Contra: Shortwire

We need to talk about Kevin McCarthy, partisan warfare, the January 6 commission and its enemies, kids forced to write "Why I'm a Racist" op-ed, against the rainbow capitalists.

The Tuesday subscriber podcast for this week will be out next Tuesday, along with the subscriber column on the same day. I’ll be interviewing Joe Kent. He’s running for office in Washington's Third Congressional District. Read about him here.

We Need to Talk About Kevin McCarthy

For The Spectator, I wrote about Kevin McCarthy and his connections to Frank Luntz and the Democratic Party.

Kevin McCarthy’s mouth does two things: it kisses Donald Trump’s hand and it emits denouncements of his constituents.

After Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene recently likened what she considers COVID-19-based discrimination to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust, the House minority leader swooped down bearing talons of condemnation. ‘Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling,’ he wrote. ‘Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.’

Whatever you might think of Greene’s comments, it’s hard to imagine a Democrat as eager as McCarthy to smite one of his own. Moreover, Greene’s remarks, boomerish though they may be, reflect the frustrations many Americans feel about the emerging two-tier post-pandemic society. But these are provincial concerns for McCarthy, who seems to resent the provinces above all.

American Guerrilleros

Happy to announce that I’ll be writing the bi-monthlyish “Theory of a Partisan” column for Chronicles magazine. Below is my debut piece.

If the American right feels pinned down by an enfilade coming from the institutions it has traditionally identified with and defended, that’s because that is precisely what is happening. Pressed up against the berm, the only way out for the right is through a place it has avoided.

With the fall of academia, the ideological homogenization of the media and popular culture, and the left turn within most institutions of government, the military and law enforcement branches have been perceived as civilizational backstops by the right, which provide order and authority in a sea of chaos. But this illusion is evaporating, exposing these force-wielding branches as the maw of the managerial regime.

Law-abiding Americans are now subject to both the anarchy of the mob and the tyranny of law enforcement turned primarily against decent citizens—what Samuel T. Francis called in these pages a “Hegelian synthesis” of seemingly dialectical opposites. It is, according to Francis, the “combination of oppressive government power against the innocent and the law-abiding and, simultaneously, a grotesque paralysis of the ability or the will to use that power to carry out basic public duties such as protection or public safety.”

That’s it for articles.

I joined the Buck Sexton Show to talk about the January 6 Commission and the labor shortage myth. You can listen at the 59:57 mark.

Lastly, I should appear on Newsmax tonight at 9pm ET with Steve Cortes and Jenn Pellegrino to talk about the border.


The New Secession Crisis

Jeremy Carl frames secession in an interesting way for American Greatness.

It will be overwhelming to oppose an enemy that controls virtually every single institution of society. There are indeed insurrectionists in Washington, D.C., the problem is that they are currently running the country and the bureaucracy, having imprisoned a few sad-sack political opponents who did not understand the rules of the game being played. 

The growing and energetic majority of Democratic leaders have already seceded from America—from its culture, its history, its government and its institutions. 

Common Good Originalism: Our Tradition and Our Path Forward

Josh Hammer writes a primer on common good originalism and the path forward in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.

Herewith, a paradox. On the one hand, legal conservatism, originalism, and textualism have never been more ascendant and better-positioned within the legal academy and mainstream political discourse. But on the other hand, the state of conservative jurisprudence in America has reached a crisis point.

The crisis point did not arrive overnight. The modern Republican Party’s judicial nominations apparatus has often failed conservatives and constitutionalists, dating all the way back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s fateful twin Supreme Court nominations of Justice William Brennan and Chief Justice Earl Warren. “I made two mistakes, and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court,” President Eisenhower famously said. Justice Harry Blackmun, author of Roe v. Wade, the twentieth century’s moral and jurisprudential successor to the Dred Scott case, was a President Richard Nixon nominee. Justice John Paul Stevens, liberal lion of the Court for three and a half decades, was nominated by President Gerald Ford. President Ronald Reagan nominated the moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the idiosyncratic Justice Anthony Kennedy, the latter of whom would encapsulate both a gnostic relativism in metaphysics and a jurisprudential commitment to individual autonomy maximalism over the course of his Court tenure. President George H.W. Bush greatly erred in nominating Justice David Souter—he of the eponymous “No more Souters” fame—to the Supreme Court in lieu of the stalwart Edith H. Jones. President George W. Bush was similarly mistaken in selecting John G. Roberts over J. Michael Luttig for the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Suffice it to say that this is hardly a track record of sustained excellence.

Against the Rainbow Capitalists

Keith Preston on woke capital (or just, capital) in Chronicles.

Broad swaths of conservative opinion today would have it that the enemy of the right is some variant of Marxism. But this does not accurately describe people like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, or CNN’s Jeff Zucker. All the tech and media executives who are censoring and deplatforming voices on the right can hardly be described as ideological Marxists or Maoists.

No, our real enemy today is what I like to call “rainbow capitalism,” which is corporate, quasi-monopoly capitalism closely tied to the central state and its agencies of surveillance and control, and increasingly wedded to the cultural and political goals of the left. This conjunction of what we used to call “big business” and progressive politics has happened in large part because men like Bezos and Zuckerberg and a host of others recognize that their long-term interests are best served by the complete deracination and demoralization of the American people.


Fox News:

California middle school students were told early this year to read and analyze an op-ed published in The Huffington Post in 2016 titled, "Why I'm a Racist," sparking backlash from some parents.

The students at Oak Middle School in Orange County were asked to analyze various points that the author, Huffington Post contributor Jeff Cook, makes in the piece.

"It was an uncomfortable situation," Marshal Violia, the father of a seventh-grade student who was assigned to read the essay in his English class, told Fox News. "A lot of parents were in agreement."

That’s all for now. Look for the longer newsletters to return soon.