WASHINGTON—So, this is the new conservatism's recipe for restored greatness: Political coercion shall supplant economic calculation in shaping decisions by companies in what is called, with diminishing accuracy, the private sector. This will be done partly as conservatism's challenge to liberalism's supremacy in the victimhood sweepstakes, telling aggrieved groups that they are helpless victims of vast, impersonal forces, against which they can be protected only by government interventions.
WASHINGTON—The word "inappropriate" is increasingly used inappropriately. It is useful to describe departures from good manners or other social norms, such as wearing white after Labor Day or using the salad fork with the entree. But the adjective has become a splatter of verbal fudge, a weasel word falsely suggesting measured seriousness. Its misty imprecision does not disguise, it advertises, the user's moral obtuseness. A French court has demonstrated how "inappropriate" can be an all-purpose device of intellectual evasion and moral cowardice.
WASHINGTON—History has a sly sense of humor. It caused an epiphany regarding infrastructure projects—roads, harbors, airports, etc.—to occur on a bridge over Boston's Charles River, hard by Harvard Yard, where rarely is heard a discouraging word about government. Last spring, Larry Summers, former treasury secretary and Harvard president, was mired in congealed traffic on the bridge, which is being repaired, and he suddenly understood "American sclerosis." Repairing the bridge, which was built in 11 months in 1912, will take about five years.
WASHINGTON—The Republican Party resembles the man who told his psychiatrist, "I have an identity problem, and so do I." The party's leader is at best indifferent to, and often is hostile to, much of the party's recent catechism: limited government, the rule of law, a restrained executive, fiscal probity, entitlement reforms, free trade, the general efficiency and equity of markets allocating wealth and opportunity, and—this matters especially—the importance of decorousness in political discourse.
"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." —"Me and Bobby McGee" WASHINGTON—What did Donald Trump have left to lose Sunday night? His dignity? Please. His campaign's theme? His Cleveland convention was a mini-Nuremberg rally for Republicans whose three-word recipe for making America great again was the shriek "Lock her up!" This presaged his Banana Republican vow to imprison his opponent. The St.
WASHINGTON—Vladimir Putin's serial humiliations of America's bewildered secretary of state regarding Syria indicate Putin's determination to destabilize the world. Here is an even more ominous indication of events moving his way: On just one day last week, Italian ships plucked 6,055 migrants from the Mediterranean. What has this to do with Putin? It portends fulfillment of his aspiration for Europe's political, social and moral disorientation. The Financial Times reports that of the 138,000 migrants who have come by sea to Italy this year, few are from Syria.