Archive for the ‘In Memoriam’ Category.

Irving Kristol

This may be belated, but we wanted to honor Irving Kristol, who passed away last week at the age of 89. Known in some outlets as the father of “neoconservatism”, he was actually a forward thinker. He saw problems with “progressivism” and chose to address them honestly, and was critical in helping the Republican Party (through Reagan) embrace supply-side economics. A congenial and warm soul from all accounts of those who knew him personally, we can only point to his writing. And this quote, which we read in an obit, struck us strongly.

It seems to me that the politics of liberal reform, in recent years, shows many of the same characteristics as amateur poetry. It has been more concerned with the kind of symbolic action that gratifies the passions of the reformer rather than with the efficacy of the reforms themselves. Indeed, the outstanding characteristic of what we call ‘the New Politics’ is precisely its insistence on the overwhelming importance of revealing, in the public realm, one’s intense feelings — we must ‘care,’ we must ‘be concerned,’ we must be ‘committed.’ Unsurprisingly, this goes along with an immense indifference to consequences, to positive results or the lack thereof.

And knowing the truth of this, as we do, is it any shocker that we distrust ‘healthcare reform’?

In any case, RIP to a great thinker and man.

Never Forgetting

There was never an attack so quick, brutal, unexpected and astonishing on US shores against so many regular civilians. May we never forget that it happened, and why it happened.


WTC attack (

Pentagon attack (courtesy of

Pentagon attack (

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, RIP

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (2007, copyright VOA)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (2007 photo)

Sad news tonight.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn has died of heart failure (Russian authorities say it was a stroke).

HIs books, particularly The Gulag Archipelago, revealed what many in the West wanted to ignore — the atrocities of the brutal slave labor camps the USSR used to squash dissent and prop up its economy.

The impact of that book and others he wrote about the Soviet system can’t be overstated. Perhaps for the first time, previously skeptical historians and journalists began to doubt their own assumptions about Lenin and communism. Although many still doubted until the Cold War ended.

But the truth will out. And the truth will set you free. RIP.

Tony Snow, RIP – Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 53

We are all very saddened to hear the news that Tony Snow has passed away. He was quite possibly the best press secretary in many years. Certainly, the best press secretary Bush ever had.

And as many noted in the Sunday morning talk shows, and as Bill Kristol noted in the New York Times, he had optimism — optimism about America, and faith-grounded (as Kristol and President Bush have noted) optimism in the face of his illness. He was a good talk show host and an excellent press secretary  (particularly obvious since McClellan’s book has come out) in large part because he acted out his faith. He had his principles and his beliefs, but he could listen, and he gave grace.   A model to emulate.

I find it sad that the coverage of Tim Russert’s sudden passing (which was indeed startling and sad) seems to have generated more digital ink than Tony Snow’s. I had been hibernating from the news for the last week, but somehow I still knew about the cover of the New Yorker, and the White House discussion of a pull-out from Iraq (on which more later), but heard only by the merest chance of Tony Snow’s death.

But no doubt Tony Snow himself would not have minded.  May God bless his family. RIP.

Tim Russert, RIP

Tim Russert was an honorable journalist. Though we may have disagreed with him frequently, there was no doubt that he did his job with fairness and energy and grace — especially appreciated during his moderation of the primary debates this season. He will be missed, and as so many commentators on both sides of the aisle have said, he is irreplaceable as a pundit.

We do note, however, the silence of Arrianna Huffington, though we wonder — who really cares? What is Huffington to Russert?