The Corner

Politics & Policy

Taking Stock with a Champion of Freedom

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the congresswoman from Miami. As regular readers know, she is also one of my favorite people in public life (and in life). She is an untiring champion of freedom, democracy, and human rights — for people in her native Cuba and people all over, without exception. She does not want for herself and her loved ones what she does not want for others — for you and yours.

A member of Congress since 1989, she is retiring at the end of this session. I went to Capitol Hill to do a podcast with her, along with Scott Immergut, the producer extraordinaire, commonly known as “Blue Yeti.” Our podcast is here.

We were in the congresswoman’s office — which has dogs, babies, and general good cheer. This is a family atmosphere. There is a mixture of English and Spanish. Ileana seems den mother to all. People of various types come in and out.

As I remark on the podcast — and she does, too — no one ever enjoyed being a member of Congress more than Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. She even enjoys the fundraising. As for those who are grumpy about being congressmen, she says, “Why don’t they find something else to do? Find their joy?”

In our Q&A, I ask her why she is leaving, of course. I ask her about Cuba, about Miami, and about her family. (Her husband is a Vietnam vet — wounded — and one of their children is transgender.)

I also ask her about presidents: Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and Trump. And about House speakers: Gingrich, Hastert, Boehner, Pelosi, and Ryan.

Toward the end, we talk about the health of American institutions — including Ros-Lehtinen’s party, the GOP. She is ever ebullient, a happy warrior if there ever was one. In this podcast, she is candid, informed, and delightful. Whatever your politics, I think you will enjoy.

Again, here.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More
World

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More
Culture

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
Film & TV

Game of Thrones: A Father’s Legacy Endures

Warning! If you don't want to read any spoilers from last night's series finale of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Right now. There is a lot to unpack about the Thrones finale, and I fully understand many of the criticisms I read on Twitter and elsewhere. Yes, the show was compressed. Yes, there were moments ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More