Liz Cheney’s Courage 

While Senator Josh Hawley is busy complaining that “the traditional masculine virtues — things like courage and independence and assertiveness” are under siege, he might take a break from his posturing and fist raising to watch Liz Cheney’s recent speech in New Hampshire. Speaking of former President Trump’s continued lies about the 2020 election, Cheney insisted, “Political leaders who sit silent in the face of these false and dangerous claims are aiding a former president who is at war with the rule of law and the Constitution.” Cheney could have had Senator Hawley in mind. Watch Cheney’s speech. Then watch Hawley’s. It’s a study in … Continue reading Liz Cheney’s Courage 

Varieties of Trumpism and the Class Divide

Dan McLaughlin at the National Review has this piece breaking down the varieties of Trumpism and what they mean for the future of the Republican party. It’s a helpful typology, indicating both where Trumpism has a future, even one that is politically salutary, and where it does not. I found his discussion of “common-man Trumpism” especially illuminating. He writes: ‘The divide in class attitudes is much starker than in the social-egalitarian world described by Alexis de Tocqueville in his travels across 1830s America, and many educated, professional Americans don’t even see it.” This is the aspect of Trumpism that isn’t … Continue reading Varieties of Trumpism and the Class Divide

Insurrections and Abstractions

Ben Kleinerman and George Thomas have eloquently said what most needs saying about yesterday’s unspeakable events. There is not yet enough distance to process them soberly. But a preliminary thought: The insurrectionists’ chant, and apparent self-justification, as they plowed through security barriers, scaled walls and smashed windows of the U.S. Capitol, was “Our House!” Never mind whether they act that way in their own homes. The question is: Whose house, exactly? This was an “our” contraposed to a “them”: real Americans versus traitors, with the latter category encompassing not only 81 million Americans who voted for Joe Biden but also, evidently, the millions more who … Continue reading Insurrections and Abstractions

Populism and Condescension

Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican who entered the U.S. Senate with intellectual chops that he has largely forsaken in favor of opportunistic populism, announced today that he will lodge a pro forma objection when Congress meets to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory next week. He notes, correctly, that Democrats have done so before, including in 2016. But Hawley’s reasons merit notice: He plans to complain not just about alleged irregularities in some states but also about “the unprecedented interference of Big Tech monopolies in the election.” Hawley has previously raised reasonable concerns about whether social media companies that exercise … Continue reading Populism and Condescension