The Conservative Lawyers versus the Never Trumpers

I yield to no one in my recoil from Donald Trump. But for anyone who shares the perspectives of the Republican Party, far more is involved here than aversion to an implausible candidate. A conservative should have an interest in repealing and replacing Obamacare, a program that tends inexorably to the political control of medicine. Continue Reading »

Aleppo and a Layman

Cohen declares, “No outcome in Syria could be worse than the current one.” He seems to have a high degree of confidence that if the United States had bombed the Assad regime, it would have produced a more peaceful Syria. Maybe it would have. Or maybe bombing—or perhaps better to say, merely bombing—the Assad forces would have produced only a different kind of hell. Continue Reading »

The Two Minds of Progressivism

The contradictions between these two ways of looking at the world, promethean and determinist, are obvious. Either we are autonomous individuals who transcend the accidents of birth or we are members of whatever identity groups we happened to be born into. Depending on the circumstances, the Left will either deny or affirm the primacy of nature. Continue Reading »

Does the Goldwater Comparison Really Hold Up?

Goldwater by 1964 was the unquestioned leader of the emerging conservative movement. Trump, by contrast, has channeled a populist impulse that has yet to become a movement. It’s true that his candidacy has resonated deeply with a segment of the population and has similarities with other right-wing, anti-immigrant movements in Europe. But at this point he heads a personal, candidate-centric campaign. Continue Reading »

Pius XII’s Duel with Hitler

Pope vs. Hitler opens by asking whether Pius XII really was “Hitler’s Pope,” as John Cornwell notoriously alleged, or rather, as Riebling’s book maintains, Hitler’s implacable enemy. Cassel includes critics, and not just supporters, of Pius XII. But his film makes clear where the hard evidence lies. Continue Reading »

Heaven in Ohio?

A book by Donald Ray Pollock is always an entertaining ride, by turns riveting, hilarious, revolting, and poignant. But reading Pollock can be surreal if you grew up a mile down the road from him in Knockemstiff, Ohio. Continue Reading »