The Corner

In Dubious Battle

Yesterday I posted that Gov. Bob McDonnell’s comments on women in combat, though aimed at Sen. Santorum, placed him to the left of President Obama. Jennifer Rubin says “that’s wrong.” But I can’t quite tell from her post just what I’ve gotten wrong.

Am I wrong to suggest that McDonnell’s comments imply support for putting women “in the front lines . . . in combat positions,” to use his words? (An implication his spokesman’s comment sidesteps.) Am I wrong to note that Obama’s Pentagon is allowing women to serve “closer to the front lines than ever before,” but not going quite this far? Or am I wrong to suggest that a more aggressive easing of the rules can be reasonably be described as a more liberal policy? Given that all the organized opposition to easing these rules comes from conservatives and its most enthusiastic supporters are liberals, that would be a hard case to make.

You can think that the easing of these restrictions is a welcome advance for gender equality, as Rubin and Gov. McDonnell appear to believe, or that they are a step back for civilization and sensible military-personnel policy, as I am inclined to think. But I don’t see how you can dispute this point: If McDonnell meant what he said, he should want Obama to go further.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More