The Corner

The National Progressive Party

Tom McMahon has some interesting/disturbing photos from Phil La Follette’s ill fated Progressive Party. Make of them what you will.

But here’s a little tidbit. Phil La Follette kept collection of photos of great men at the governor’s mansion. In his sitting room you could find a photo of Mussolini right by one of Justice Brandeis. As John Patrick Diggins writes, “Whatever it suggests about La Follette’s political illustions, the juxtaposition of Brandeis and Mussolini indicates that the liberal mind in America was not immune to Fascism’s curious appeals.”

Update: From a reader:

Citing one person’s idiosyncrasies, no matter how important the person, does not really support your thesis.

Me: Yeah, sure, maybe (tell that to Larry Craig). But that’s hardly what I’m doing. Indeed, I don’t even mention the above in my book, I consider it so tangential to my thesis. That said, I think one can certainly legitimately mention such things along with lots of other evidence and arguments if it conforms with your larger thesis. Update II: From another reader:

Jonah:   Tell your correspondent who criticized your limited use of what he characterized as LaFollette’s “idiosyncracies” that there is another term for LaFollette’s actions: empirical evidence.  In other words, observable facts that can be used to support a hypothesis.  When combined with other empircal evidence, such “idiosyncracies” can be used to prove a theory (political or otherwise), which I think is part of your larger point. 

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

Politics & Policy

Strzok by a Farce

An investigation is one of two things: a search for the truth, or a farce. The House is conducting a farce. That fact was on full display during ten hours of testimony by Peter Strzok, the logorrheic lawman who steered the FBI’s Clinton-emails and Trump–Russia probes. The principal question before the ... Read More
World

EuroTrip

Dear Reader (Especially everyone who got ripped off ordering that giant blimp online), Imagine an alien race that built its civilization on the fact it literally defecated highly refined uranium, or super-intelligent and obedient nano-bots, or simply extremely useful Swiss Army knives. Now imagine one of ... Read More
Film & TV

Stalin at the Movies

Toward the end of The Death of Stalin, two Communist Party bosses size up Joseph Stalin’s immediate successor, Georgy Malenkov. “Can we trust him?” one asks. “Can you ever really trust a weak man?” his comrade answers. Good question. Last week brought the news that the head of Shambhala ... Read More
World

‘The Warning Lights Are Blinking Red Again’

One of President Trump’s outstanding appointments has been Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence. Coats is a former House member, former senator, and former ambassador to Germany. He is a Hoosier (i.e., from Indiana). Whether he plays basketball, I don’t know. At Wheaton College, he played soccer. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Rise of the Abortion Cheerleaders

Is abortion a sad and unfortunate reality — regrettable, as we are sometimes told, but often necessary — or is it a breezy nothingburger, completely “normal,” and something to be giddily celebrated like a last-minute NFL touchdown?  For a long time, the abortion lobby has had difficulty deciding. This ... Read More