Magazine | January 23, 2017, Issue


Beliefs of the 99 Percent

Kevin D. Williamson attempts (“Superman Politics,” December 31) to articulate complex economic policy for the 0.4 percent “who follow these things closely.” That makes me part of the 99.6 percent who don’t and simply go on with our lives being skeptical of any economic policy.

I enjoyed Williamson’s article, as he was definitive in his analysis of Trump-Pence’s Carrier subsidy right up until he states that “there is no broader logic at work.” The 99.6 percent heard a campaign promise to “reduce the corporate tax rate” and “remove every job-robbing regulation” and “accompanying executive orders.” Those, to us, are the “broader logic” ignored by Williamson.

I also objected to his denouncement of Pence, whom the 99 percent view as a hero in the debates and a calming force for Trump. I’ll continue to believe that Pence is not a “sniffer” but is the genuine article until proven otherwise. His influence on Trump makes Trump appear more “presidential.”

Williamson’s treatment of the Carrier deal’s being “symbolic” is easily understood by the 99 percent, but we believe it is merely a distraction from Trump’s broader economic policy.

Frank Sardina

Unionville, Va.

Kevin D. Williamson responds: The fact that 99 percent of the people believe X, Y, or Z doesn’t make it so. Donald Trump has some good instincts on economic policy, such as reforming the corporate tax code and the onerous federal regulatory structure. He also has some terrible ideas, such as using the corporate tax code as a political weapon and adding to the onerous federal regulatory structure in ways that accord with his populist sensibilities. He also has a penchant for what amount to cheap publicity stunts, as in the Carrier matter. Given Trump’s history and his character, my own inclination is to proceed with caution — lots of it.


Deciphering Obama’s Foreign Policy

When evaluating President Obama’s record and searching for justification for various foreign-policy decisions, reductive thinking can go a long way. While Arthur Herman is fundamentally correct in his review of Jay Solomon’s book on Iran (“Dangerous Gamble,” December 31), an understanding of radical chic would tell you that the nuclear deal with Iran and the U.S. disengagement during the uprising in Tehran in 2009 were derived from a desire to apologize and make tangible amends for the seemingly inexcusable involvement of the United States in the 1953 overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh. Remarkable perhaps, but not complicated when the core tendency, embraced by Obama, was and is to blame America first, consequences be damned.

Paul J. Hauptman

St. Louis, Mo.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


Beliefs of the 99 Percent Kevin D. Williamson attempts (“Superman Politics,” December 31) to articulate complex economic policy for the 0.4 percent “who follow these things closely.” That makes me part ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We hope that in retirement Harry Reid keeps up his workout routine. ‐ Republicans intend to pass what they’re calling an “Obamacare-repeal bill” early. It will get rid of Obamacare’s ...
Politics & Policy


AMONG THE STATIONS A frozen steeple cock announced the place – A town like any other on that coast: The rusty docks, inert, insoluble, Real estate booming, tech at full sail, And a hitching post ...

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Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More