Opinion

Behind Ben Rhodes’ rage and other commentary


Trump vet: Behind Ben Rhodes’ Rage

For evidence of “the left’s propensity to vilify” the right, you “could hardly do better” than Obama aide Ben Rhodes’ new book, “After the Fall,” snarks Trump official Peter Berkowitz at The Washington Free Beacon. The work proves Rhodes is “an imperious partisan ideologue” uninterested in the views of “a substantial portion of his fellow citizens,” as he preposterously rejects “the possibility that progressive overreach” contributed to President Donald Trump’s election and blames “racism” for opposition to President Barack Obama’s policies. Rhodes seems to count on readers who “know nothing.” And his rage only corroborates the view that progressive elites “foment acrimony” and “sow disorder.”

From the left: Blame the Culture War on Liberals

Liberals, not conservatives, are responsible for the culture wars, argues Kevin Drum at Jabberwocking. “Democrats have stoked the culture wars by getting more extreme on social issues, and Republicans have used this to successfully cleave away a segment of both the non-college white vote and, more recently, the non-college nonwhite vote.” GOPers have moved slightly right on social issues these past two decades, but “the Democratic Party has been pulled far enough left that even lots of non-crazy people find us just plain scary.” Conservatives can appear like the “culture-warmongers” because “ ‘losing’ the customs and hierarchies that they’ve long lived with” leads to “more outrageous behavior from conservatives, even though liberals are actually the ur-source of polarization.”

Conservative: Cancel Culture Killed Comedy

Banning offensive comedy increasingly makes us “a society unable to take a joke — or even tell one,” laments The Federalist’s Christopher Bedford. “Real humor requires risk-taking — it requires saying something that will surprise and, sometimes, appall the listener.” Yet too often now, “telling the wrong joke — or even simply laughing at one — is a quick way to destroy your life.” Humor that made fun of everyone’s weaknesses and pride unified the audience; today’s is “a world where joy and laughter are sinister and suspicious acts, where every private word could be the fodder for a cancellation frenzy.” Since “we can’t speak a lot of troublesome truths without a joke attached, unless we want to make a lot of enemies,” it’s no surprise that “the same people who are trying to divide us by race and sex don’t want us to bond over a good joke any longer.”

From the right: Hannah-Jones’ Latest Con

“Congratulations to Nikole Hannah-Jones for parlaying the intellectual imposture of the 1619 Project into a job for life,” snarks Spectator World’s Dominic Green. Howard University hired her “as a professor in race and journalism” — fields “rife with dubious standards and historic embarrassments, so she should fit right in.” Some “object to allowing a mountebank like Hannah-Jones onto the verdant lawns” of the academy, citing “academic standards, as if they still exist.” But now the “liberal arts are neither liberal nor artistic”; they’re “illiberal and imaginatively barren.” Indeed, the “academy promotes mediocrity and false history, and trades in credentials when it should be teaching the spirit of enquiry.” Perhaps it’s “heartening that, after the horrors of slavery and the disgraces of Jim Crow, historically black parents get to buy into the same hustle as historically white parents.”

Gadfly: Gotham’s Reality Check for Lefties

“The notion of a centrist, tough-on-crime mayor replacing” Mayor de Blasio “sounds good,” cheers National Review’s Jim Geraghty in response to Eric Adams’ win in the city’s Democratic primary. Of course, “it remains to be seen whether Adams” has the Rudy Giuliani-level courage “to exchange short-term unpopularity for long-term improvement in the city’s streets.” Yet Adams’ victory signals that rank-and-file Dems are reckoning with the grim results of anti-police ideological hysteria. “The Democratic Party’s conventional wisdom on ‘defunding the police’ has switched so intensely, so quickly, that Biden advisers are implausibly claiming Republicans are the ones trying to ‘defund the police’ because they voted against a past Democratic spending bill.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board


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