The Corner

Politics & Policy

Durbin’s Dim ‘History’ Lesson

I think Trump’s sh**hole comment was bad, and I have a G-File coming out shortly explaining why. But I just heard Dick Durbin say, “I cannot believe in this history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”

I call shenanigans.

Woodrow Wilson lamented that the South lost the Civil War and screened Birth of a Nation in the White House. Teddy Roosevelt was not exactly a master of sensitivity. Harry Truman was legendary for his barnyard language and more than once used offensive language about Jews. LBJ dropped the N-word often and with gusto. He also said, “I never met a man from Indiana who was worth a sh**” — for what that’s worth. Richard Nixon had a lot of choice language for Jews and gays. He also famously observed that “Aristotle was a homo” in a rant about the TV show All in the Family and gays. I can only imagine some of the things Andrew Jackson said in the White House.

Yes, yes, I know: Times have changed, and we’re all so much more enlightened. But you can criticize Trump for what he did and said without making a fool of yourself. Then again, Durbin has a history beclowning himself with bad historical analysis.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

Most Popular

World

NATO’s Challenge Is Germany, Not America

During the recent NATO summit meeting, a rumbustious Donald Trump tore off a thin scab of niceties to reveal a deep and old NATO wound — one that has predated Trump by nearly 30 years and goes back to the end of the Cold War. In an era when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact are now ancient history, ... Read More
Culture

De Blasio’s Dystopia

One needs to walk only a block or two in any direction in America’s largest metropolis to witness the borderline dystopian cesspool that New York City has become. Litter. Garbage. Filth. Homeless people are camped on sidewalks, benches, and storefronts. Drug addicts casually light up and shoot up al fresco. ... Read More