Politics & Policy

The Corner

Trump Off the Prompter

Trump turned in a truly extraordinary performance at his Trump Tower press conference just now that was probably meant, in part, as a middle finger to his advisers who convinced him to read yesterday’s remarks. He stood by his specific denunciation of the Nazis and white supremacists but justified his vague statement on Saturday by saying he needed more facts. That might hold water if he was, say, only addressing the car attack (the identity and the likely motive of the driver weren’t clearly established until later). But he didn’t need more facts to forthrightly and immediately denounce the Nazis and associated low-lifes. Then, he went on today to praise the rally on Friday night, which was a torch-lit Nazi march, and to say there were good people just concerned with defending Robert E. Lee on the alt-right side of the protests. This is, needless to say, outrageous (good people don’t march together with protesters holding Nazi flags). The press is exercised about two further contentions that I think are correct, namely that there was violence on both sides (even if the Nazis were the instigators and had a murderer in their midst) and that there is potentially a slippery slope from removing Confederate statues to statues of the Founders. Many of his supporters no doubt loved this characteristically combative performance, but it shows that Trump couldn’t just let his Charlottesville statement from yesterday stand and rather than trying to rise above it, he’s happy to be no-holds-barred participant in the angry national debate in the aftermath of last weekend.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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