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Why Trump Might Fire Robert Mueller

July 25, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why do Donald Trump and his advisors keep floating the possibility of firing Robert Mueller, an act that would spark the greatest constitutional crisis since Watergate, perhaps the greatest in modern American history? Read more…

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Donald Trump’s Defenders on the Left

July 23, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When it comes to possible collusion with Russia, Donald Trump’s most interesting defenders don’t reside on the political right. They reside on the political left.

Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich aren’t defending a principle. They’re defending a patron. Until recently they were ultra-hawks. Now, to downplay Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections, they sound like ultra-doves. All that matters is supporting their ally in the White House.

For left-wing defenders like Max Blumenthal and Glenn Greenwald, by contrast, ideology is king. Blumenthal and Greenwald loathe Trump. But they loathe hawkish foreign policy more. So they minimize Russia’s election meddling to oppose what they see as a new Cold War. Read more…

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Anything They Can Do, Trump Can Do Better

July 20, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The transcript of Donald Trump’s interview yesterday with the New York Times runs over 7,000 words. But you can boil down its essence to two words: I’m better. No matter what the subject, Trump finds someone to compare himself to. And in every comparison, he comes out the winner. Read more…

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Why Is Bibi Aligning Israel With An Anti-Semitic Populist Who Demonizes George Soros?

July 18, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When Benjamin Netanyahu begins an official visit to Hungary today, he will mark one of the most remarkable alliances in world politics: The alliance between a prime minister of the Jewish state and a group of would-be authoritarians who exploit anti-Semitism for political gain. Read more…

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The Projection President

July 14, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In Paris on Thursday, Donald Trump said, “A lot of people don’t know” that “France is America’s first and oldest ally.” That may be true. But commentators noted that when Trump uses the “a lot of people don’t know” formulation, it’s usually a sign that he didn’t know himself. Read more…

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How Trump Has Driven Jewish Conservative Thinkers To Brink Of Extinction

July 13, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Over the coming years, environmental scientists will probably chronicle the many species that Donald Trump’s presidency has brought to extinction. Political scientists may add another: the conservative Jewish intellectual. Read more…

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Tucker Carlson Is Doing Something Extraordinary

July 13, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Over the last two nights, something fascinating has broken out on the Tucker Carlson show: A genuine, and exceedingly bitter, debate between conservatives on foreign policy. On Tuesday, Carlson told retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters he thought the U.S. should team up with Russia to defeat ISIS. Peters responded that, “You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938.” Carlson called that comment “grotesque” and “insane.” Read more…

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How to Know Who Will Let Trump Get Away With Anything

July 12, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

We now know, in part, how the Trump-Russia scandal ends. As McKay Coppins and Rosie Gray pointed out on Tuesday, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr. enthusiastically requested dirt on Hillary Clinton despite knowing it was coming from the Russian government has radically changed the argument being deployed by Trump’s defenders. Until this week, it was: “There is no collusion with the Russian government.” Now it is: “Collusion with a foreign government is fine. Everyone does it. Let’s talk about the Clinton campaign’s collusion with the government of Ukraine?” Read more…

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Will Trump Start a Trade War?

July 11, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Monday, The New York Times uncovered the first clear evidence that top Trump campaign officials knowingly colluded with an agent of the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton. The Times reported that Donald Trump Jr., aware of the Russian effort to aid his father’s campaign, arranged a meeting in which Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya promised to dish dirt on Clinton. Donald Trump’s presidency has never been so imperiled. How will he react?

Watch his decision on steel. Read more…

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Defending Liberal Democracy Is Not the Same as Defending ‘the West’

July 11, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The most telling feature of Daniel Foster’s response to my article on Donald Trump’s Warsaw speech is that, while he dislikes my definition of “the West,” he never offers one of his own. I argued that, in the United States today, the best predictor of whether a country is considered “Western” is whether it is primarily white and primarily Christian. (With Protestant and Catholic countries considered more Western than Orthodox ones, and Israel tossed in to buttress the “Judeo” part of “Judeo-Christian.”) I noted that non-white or non-Christian countries aren’t generally considered Western even when they are further west geographically than Christian, white ones (Morocco v. Poland, Haiti v. France, Egypt v. Australia). And that non-white, non-Christian countries aren’t generally considered Western even when they are economically developed (Japan) or robustly democratic (India). Read more…