Obama, the Tea Party, and the Incivility of Race Politics

Earlier this week, in the context of Mike Huckabee’s comments about Barack Obama’s being raised in Kenya, I wrote that while tough, and at times even fierce, criticism in politics was fine, demonization is not. “If we get to the point where we assume that our political differences can be explained only by some deeper, hidden evil in our opponents, then self-government itself is in trouble.”

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Obama, the Tea Party, and the Incivility of Race Politics

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Post-Caliphate ISIS Strikes in Spain

Terrorists in the wind.

While there was still blood on the streets, attackers on the loose, and victims of the terrorist event in Barcelona who had not yet succumbed to their ultimately fatal wounds, President Donald Trump went public with his half-baked thoughts on the matter. As is so often the case, those thoughts were crude and callous—implying, as he had on the campaign trail, that an apocryphal tale involving the defilement of Muslim corpses is illustrative of practices America should embrace. Political observers were fixated on those comments, not on the attack or its aftermath, as they should have been. It was, in truth, fans of the president who ignored the fact that Trump’s first impulse amid an ongoing terrorist attack was barbarous who don’t have their priorities straight.

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‘They Got Us’

The tipping point.

We are deterred.

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After Charlottesville, What’s Next?

An eternal hatred.

When Shabbat services concluded at Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA, last Saturday, Alan Zimmerman, president of the congregation, “advised congregants that it would be safer to leave the temple through the back entrance rather than through the front, and to please go in groups.”

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Explaining the Inexplicable

Podcast: The Trump presser and Bannon's bizarre interview.

In the second of this week’s COMMENTARY podcasts, the hosts try to wrap their heads around a series of events that defy logic. Why would Donald Trump try to rehabilitate people who align themselves with torch-lit rally-goers chanting racist slogans? Why would the left go to the mattresses to defend their own violent elements? And what the heck is Steve Bannon thinking in general? And does the country now share our crushing morosity? Give a listen and find out.

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When ‘Freethinkers’ Persecute the Faithful

Soft totalitarianism.

The State Department on Tuesday released its annual International Religious Freedom Report, and the grim upshot was that people of faith face persecution around the globe. This year’s report, the first under President Trump, called out usual suspects such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia. It also notably used the “G” word–genocide–to describe Islamic State’s crimes against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.

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