Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:40:37 -0800 Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate ee6e559a70c5b3b092fffc14e94fc89f It Wasn't All Steve Bannon for 12/13/2017 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Republican politics was starting to feel like a version of Mel Brooks' "The Producers." In the play, two scammers devise a tax write-off scheme in which they will make a killing by losing money on a Broadway show. They reach for the most grotesque, tasteless musical the human mind can conceive &#8212; "Springtime for Hitler" &#8212; and are undone when it's a surprise hit.</p> <p>Roy Moore could have sprung from the imaginations of Democratic operatives hoping to find the embodiment of every stereotype that liberals cherish about conservatives. Ignorance? In a July radio interview, the anti-immigration hardliner couldn't say who the Dreamers are or what DACA refers to. He did not know that the U.S. Constitution, which he purports to revere, forbids religious tests for public office. In the Republic of Moore, Muslims would be barred from serving their country.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 13, 2017</p> cd734073e2793dacd6a7760cb9a3f612 Is Flirting Sexual Harassment? for 12/08/2017 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 2003 a genetics paper revealed that one in 200 men alive in that year was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan (1162-1227). Khan was the Mongol emperor whose armies swept out of the north to conquer pretty much all of Asia. His successors took big chunks of Europe as well. When Marco Polo traveled to China, he met the conqueror's grandson Kublai Khan.</p> <p>Genghis Khan is thought to have left more corpses in his wake than any other invader. The Mongol hordes earned their fearsome reputation. Khan sent emissaries to the city of Merv in Turkmenistan demanding tribute and the pick of the city's most beautiful women. The Seljuk Turks refused and killed the messengers. Khan's army returned three years later. The city's leaders, perhaps having heard of Khan's ferocity in the interim, surrendered, but Khan's wrath was not assuaged. He ordered the entire city to be annihilated. Each soldier was to behead 300 civilians. Merv, which contained libraries, gardens and palaces, was razed and made uninhabitable for 100 years.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 08, 2017</p> f45aec04806daf9c23156343142d28e5 Is Feminism the Answer to Sexual Harassment? for 12/01/2017 Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>So the friendly morning host with the warm smile was a serial sexual predator? He had a secret lock installed on his office door operated by a button under his desk like a Bond villain? The NPR guy was a Prairie Homewrecker? Next you'll tell us that that nice Bill O'Reilly is a creep. Never mind about that last one, he never even <i>seemed</i> nice.</p> <p>One popular response to the daily casualty toll of harassers is to suggest that we should all embrace the feminist explanation of male/female relations. That boils down to "believe all women" because women don't lie about these things. It's hard to imagine a flimsier philosophy. As The New York Times' Bari Weiss observed, this fetishizes women as "Truth personified," which cannot withstand a second's scrutiny. Of course women lie about these things. The Duke lacrosse team was falsely accused of rape, as was a University of Virginia fraternity. Remember the Scottsboro Boys? And a woman working for the ironically named Project Veritas attempted to sting The Washington Post by spinning a false tale about Roy Moore (in hopes of discrediting the Post and Moore's truthful accusers). <p>Updated: Fri Dec 01, 2017</p> be6dbb9920e615b0b70e91451a5a217e The Uses of Disgrace for 11/15/2017 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 1983, two congressmen, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, were censured by the House. Both had admitted to having affairs with 17-year-old pages. The Republican, Daniel Crane, represented a conservative Illinois district. His constituents sent him packing the following year, despite his apology and request for forgiveness. The Democrat was Gerry Studds, who represented a liberal Massachusetts district. His relationship had been with a young man. He admitted to a "very serious error in judgment," but seemed to imply that he was owed more latitude because he was gay. "It is not a simple task for any of us to meet adequately the obligations of either public office or private life, let alone both," Studds said in an address to the House, "but these challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as I am, both an elected public official and gay." He was reelected six more times and retired voluntarily in 1997.</p> <p>At the time, conservatives saw the congressmen's differing fates as symbolic of a difference between the parties. Sure, we conceded, there are bad apples everywhere, but the way they are received tells you something about their constituents. Do they bend the rules when one of their own is caught in a transgression? And how do you define what a transgression really is?<p>Updated: Wed Nov 15, 2017</p> 4be4a4e5a59da6f290a8f52e072b856a The Louts and Dunces Party for 11/10/2017 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Just a couple of weeks ago, it seemed that the Republican Party had thrown in the towel on maintaining any sort of Donald Trump-free identity. Sen. Jeff Flake announced that, rather than defy the Trump-supporting base in Arizona, he would not seek reelection. He followed Sen. Bob Corker's path. Sen. Ted Cruz, who, in a different universe, had stood tall at the Republican convention in Cleveland, responded to the small chorus of Trump critics in the Senate (Corker, John McCain and Flake) by growling that his fellow senators should "shut up and do (their) job."</p> <p>Now, in the aftermath of the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere, people are asking whether Trumpism can prevail "without Trump." </p> <p>Laura Ingraham rushed to explain Ed Gillespie's Virginia loss as a result of too little, not too much, Trump flavor in the mix. He "played footsie with conservative populism, but didn't embrace it. Big mistake." Trump himself tweeted, "(Gillespie) worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stood for."<p>Updated: Fri Nov 10, 2017</p> e6ce0bd3aae39ee5d2f7350a4bd1d0e1 Religious Extremism By Any Other Name for 11/03/2017 Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We knew within hours of the attack that the New York truck killer was a Muslim extremist, inspired by ISIS. In today's climate, that means that NPR was hesitant to report that he had shouted "Allahu akbar" and that Donald Trump thundered that our legal system is a "laughingstock" (he frets a lot about being laughed at) and blamed immigration.</p> <p>The left fears that any terror attack will be exploited to stoke animosity toward Muslims and immigrants. President Trump obliges by vowing to end the diversity lottery and fulminating about the death penalty (thus making it more difficult for prosecutors to secure capital punishment, but oh well). Trump embodies the caricature of the ignorant bigot. It's a stark contrast to the prudent response of President George W. Bush to 9/11. Bush was resolute against our enemies yet determined not to scapegoat our friends. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 03, 2017</p> 0b3c2a1b1ecc59ea7dc0ead5088e49d1 When Is 'Sexual Assault' Not Sexual Assault? for 10/27/2017 Fri, 27 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Let's look at two pictures side by side and see if we can tell how they're different. In one panel, we see a famous TV political analyst who apparently had the charming habit of pressing his erect, if clothed, penis against the bodies of young women who worked with and for him. That was Mark Halperin.</p> <p>In the second panel, we have former President George H.W. Bush, in a wheelchair, age 89, posing for a photo with a number of others, including his wife Barbara, and an actress called Heather Lind. Lind says she felt moved to share her trauma after seeing the benefit concert for Hurricane Harvey relief in which five former presidents participated. It seems that people are unaware of President Bush's criminal record:<p>Updated: Fri Oct 27, 2017</p> 735fdb909e451fb553d5ae243cc89f05 Harvey Weinstein and Feminism for 10/19/2017 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What makes Harvey Weinsteins? </p> <p>The chief of Amazon studios, Roy Price, has now resigned in the wake of allegations that he made lewd comments and propositioned a producer. Lists of accused sexual predators in Hollywood and journalism are circulating on social media. President Donald Trump's long history of pawing and gawking at women has again reached center stage.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 19, 2017</p> 53af9d1e9592610ed0423cd06a14670b Scalia's Legacy for 10/13/2017 Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I knew the late Justice Antonin Scalia a little, and like millions of others, I was an avid fan of his jurisprudence, the great bulk of which he produced after I was no longer a law student, so much the worse for me. </p> <p>What do I have to do with it? Nothing, except that reading opinions as a law student was often like trying to swallow great bowls of sawdust &#8212; without milk. Very few judges can write well. On the rare occasions when I came across a decision by Learned Hand, I would practically weep with gratitude for his clear, forceful prose. <p>Updated: Fri Oct 13, 2017</p> fb8f48e4313559f41423532b602cabf9 An American Madness for 10/06/2017 Fri, 06 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>All countries have mental illness, but its expression differs dramatically by culture. Historically, in Southeast Asia, men whose minds were coming unglued displayed symptoms of wild, uncontrolled violence. It was called "amok" and entered our language as "running amok." In the Middle East, the afflicted showed symptoms called "zar" &#8212; inappropriate outbursts of laughing, singing and screaming. In 19th century Europe, women had "hysterical" blindness and unexplained paralysis. In 20th century America, young people suffering from anorexia starved themselves to death in the belief that they were obese. </p> <p>Our culture, for complex reasons, has given rise to a new expression of madness &#8212; the mass shooting followed by suicide.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 06, 2017</p> 7aa6d531e88a871327ed192eefdc7ba4 Football and Racial Fault Lines for 09/29/2017 Fri, 29 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>According to an account my son came across a while ago: "Football is one of the most powerful institutions in American society. It is so powerful that it claimed an entire day of the week. It said, 'This day is ours. We own it.' Not only did football take a day of the week, but the previous owner was God."</p> <p>Though a failed fan myself (no less a figure than Jack Kemp advised me to give up trying to master the rules), I am an American, and accordingly can hardly miss the fact that football is one of most unifying aspects of American culture. The games have become the one thing that most Americans, especially men, can comfortably discuss. No matter what region of the country you're visiting, you are bound to hear men who find themselves thrown together asking "Did you see the game?" Animated analysis, crowing and/or cringing follows. Black and white, immigrant and native born, men and (mysteriously) women, adults and children, liberals and conservatives &#8212; huge swaths of the country speak the same idiom and share the experience of football. Super Bowl Sunday is close to a national sacrament. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 29, 2017</p> eefb8e70199e9b29d1532bdcf948a9e6 Appreciating John McCain for 09/20/2017 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For many years, conservatives were ideological zealots. Like Spanish inquisitors, they were on guard for the slightest indications of heresy. Talk radio gurus in particular were punctilious keepers of the flame. If a Republican figure was thought to be "squishy" on any matter &#8212; guns, spending, immigration, or anything else &#8212; he or she was reviled. Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator who headed the Heritage Foundation for a time, said in 2009 that he'd rather have 30 conservative purists in the Senate than 60 Republicans of varying hues.</p> <p>Now the Republican Party is led by a man who donated to Democrats, promised never to reform entitlements, insisted more than once that we should "take the oil" from the Middle East and spewed more apostasy in five minutes than most Republicans could manage in a lifetime. Accordingly, we are told that personality is more important than substance. <p>Updated: Wed Sep 20, 2017</p> 6752fce58c9fb21aa8099fe1a574a2df Do Conservatives Take Rape Seriously? for 09/15/2017 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have conservatives forsaken rape victims? That's one of the more challenging questions posed following the furor over Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' announcement that her department will revise the Obama-era guidance on how sexual assault allegations are to be handled by universities. Because we live in an age of rage, the move sparked some overheated commentary ("making campuses safer for rapists"), along with several thoughtful essays on what it all means about our ailing culture. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens offered support for DeVos, but then devoted another column to a contrary view &#8212; a letter from a young reader who had herself been raped.</p> <p>Her experience &#8212; all too common &#8212; was terrible. She was traumatized, awoke in cold sweats, lost 30 pounds and considered suicide. She didn't file a police report because there were no witnesses, she had been drunk, and she didn't understand until later that incapacitated people cannot give consent. "I hate having to use my own life as an example," she wrote. "But honestly, so many of the conservative men in my life won't listen to me on this argument until I tell them my story."<p>Updated: Fri Sep 15, 2017</p> 25926fc3b0973647057165b824532160 Poking the Beehive for 09/07/2017 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Professor Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law has poked a stick into a beehive. Tenure is liberating that way. In an op-ed for, she argued, with Larry Alexander, a law professor at the University of San Diego, that the decline of "bourgeois values" since the 1950s has contributed to a host of social ills. Male labor-force participation rates are down to Depression-era levels. Opioid abuse is epidemic. Half of all children are born to single mothers, and many college students lack basic skills.</p> <p>This is right out of the Charen hymnbook. Behavioral standards that were nearly universal in the 1950s, they contend &#8212; such as stigmatizing idleness, getting married before having children and remaining married afterward, "going the extra mile" for employers or clients, eschewing substance abuse and crime and upholding an ethic of self-control and delayed gratification &#8212; reigned from the 1940s to the 1960s, and contributed to economic growth, social cohesion and educational gains.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 07, 2017</p> ca724bc368f3bc14fc8408e2406c0ae7 Is the Party of Lincoln Now the Party of Lee? for 08/18/2017 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This year will mark my 30th anniversary as a syndicated columnist. During these years, I have written more words than I would have preferred about race. But race is America's great moral stain and unending challenge. I've tackled school choice, affirmative action, transracial adoption, crime, police conduct, family structure, poverty, free-enterprise zones and more. </p> <p>Some of those columns took the left to task for maliciously accusing Republicans of racism. A missive on "JournoList," an online forum of left-leaning journalists started in 2007, plotted strategy for how to defend Barack Obama from the taint of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Spencer Ackerman advised, "If the right forces us to either defend Wright or tear him down ... we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them &#8212; Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares &#8212; and call them racists." <p>Updated: Fri Aug 18, 2017</p> 915c5e7cdae9df69151320a3fdc027e7 Google Burns a Heretic for 08/08/2017 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>James Damore is fortunate that we don't burn heretics at the stake, because he has blasphemed. </p> <p>The fired Google engineer might as well have been writing a script designed to prove that one of the world's largest companies embodies every left-wing stereotype imaginable &#8212; blinkered, intolerant and authoritarian. Damore's memo alleged that one problem with Google's corporate culture is that people feel "shamed into silence" on important questions, and, bam, they fired him. Hollywood might have rejected such a script, on the grounds that Google would never do something that so confirms people's suspicions about the left. These are supposed to be the smartest people, right?</p> <p>Damore told the truth. This is not to endorse every word of his memo, but he was completely right that the subject of innate differences between men and women has become taboo. He pointed out, fairly, that whereas some on the right reject science on questions of climate change and evolution, some (many?) on the left resist science on issues of biological differences between men and women. Among left-leaning intellectuals, and that includes the types who run Google, it is not only assumed that all observed differences in traits, interests and choices between the sexes are the result of oppression (or are "socially constructed"); it is heresy to question this view.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 08, 2017</p> 9374a82e0890faa6df3dad3bd1c093ed Mattress Girl Discredited for 08/04/2017 Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you haven't heard of the "mattress girl," it's not for lack of trying among liberal opinion-shapers. Emma Sulkowicz, who dragged a blue mattress around Columbia University's campus in 2014 to dramatize her plight as a rape victim, was profiled sympathetically in New York magazine, The New York Times and other publications. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, invited her to attend one of President Barack Obama's State of the Union speeches. Artnet pronounced her mattress stunt (for which Columbia awarded her course credit as an art project) "one of the most important art works of the year," and she was honored by the Feminist Majority Foundation and other groups.</p> <p>Her story is this: A consensual sexual encounter with a male student named Paul Nungesser suddenly turned violent. Without warning, he choked her, struck her, and anally penetrated her while she cried out in pain.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 04, 2017</p> fbf8dae56f29a6287609141b633941ff Demoralized for 07/28/2017 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, perhaps attempting to curry favor with this week's court favorite, Anthony Scaramucci (who &#8212; stay with me here &#8212; had just accused the president's chief of staff of a felony), popped up on "Fox and Friends" to suggest that it is "demoralizing" to fill out all the forms required for government service. She's worried that "paperwork" is keeping many qualified men and women from joining the administration.</p> <p>Right. It's the paperwork. Scaramucci, Donald Trump's Mini-Me, who has barely had a chance to find the West Wing's bathroom, is angling to push Reince Priebus out the door, while President Trump does the same to his attorney general. You want to talk about demoralization, let's talk. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 28, 2017</p> d068ada430a12d42afb204adfda2f799 Why Would You Want Putin as a Friend? for 07/21/2017 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Leaving aside the question as to whether there was actual collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election, it is undisputed that candidate Donald Trump was eager for a friendship between our two nations. The most recent accounts of the president seeking out more one-on-one time with Putin at the G-20 dinner &#8212; using only a Russian translator &#8212; is the latest evidence that this enthusiasm is undiminished.</p> <p>President Trump has offered scores of comments about Vladimir Putin over the past four years, many times leaning over backward to doubt whether Putin was really guilty of assassinating reporters and opposition figures. Had Putin "been found guilty," Trump demanded. On many occasions, Trump gushed that Putin was "very nice" to him, and praised the dictator's "strength." On May 5, 2016, he told Fox News' Bret Baier, "I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago &#8212; Miss Universe contest &#8212; which is a big, incredible event, and incredible success ... And you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got (along) with somebody?"<p>Updated: Fri Jul 21, 2017</p> 7816f59a3e40b19ba10235f5a1cf2b29 The 16 Things You Must Believe If the 'Witch Hunt' Accusation Is True for 07/14/2017 Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>One column cannot accommodate the list of things you must believe if you trust that Donald Trump is truly the victim of a baseless witch hunt. Consider this a mere stab.</p> <p>1) Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner did nothing wrong by meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. The emails requesting the meeting specifically mentioned a "Russian government attorney" and added that the requested meeting concerned "very high level and sensitive information" ... that "is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." That doesn't prove a willingness to collude.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 14, 2017</p>