The Corner

Beware the Legacy-Seeker

Today’s Impromptus is a typical potpourri, beginning with Marva Collins, the late, great educator out of Chicago, and ending with Wally Joyner, the hitting coach of the Detroit Tigers. In between are John Kerry, George W. Bush, and other folks.

“Folks,” our president likes to say. I never disliked the word — until he came along. He says “folks” when he’s trying to be normal. When he’s trying to say, “I’m not the campus radical I actually am!”

John Kerry, his secretary of state, is one scary dude. A newspaper headline captured the problem perfectly when it said that Kerry was looking for a “legacy hit.” “For Kerry, Iran deal would be a legacy hit after many misses.”

He won his party’s presidential nomination, but didn’t win the presidency. He was in the Senate for a jillion years but did basically squat (except for voting the party line). A nuke deal with the mullahs would be his “legacy hit.”

Beware the man who wants to be something. That man is often a very dangerous character. How about the epitaph “He did no harm”? Not sexy enough. But men who do no harm are better than most, probably.

P.S. I have no language note in today’s Impromptus. I’ll do one here. I say, in my column, that I added the name “Marva” to my spell-check dictionary, in tribute to the late and marvelous Mrs. Collins.

Her name reminds me of a word: “Delmarva.” (Not sure it’s in my dictionary. Probably not.) It is used in the Chesapeake region and stands for “Delaware-Maryland-Virginia.” I was just in that region last week. Wonderful part of the world (though damn steamy in the summer).

Most Popular


What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More