A Fight for the Establishment’s Soul

If Marco Rubio’s slow and steady campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination has been distinguished by just one trait, it is imperturbability. Rubio’s team was not vexed by his consistent polling in the single digits in the summer, they were unmoved by the ascension of Donald Trump, and they declined to go after Jeb Bush in the same way he attacked their candidate. January is the month that Rubio’s campaign had hoped to begin his rapid upward ascent in the polls, crowd out his moderate Republican competitors, and emerge the prohibitive frontrunner. But the Florida senator has encountered an obstacle along this path in the form of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is making a play for Granite State hearts. Only one can emerge from New Hampshire the best hope for the GOP’s moderate wing, and the stakes in the coming clash between these two candidates couldn’t be higher for the Republican Party “establishment.”

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A Fight for the Establishment’s Soul

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The New Old European Obsession

Some things never change.

Does Europe still want its Jews, and can the Jews still find belonging in Europe? Ask the likes of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, and they will answer firmly and decisively in the affirmative. Yet their assurances ring hollow amid a resurgence of Europe’s old and unhealthy obsession with Jews.

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When Useful Idiots Were Useful

'Agents of influence' to my right, 'subconscious multiplicators' to my left.

Last week, Robert Mueller’s probe established with legal precision the methods Russian nationals used to sow chaos and dissension in 2016. Moscow’s efforts ranged from laughably silly to quite menacing; all of it amounted to an attack on American sovereignty. The precise effects of the Russian operation are still debatable, but whatever efficacy it enjoyed would have been impossible without the aid and support of Russia’s unwitting accomplices in the United States.

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Trump Endorses his Frenemy, Romney

A living counter-narrative.

If Donald Trump’s ascension felt like the final nail in the coffin of the battle over the Republican Party’s soul, Mitt Romney’s Senate run proves that the war is far from over.

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Do Arabs Back Israel in a Clash with Iran?

Reality beckons.

After issuing a rare rebuke of Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s destruction on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added that Moscow also opposes “attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran.” Unfortunately for him, that’s precisely the way most of the Middle East does view many regional problems, as revealed by a stunning informal poll which an Al Jazeera talk show host conducted among his tens of thousands of Arabic-language Twitter followers on February 10. Asked which side they supported in a recent Israeli-Iranian clash in Syria, fully 56 percent–12,800 people–said they backed Israel.

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The Russian Meddling Was in Our Hearts

Podcast: How serious was Russia's intervention in 2016?

Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office issues a series of indictments that establish the facts of Russia’s efforts to influence the political process in 2016, which are incontrovertible and disturbing but also objectively underwhelming. The COMMENTARY Podcast hosts explore the renewed debate over Russian meddling and the ongoing campaign to secure new gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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