The Corner

World

A Noble Goal: No More Czars

Mikhail Khodorkovsky in London, August 2018 (Dylan Martinez / Reuters)

In the ’90s, some of us said that there were so many scandals coming out of the Clinton administration, you could not keep track of them all, or concentrate on them all, which benefited the administration. “They just like to pick on us,” the administration could say. We see some of that in Washington now, too.

Putin’s Kremlin commits so many outrages, some are quickly forgotten, if they ever register at all. Do you remember the shootdown of the civilian airliner in the summer of 2014? It killed almost 300 people. Yesterday, RFE/RL published an excellent, disturbing piece on the matter. (Those initials, as you know, stand for “Radio Free Europe” and “Radio Liberty.” Last year, I wrote a piece on the organization, which, far from a Cold War relic, is newly vital.)

On the homepage today, we publish the second in my two-part series on Mikhail Khodorkovsky: the richest man in Russia who became a political prisoner for ten years and now, in exile, devotes himself to human rights and the rule of law in his native country. Let me paste the final two paragraphs of the piece:

What does he want to accomplish with his Open Russia movement? He does not want “to accelerate Putin’s departure,” he says. Putin will eventually go, one way or another. “The key question is, What’s going to happen after his departure? We have a quite unpleasant tradition in Russia of getting rid of one czar, only to see him replaced by another. So what I want to do is try to change that tradition.”

In the eyes of many of us, this is a noble way to spend one’s time — and money — after 17 years in business (so brief a career) and another ten in Russian prisons. At this stage, Khodorkovsky could be putting his feet up, perhaps on a Caribbean island. No one would blame him. Instead, he is in the trenches, on the battlefield. He has his critics, who don’t do half as much good, or who, more likely, do none at all.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Culture

The Absurd Crusade against the Salvation Army

We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that's all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad. Such is the case regarding the ... Read More
Culture

The Absurd Crusade against the Salvation Army

We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that's all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad. Such is the case regarding the ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
From left: Harvard University's Noah Feldman, Stanford University's Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina's Michael Gerhardt, and George Washington University's Jonathan Turley testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, December 4, 2019.

The Impeachment Eye Test

To put it mildly, the 1960s were not notorious for juridical modesty. They might compare favorably, though, to Wednesday’s episode of “The Lawyer Left Does Impeachment” at the House Judiciary Committee. Oh, I have no doubt that the three progressive constitutional scholars spotlighted by Democrats yearn in ... Read More
From left: Harvard University's Noah Feldman, Stanford University's Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina's Michael Gerhardt, and George Washington University's Jonathan Turley testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, December 4, 2019.

The Impeachment Eye Test

To put it mildly, the 1960s were not notorious for juridical modesty. They might compare favorably, though, to Wednesday’s episode of “The Lawyer Left Does Impeachment” at the House Judiciary Committee. Oh, I have no doubt that the three progressive constitutional scholars spotlighted by Democrats yearn in ... Read More