Words, Words, Words

Stephen Hayes raises a key point about Barack Obama: rhetoric really does get you far in presidential politics and Obama has enough substance to get by. Attacking his overzealous rhetoric was a sensible but ultimately losing tactic for Hillary Clinton, who could not easily quibble with Obama on actual policy positions and was trying to win on “experience.” However, the best argument for John McCain in the general election is not that there is nothing in all the rhetorical haze (although I think it entirely appropriate to point out that a cult of personality is not exactly in the best tradition of American democracy); it’s that what is there is wrongheaded and downright dangerous.

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Words, Words, Words

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John Kelly Changed the Game

When Trump fights on values, he wins.

For approximately 18 minutes, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly accomplished the impossible: He got America’s journalists and political opinion writers to shut up and listen.

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Bush’s Finest Hour

More than just Trump.

On Thursday, George W. Bush delivered a speech at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” event in New York City. Headlines are touting the speech as an attack on Trumpism. That’s accurate, so far as it goes. But it’s clear from Bush’s words that he was aiming for (and achieved) something loftier than yet another complaint about the 45th president. Bush was making the case against the pervasive discontent that’s driven many citizens throughout the Democratic West to a politics of grievance and revenge. Trumpism is but one example.

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The Danger of the Me Too Campaign

Denunciations.

Silence, Wordsworth wrote, “is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed. Let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves, take heed that he opens not his mouth without a sufficient sanction.”

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Fake News Will Never Die

A problem with no solution.

Though it’s certainly the worst Photoshop job I have ever seen, a provocative image making the rounds on social media also helps demonstrate why the fight against “fake news” is unwinnable.

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The Great Stock Market Crash of 1987

Still the blackest Monday.

Thirty years ago today—October 19th, 1987—the bottom dropped out of the stock market.

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