we agree with him ideologically? We explore this on today’s podcast. Give a listen.

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