Opinion | Supreme Confusion – Gail Collins and Bret Stephens – NYT

“Bret Stephens: Good morning, Gail. I know we’ll have plenty to say about Blasey v. Kavanaugh today, but, first, Rod Rosenstein! The Times had a bombshell story last week saying the deputy attorney general felt so badly used by President Trump last year after the firing of James Comey that he considered wearing a wire to record the president’s ranting. Rosenstein denied it categorically and the Republican establishment urged Trump not to fire him.

First thing Monday morning, news breaks that Rosenstein is close to resigning. Or not. Two questions for you. First, should we rename Eighth Avenue, where we converse, “Avenue of the Rosenstein?” Second, is this the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency or the beginning of the end for the Justice Department?

Gail Collins: Yow, Bret. What was that old Chinese curse about living in interesting times?

I have a lot more faith in the staying power of the Justice Department than in the staying power of the president. But we’ll see. And renaming Eighth Avenue — you know the way Rosenstein’s fate has been bouncing around, I’m thinking maybe we could find him a nice traffic rotary upstate.

Bret: If Trump fires Rosenstein, he gets rid of the guy who has been Robert Mueller’s main protector at Justice. Yet firing him on charges of insubordination means believing that the Fake News got the story about Rosenstein’s 25th Amendment musings right. This may be the ultimate Trumpian dilemma.”

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opinion- Charles Krauthammer – By Bret Stephens

“Charles Krauthammer, the Washington Post columnist, announced last week that he is stricken with terminal cancer and has only weeks to live. Since then, the tributes have poured forth, and rightly so. Charles taught generations of readers and fellow writers how to reason, persuade, live — and now how to die.

These things are all connected because wisdom and goodness are entwined and, deep down, perhaps identical. Of Charles’s goodness — his qualities as a father, friend and colleague; his courage and resilience as a man — the tributes from people who know him much better than I do richly testify.

Of his wisdom, we have 38 years’ worth of columns, essays, speeches and spoken commentaries. If you lean conservative, as I do, the experience of a Krauthammer column was almost invariably the same: You’d read the piece and think, “that’s exactly it.” Not just “interesting” or “well written” or “mostly right.” Week after week, his was the clearest and smartest expression of the central truth of nearly every subject: a bad Supreme Court nomination, the joys and humiliations of chess, the future of geopolitics.

And if you don’t lean conservative? Then Charles’s writing served an even more useful purpose. Since I’m not aware of any precise antonym to the term “straw man,” I hereby nominate the noun “krauthammer” to serve the function, defined in two ways: (1) as the strongest possible counterargument to your opinion; (2) a person of deep substance and complete integrity.”

David Lindsay:

Bret Stephens liked Charles Krauthammer. He writes lovingly of him, which is nice.  But I hated Charles Krauthammer’s right wing rants. He twisted the truth about weapons of mass destruction, the value of Obamacare, and the threat of climate change.

Here are some of the many comments, that helped remind me of what a tool of fake news on Fox News this ideologue was.

Michael Charney
Cambridge, MA

CK had a medical degree from Harvard and would be expected to “do no harm.” Yet despite his scientific background he failed to speak the truth about climate change. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of his fellow human beings are now condemned to die because “Conservative” pundits such as CK chose group think over science.

Stuart Phillips commented June 15

Stuart Phillips
Stuart Phillips
New Orleans

It always amazes me when two seemingly intelligent people can read the same thing and come to such incredibly different conclusions. I have been reading Charles Krauthammer’s columns for a long time. He has been consistently wrong about everything that I have noted that could be reasonably scored as right or wrong. The Iraqis did not have weapons of mass destruction, the Kosovo war was successful, change can occur, and the Democrats are often right. Pres. Trump is not the Savior of the universe.

Yet somehow or other Brett Stevens thinks this man was knowledgeable about the future. I don’t understand, and I never will. Evidently prejudice and tribalism can overcome reality even in a otherwise intelligent New York Times columnist.

The reality-based community scores people on whether they are correct in predicting future events. This is the criterion of science. It is the one I use when I read someone’s opinions. Evidently, Mr. Stephens criterion is quite different. .

John Locke commented June 15

J
John Locke
Amesbury, MA

I found Mr. Krauthammer to be a bitter, caustic and divisive columnist. I hope he finds the peace that seems to have eluded him.

Edward Blau commented June 15

E
Edward Blau
Times Pick

As a fellow physician about Dr. Krauthammers age I felt deeply how the tragic diving accident he suffered early in his career so severely affected not only his professional life but also his personal life. And I admired how he coped with dignity and humor.
In his young adult life he was like me a liberal and later unlike me became a neoconservative who was a strong and fervent advocate for our misguided war in Iraq.
I felt badly for him that the entire eight years of Obama’s term as President he spent his diminishing days as a bitter and not always truthful critic. He never used that sharp mind of his to skewer W or Cheney.
I will miss him as a worthy intellectual adversary and wish him godspeed in his last journey.

Leslie commented June 15

L
Leslie
Arlington, VA

BretStephens: ‘ his was the clearest and smartest expression of the central truth ‘
? WHAT ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Krauthammer
‘ 9/11 attacks Krauthammer wrote made clear existential threat and necessity for a new interventionism ..United States had no choice but to go to war in Afghanistan.. He supported Second Iraq War on “realist” grounds of strategic threat the Saddam regime posed ..and of his alleged weapons of mass destruction ‘
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War
‘ trillions ‘
BretStephens: ‘ his was the clearest and smartest expression of the central truth ‘
? WHAT ?
==

Opinion | Pardon Me! – By GAIL COLLINS and BRET STEPHENS – NYT

Gail Collins: Bret, I’m on book leave until August, but I didn’t really want to spend two months devoid of conversation. So I’m going to keep dropping in unless President Trump agrees to go away for the summer, too.I wonder if he’d send me a pardon if I failed to meet my deadline. Seems to work for everybody else. Give me your predictions of who else you think will get a presidential get-out-of-jail card.Bret Stephens: We’re going to miss you this summer, Gail, so I’m glad we still get our periodic chats.The pardon power, historically, is supposed to be an instrument of individual mercy — like Lincoln’s many pardons of Union soldiers with “cowardly legs” — and a means of political reconciliation, like Ford’s controversial-but-wise pardon of Nixon. I’m not sure exactly when it became an instrument of personal or political self-dealing, though Bill Clinton’s disgraceful pardon of Marc Rich just as he was leaving office in 2001 comes to mind.

 

Yes, and here are some of my favorite of many good comments.

celia
also the west

I fail to understand why a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system merits an ‘egads’. Why is a health insurance industry driven ‘for-maximum-profit’ system better?
You do know, don’t you, that Americans pay more for their health coverage than any other western country?

Larry Eisenberg commented 1 hour ago

Larry Eisenberg
Larry Eisenberg
Medford, MA.

I borrow from Peter and Paul
And never paid either at all
The greatest flimflammer
For Putin I clamor
And I think I am building a Wall.

I say I can pardon myself
For Treason and pilfering pelf
The Nation’s best tweeter
to Porn stars I’m sweeter
A romantic amorous Elf.

My Cabinet radiates good will
To all whose actions reek of ill
I outshine Abe Lincoln
I’m better at thinkin’
And FDR’s bills were sheer swill.

I want the world’s biggest parade
Divert from the mess Barack made
Put Hillary in jail
Make Black people pale
In buckets of plunder I’ll wade.

NA commented 2 hours ago

N
NA

Bret Stephens is one of the most eloquent and insightful critics of Donald Trump writing today. So it’s sometimes easy to forget that he’s a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. His lauding of a huge corporate tax cut that most assuredly “blows a hole in the federal fisc” while slamming Medicare for all because it would supposedly do the same is a stark reminder of just which way he leans.

Opinion | Free Speech and the Necessity of Discomfort – 2/22/18 – by Bret Stephens – NYT

This is the text of a lecture delivered at the University of Michigan on Tuesday. The speech was sponsored by Wallace House.

“I’d like to express my appreciation for Lynette Clemetson and her team at Knight-Wallace for hosting me in Ann Arbor today. It’s a great honor. I think of Knight-Wallace as a citadel of American journalism. And, Lord knows, we need a few citadels, because journalism today is a profession under several sieges.

To name a few:

There is the economic siege, particularly the collapse of traditional revenue streams, which has undermined the ability of scores of news organizations to remain financially healthy and invest in the kind of in-depth investigative, enterprise, local and foreign reporting this country so desperately needs.

There is a cultural siege, as exemplified by the fact that a growing number of Americans seem to think that if something is reported in the so-called mainstream media, it is ipso facto untrue.”

David Lindsay:   “Excellent piece. I applaud it. I also recommended the two top comments, which reflect my concerns, as someone who wrote to the NYT complaining that Amy Chosick was on occassion unfair to Hillary Clinton, and appeared to hate her. Chosick has written a book, where she has admitted to her distaste for Hillary’s aloofness.

Lynn
New YorkFeb. 22
“Some readers, for example, still resent The Times for some of the unflattering coverage of Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign, as if the paper’s patriotic duty was to write fluff pieces about her in order to smooth her way to high office.”

No, we resent you for not doing what you so righteously claim to do. We resent you for not covering Hillary Clinton’s daily, substantive, issue-oriented responses to voters’ serious questions, and instead shallow email email email.

It even went so far that when your reporter, Amy Chozik, wrote about the book of policies Clinton and Kaine put together, all Chozik described were book sales.

The 2016 election was a perfect case study: a serious, policy-wonk candidate who devoted time to talk with a wide-range of stakeholders and to put together serious proposals to address a wide range of problems vs a candidate whose “policy” was to say “you’re really going to like it, believe me” or to claim “cheaper better” health care with no further details.

The serious policy proposals were ignored, the candidate who proposed them rejected as a poor politician, because details are boring and slogans are catchy.

And, after such shallow campaign reporting, you complain that readers aren’t interested in long-form journalism. We did not want “fluff”–which is what we got (and polls)–what we wanted was long-form journalism. The Times’ campaign coverage was sound-bites, personalities, and polls, and, of course, emails. Do better next time.

13 Replies481 Recommended

Paul-A commented February 22
P
Paul-A
St. Lawrence, NYFeb. 22
Times Pick
While I don’t always agree with Stephens, he’s the most thoughtful of the conservative columnists at the NYTimes; and this piece demonstrates his insightfulness.

However, there’s an important issue that he glosses over in this column. He does note that Rightwing media like Fox, Limbaugh, Beck, the Hill, Breitbart, etc. stopped being “news” outlets a long time ago. But he’s implying that most media on the Left have been following suit, and are drifting almost as far over the edge. This is a false equivalence.

Does he really believe that even the most Lefty media (like MSNBC and Huffington Post) are becoming nearly as bad as Fox and Breitbart?

And he also fails to acknowledge the impact that time adds to the equation: Rightwing media became partisan propaganda 20+ years ago, and their brainwashing/poisoning of our political and journalism discourse has accumulated to be ingrained in 35% of our citizens. The Left’s drift leftward has only been a recent response, in order to try to save our country.

And he also omits discussion of putatively moderate/reasonable Rightwing media, such as the Wall Street Journal (where hs used to work). The WSJ is much more biased than the NYTimes, or even the Washington Post. Yet why didn’t he speak out against that drift when he wrote for them? Why didn’t he decry what Fox et al were doing to “conservative news” over the past decades?

Reasonable conservatives need to come to terms with their silent complicity in what has brought us here.

14 Replies347 Recommended

‘Hush Money’ Now Playing Everywhere – Gail Collins and Bret Stephens – NYT

“Speaking of which, I know we’re in agreement about the gun issue, and nearly everybody was moved by the marches over the weekend. But I still do wonder why the country was so totally mobilized by what happened in Florida when the response to previous disasters — for God’s sake, grade-school kids in Newtown — was so comparatively muted.

Do you think it was because these survivors are older and so articulate? Or that having Trump in the White House made everyone more sensitive to moral issues? I even wondered if it was because this time it happened in a political barometer-state like Florida.Bret: All of the above, I suspect. The Parkland students have spoken out to magnificent effect, something the Newtown children were simply too young to do for themselves.

I also get the sense that the pace of these atrocities has accelerated. Before Parkland it was the church shooting in Sutherland Springs. Before that, the concertgoers in Las Vegas. Before that, the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise at the baseball field near Washington. Maybe, at some level of the national psyche, we understood that we we’re coming dangerously close to accepting these atrocities as an accepted fact of life. Defining deviancy down for the sake of Wayne LaPierre’s N.R.A.? No, thank you.

Gail: Whenever I feel depressed I remind myself that the N.R.A. is having its worst year ever.Bret: One of the paradoxes of the Trump presidency is that it has galvanized the country in all sorts of positive ways. From Charlottesville to l’Affaire Stormy, he has brought to the surface all sorts of ugliness that is simply unignorable. For instance, do you think the #MeToo movement would have taken hold the way it did if he weren’t in the White House?

Gail: It’s a necessary stage in women’s progress — socially and economically — so we’d have gotten there anyway. But having the worst-possible male image in the White House probably propelled things forward faster.

I guess you could say he’s so bad he’s making us better.

David Lindsay: Yes. Here is one of many good comments:

R. Law is a trusted commenter Texas 2 hours ago
Gail, you say:

“But I still do wonder why the country was so totally mobilized by what happened in Florida when the response to previous disasters — for God’s sake, grade-school kids in Newtown — was so comparatively muted.”

Partly this was because Parkland had just been named the safest city in Florida, partly this was because the city is only a 1/2 hour drive from Mar-a-Loco (the southern asylum), but mostly, it’s because Broward County tax-payers support a school district that EDUCATES their kids – the schools require public speaking instruction from an early age and THIS year, the kids in high school were already debating gun control, as all aptly described by Dahlia Lithwick’s article:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/the-student-activists-of-mar…

There’s really a wonderful story here of actual, comprehensive public education that deserves more focus, which raises standards in surrounding counties as it partly bleeds over into the way Miami-Dade’s schools are run by the superintendent that NYC unsuccessfully tried to lure as its Schools Chancellor.

Kudos to Broward County tax-payers, and to the educators who devised/implementedthe excellent curriculum to motivate future leaders to excel, producing such dynamic, well-spoken young leaders !”
195 Recommended

The Strange Impotence of the Republican Party – by Brett Stevens – NYT

“We are living in an era of party failure, especially on the right. The Trumpkins sacked the G.O.P. The Brexiters humiliated the Tories over Europe. Marine Le Pen’s fascists have supplanted the Gaullists as the face of the French right. Germany’s own nasty alt-right, the Alternative für Deutschland, humiliated Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in last weekend’s election.

The high-toned explanation for these serial rebukes of the establishment by the base is that the former has failed to address the anxieties and disgruntlements of the latter: immigration and culture shocks; wage stagnation and the stresses of a globalized world.

But globalization, immigration and changing social mores have been with us for a long time without producing awful political outcomes. What’s new is the existence — and metastasis — of the fury factories of the right, from Fox News to Breitbart to Frontpage Mag.

Opinion journalism is meant to influence and inflame, and it does. Especially in an age in which civics is taught poorly (and, increasingly, rarely), people are politically suggestible. Bill O’Reilly is now the right’s historian, Mark Levin its go-to legal expert, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham its moral conscience. These are not ideas guys. They’re anger guys. Their specialty is the communication of rage to an audience prone to histrionics. It can feel awfully good to be awfully mad.”

“Should it be any wonder that a Republican Party with almost complete control of government has turned so fiercely on itself? Dominant parties often do that when they have little to fear politically from the nominal opposition party.Should it be any wonder, either, that in the intramural fights the Donald Trumps and Roy Moores of the party are winning? As in economics, so too in G.O.P. politics: Gresham’s law applies. Bad money drives out good. Bad Republicans drive out good ones. When nastiness sells, the worst rise. Political gerrymandering doesn’t help, but that’s a separate column.

The political paradox of 2017 is that a Republican Party that cannot seem to lose also cannot seem to govern. Anger is an excellent emotion for pushing ratings and winning elections and a terrible one for agreeing to compromises and crafting legislation. This won’t end as long as Trump is in the White House. Whether it won’t also be the end of the Republican Party as a functional institution is another question.”

From Investopedia.com:

What is the ‘Gresham’s Law’

Gresham’s law is a monetary principle stating that “bad money drives out good.” In currency valuation, Gresham’s Law states that if a new coin (“bad money”) is assigned the same face value as an older coin containing a higher amount of precious metal (“good money”), then the new coin will be used in circulation while the old coin will be hoarded and will disappear from circulation.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Gresham’s Law’

Coins were first made with gold, silver and other precious metals, which gave them their value. Over time, the amount of precious metals used to make the coin decreased because the metals were worth more on their own than when minted into the coin itself. If the value of the metal in the old coins was higher than the coin’s face value, people would melt the coins down and sell the metal. Similarly, if a low quality good is passed off as a high quality good, then the market will drive down prices because consumers won’t be able to determine the good’s real value.

Hurricanes- Climate and the Capitalist Offset – by Brett Stevens – NYT

“Harvey will also inflict billions in economic damage, most crushingly on uninsured homeowners. The numbers are likely to be staggering in absolute terms, but what’s more remarkable is how easily the American economy can absorb the blow. The storm will be a “speed bump” to Houston’s $503 billion economy, according to Moody’s Analytics’ Adam Kamins, who told The Wall Street Journal that he expects the storm to derail growth for about two months.

On a global level, the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Jr. notes that disaster losses as a percentage of the world’s G.D.P., at just 0.3 percent, have remained constant since 1990. That’s despite the dollar cost of disasters having nearly doubled over the same time — at just about the same rate as the growth in the global economy. (Pielke is yet another victim of the climate lobby’s hyperactive smear machine, but that doesn’t make his data any less valid.)”

Ouch. Here is the the top comment, and my endorsement:

Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 4 hours ago

What a pile of doo doo. Texas caused this flood by paving over the wetlands to the point that they turned their city into a big bathtub. They built in floodplains without regard to the consequences.

As far as brick houses are concerned, those are the ones that collapse during earthquakes. Masonry construction falls apart when the ground shakes, while stick built homes can resist the stress much better. The loss of life is catastrophic. Check out the loss of life in southern central Asia where homes are built out of rocks.

Houston will recover financially in two months? Are you kidding? 30% of the area is under water. That’s like 500 square miles and that’s just Houston.
People don’t have homes to live in. Thousands of businesses have been shuttered and destroyed. If the Houston economy is so powerful, then why do they need any federal aid?

Regulations and building codes save lives. Infrastructure saves lives. Technology saves lives. Public safety programs save lives. If these factors were not in place, then the loss of life form natural disasters would be much higher.

Texas just had three 500 year floods in three years. What does your expert meteorologist have to say about that? What does he have to say about the severe droughts and fires that occurred between those floods? Only a weak and poorly skilled journalist would ignore the obvious and cherry pick statistics to prove a point. This is the New York Times, not the New York Post.

Reply 221 Recommended

Thank you for your submission. We’ll notify you at da***@sbcglobal.net when your comment has been approved.
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

I second all said here by Bruce Rosenblit.
I wish to add, that there is something pathetic in cheery picking data, and mixing it with fake news. Contrast the rubbish here with the extraordinary reporting today of Nicholas Kristof. I commented on Kristof’s piece:
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Thank you Nicholas Kristof (and the New York Times).
You wrote: ”

Jan Egeland, a former senior U.N. official who now leads the Norwegian Refugee Council, urges an immediate cease-fire, a lifting of the embargo on Yemen, and peace talks led by the U.N., the U.S. and the U.K., forcing both sides to compromise.

A glimpse of moral leadership has come from the U.S. Senate. A remarkable 47 senators in June voted to block a major arms sale to Saudi Arabia, largely because of qualms about Saudi conduct in Yemen. Those senators are right, and we should halt all arms transfers to Saudi Arabia until it ends the blockade and bombings.”

It is time for the American Press, television, radio, and print, to bring this horrible story to the American people, and the fact that there are intelligent solutions being offered. I have shared this on social media, and my blog, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com, but we need this story at NPR, Public TV, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and every outlet I’ve left out.”

Is the News Media an ‘Existential’ Threat? – by Brett Stevens – NYT

“To err is human. To tweet is to regret. When I decided last month to leave Twitter, it was in part because I knew that, while I couldn’t avoid the former, I could at least escape the latter. Not everything that pops into the heads of smart people is smart. Still less of it needs to be shared.

“Silence is better for the wise, and how much more so for fools.” I’m sure you know the proverb.

So it was with a grain of salt that I read your Bastille Day tweet:

The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does.

It sounded, frankly, like the kind of involuntary mental wet burp many of us have at moments of peak ideological irritation — for conservatives, often while reading the editorial pages of this newspaper.”

Bravo. Brilliant column. Maybe conservatism isn’t dead afterall.

Thank you for writing: “For us, on the other hand, “the West” is the liberal-democratic tradition; the one most succinctly expressed in the Declaration of Independence. “All men are created equal.” “The consent of the governed.” “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” All the rest, from Exodus to Gettysburg, is commentary.

That’s why the intelligent conservative has no time either for illiberalism, often of the right, or relativism, typically of the left.

And that’s why wise conservatives take the threat from Vladimir Putin seriously. He is the champion and most insidious exponent of both. Through the development of a crypto-fascist ideology that combines ferocious ethnic chauvinism and revanchism, economic corporatism, a dash of religious traditionalism, and a personality cult, he is the model for aspiring autocrats everywhere, from Hungary to Turkey to the Philippines.”

Here is a comment I support fully:

Christine McM is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 6 hours ago

“To be indifferent to every claim of truth or fact is the ultimate assertion of power. It is to say: Nothing restrains me, not what I promised yesterday, not what I am saying to you now, not what I might do tomorrow.”

Thank you Brett Stephens for capturing precisely how Putin and Trump warp the difference between truth and lies. To proclaim that the press is the problem when it’s anything but these days is not only irresponsible, but cowardly–it’s giving a certain strain of Trump conservatives exactly what they want to hear.

This paper did a good piece on how the far right is suddenly in love with all things Russian. Yesterday, I challenged a poster who wrote disgustedly about “all the focus on Russia.” I told him his view of history was off, and that he needed to do some research, which is easy enough to find.

Dictators aren’t our friends. Dictators aren’t looking out for the people—they are focused solely on their own hold over power.

If you look at the desperate moves of the increasingly cornered and unhinged Donald Trump, you’ll easily see he’s running out of bright shiny object with which to distract.

The most dangerous of which, is pushing the lie about “fake news.” How ironic that the man who hates a free press, takes advantage of it to give a rambling, self-destructive ranting interview to this same free press.

What a desperate move.”

Reply 107 Recommended

The Warp-Speed Presidency – by Gail Collins and Brett Stevens – NYT

“Gail Collins: Bret, it’s been a while since I had a chance to converse with a fellow Times columnist. Welcome! And in honor of your arrival, you get to choose our first subject.

Bret Stephens: Thanks, Gail. It’s flattering to step into David Brooks’s shoes. Kinda daunting, too.Here’s my topic: Acceleration. The pace of news, of scandal, of Trump. It’s like a hot dog-eating contest. We’re shoveling in the Trump news with little time to chew it over and even less time to digest it.

I know this is a little dated but the other week I noticed someone on Twitter trying to summarize five days’ worth of Trump news. I can’t find the tweet but here is how I remember it. On Monday it was 18 Days of Flynn. On Tuesday we had the Comey Firing. Wednesday brought the full flowering of the Rosenstein Defense. With Thursday came the Holt Admission. Friday featured the Comey Threatening.”

Nice column. Good comments. This one inspired my to post the op-ed.

Historian Aggieland, TX 13 hours ago

“Conservatives always point out that U.S. corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world, but they don’t tell the rest of the story. There are so many loopholes that 26 firms, among the Citigroup and AT&T, paid more to their CEO alone than they paid in corporate taxes in 2011. In fact, our corporate tax revenue, 1.8 percent of GNP, is tied with Turkey for the lowest in the developed world. If libertarian models are correct, our current corporate tax structure manages to achieve the worst of all possible worlds: the least revenue and the most economic distortion from attempts to dodge it. We need to lower the nominal rate, but also to devise policies that assure it is actually paid. For starters, restore the old rule on offshoring that requires any corporation with less than 50 percent foreign ownership to be taxed as American.”

Reply 156 Recommended

‘The Flight 93 Election’ Crashes Again – by Brett Stevens – NYT

“Then there’s Ann Coulter. In an interview with The Daily Caller, the author of “In Trump We Trust” said of the presidency that “it has been such a disaster so far,” and that it was possible that “the Trump-haters were right.” She even dropped the f-bomb — “fascist” — to describe Trump’s hiring of his relatives to senior White House posts.

“If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America,” Lyndon Johnson is reputed to have said (perhaps it’s apocryphal) after the CBS anchorman said in 1968 that the Vietnam War was unwinnable.

Just so for Trump: If he’s lost Coulter, he’s lost angry America. That’s not his entire base, but — let’s face it — it’s a critical fraction of it.”

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Atta boy Mr. Stevens. Great piece. It is challenging to find in you a right wing conservative who is very intelligent. What makes you great, is that you separate yourself from those in your group who are traitors to their country for the sake of power and profit.

Here are two comments I endorse:

Alex Dersh

Palo Alto, California 13 hours ago

Mr. Stephens, I know you were one of the establishment conservatives who came out early and forcefully against Trump. But you must admit that your party needs to do some serious soul searching if it ever hopes to be taken seriously again. Democrats are certainly nowhere near perfect, but at least they don’t nominate crazy people to lead their party and then ‘enable’ him when he says and does the most outrageous, un-presidential things. The Republican Party lost me for good when their president invaded Iraq, and Trump proved me right.

Bruce Rozenblit

is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 13 hours ago

We already lived through flight 93. It was called Watergate. I was a teenage boy during that catastrophe. Let me tell you, I was scared. Everyone was scared. We were glued to our TV’s and radios. We poured over the newspapers. We all felt that the nation truly was at the precipice. But the cavalry came to the rescue. Horses charging, trumpets blaring and swords swinging. The cavalry was the rule of law.

After the great battle and the dictator was taken down, we all exclaimed, “The system worked!” See, our system protects us against those who would undermine it for their own gain. Even if that someone was the President!

Fastforward to today. I am once again afraid. Where is the cavalry? Do we even have a cavalry anymore?

I’m not sure for this reason. We are a nation of laws and laws are nothing but words. If words can mean anything, then our laws mean nothing. That’s why I’m scared.

The Republicans are in charge. Time and time again, they have demonstrated that words mean whatever you want them to mean, which means they mean nothing. Those words are the foundation of the rule of law.

Will enough people in Congress saddle up and ride to the rescue? Or will they go along and passively participate in our demise, solely for political power?

Those few are like the brave souls who tried to save flight 93. Will they assume the personal risk to save all? That remains to be seen, which is the source of my fear.