Archive for July, 2016


The Atlantic »

Hillary’s Message to America

July 29, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The Democratic convention, which culminated on Thursday night with Hillary Clinton, was inverted. Usually, supporting actors cover policy specifics and flay the opposing candidate. The nominee comes on at the end and offers a vision. Hillary Clinton doesn’t do vision well. So, wisely, her campaign turned the paradigm on its… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Bill Clinton’s Lapse Into Trumpism

July 27, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I love Bill Clinton. But I didn’t love his speech Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Given the job of humanizing his wife, he came across as genuinely smitten. But he failed to do what he’s done in every convention speech he’s delivered since 1992: tell a story about where America is… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

A Party at War With Itself

July 26, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Many commentators, watching the two party’s conventions, have noted that Democrats and Republicans seemed to describing different countries. But if you listened carefully last night, you heard two groups of Democrats describing different countries too.

Haaretz »

The Dishonest Democratic Platform on Israel

July 25, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Corrupt political behavior, George Orwell famously taught, usually begins with corrupt political language. With the Democrats holding their convention this week in Philadelphia, let’s take their platform on Israel as exhibit A.

The Atlantic »

Just How ‘Responsible’ a Choice Is Tim Kaine?

July 24, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In 2008, Barack Obama famously wanted a “team of rivals” in his administration. He began with his running mate, who was utterly unlike him. Obama was a political newcomer; Joe Biden was a Beltway veteran. Obama appealed to African Americans and upscale liberals; Biden appealed to blue collar whites. Obama… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Do Republicans Still Think America Is Exceptional?

July 21, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Maybe Donald Trump is lucky that Ted Cruz knifed him on Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention. Otherwise, the big story would be Trump’s new interview with The New York Times. Trump’s most astonishing policy statement is his declaration that America would only defend the Baltic states from Russian… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

What I Saw Last Friday in Hebron

July 19, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Jawad Abu Aisha owns a cluttered yard in H2, the sector of Hebron that falls under direct Israeli control. He’d like to turn it into a cinema. Many local Palestinians — lacking recreational opportunities — would like to help him. But Abu Aisha says that Jewish settlers, and the Israeli… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Do Republicans Know What ‘Again’ Means?

July 19, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Former President George W. Bush’s absence from this year’s Republican National Convention is a problem. It’s a problem not merely because it signifies GOP opposition to Donald Trump. More importantly, it’s a problem because it underscores the Trump campaign’s inability to define the word “again.”

The Atlantic »

ISIS Attacks Aren’t About ‘Hating Freedom’

July 1, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Wednesday on CNN, Marco Rubio said the Islamic State, which Turkish officials believe carried out this week’s attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, had two motivations. First, “they ultimately want them to be a part of the caliphate.” Sure, but “ultimately,” ISIS wants every place on earth to be part… Read the Rest »