The Corner

About General Mattis

I’ve read about a half-dozen articles about whether retired Marine general James Mattis should run for president as an independent if Trump wins the nomination. (These three articles, for example.)

His boosters are conservative Trump opponents. A lot of them have been arguing that Trump is not a conservative — that he doesn’t have conservative views or a conservative record — and that he doesn’t know much about government policy. He can’t, for example, say much more than “lines around states” about health care, even though he thinks it’s one of the top responsibilities of the federal government. That’s not the entirety of the conservative case against him, but it is an important part of it.

With that in mind: What do we know about General Mattis’s views, and his familiarity with a broad range of non-military issues? Where does he stand on abortion, guns, taxes, health care? I’m not seeing answers in those articles.

I have no doubt that General Mattis has had a more commendable career and life than Trump has. And, yes, desperate times, etc. But the great flaw in this campaign is not that it has lacked a candidate whose appeal boils down to “he’s great and we should trust that he’d do great things as president.”

(disclosure)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More
Education

An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More
Sports

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
White House

MoveOn.GOP?

Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More