The Corner


What’s Up in Dubuque

Is social conservatism dead? Of course, it exists in the abstract, or in individual belief. But I mean as a political force. Is there any life in it?

Yesterday, I had a couple of items in my Impromptus column, including one that noted a headline: “New Parents Kylie Jenner & Travis Scott Are ‘Not Officially Living Together.’” Is that not a headline for our times? They are not married. Or even living together — officially.

I wrote, “I will give you an old, old saying — from the Paleolithic era: ‘There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.’”

One more item:

I’ll tell you how much of a dinosaur I am: Steve Wynn has been removed as finance chairman of the Republicans because of sex-abuse charges against him. That aside (and it’s a lot to put aside): He is a casino operator. So is President Trump, for that matter, or a former one (and we can leave aside Wynn’s coziness with the Chinese Communist Party).

The fuddy-duddy traditionalist party, the GOP, is stocked with casino operators. And these places are as destructive as they are popular: destroyers of families, lives, and souls.

How many social conservatives are there left in the country? Can we meet at a Denny’s in Dubuque?

Several readers wrote me to say they’d be happy to join me at the Denny’s. One reader said, “I just checked: There is one Denny’s in Dubuque — but at least two casinos.”

I suppose that’s about the right American ratio!

This morning, Ronan Farrow has a story titled “Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity.” According to the story, he met her at the Playboy Mansion in L.A., where he was shooting an episode of his TV show.

For years, the conservative movement railed against “the Playboy Philosophy” — a philosophy whose holiest ground, so to speak, was Hef’s mansion. Do we now back a president who is an embodiment of that world? What a strange, strange trip this has been.

As a reader remarked, “If you can’t beat ’em, be ’em.”


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