The Gun Party Crazies

. Talking Points Memo has a piece today about how “The White House Just Set Gun Rights Activists Ablaze.” Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported the gun violence task force led by Vice President Biden is considering gun legislation “far broader and more comprehensive…than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition.” …. […]

J Street on Its Own Terms

. This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner, June 28, 2012. It is easy enough to criticize J Street from a conservative perspective, which, given developments since the failure of Oslo and the second Intifada, is the perspective that now predominates among pro-Israel voices. From that perspective, the very identification of J Street as a […]

JBS Then = GOP Today

Glenn Beck? He’d have to be more histrionic. Rush Limbaugh? More the buffoon. What about Ron Paul, then, who came in first in last week’s CPAC Presidential Straw Poll, with 30%. Here, in 1974, is Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, which once was synonymous with right wing extremism and rejected by respectable […]

CineFile: Mothers, Sons, & Political Paranoia

In the 1950s there really was a communist threat. It just wasn’t in the United States, even though there were surely many more American communist supporters and sympathizers then than there are Americans today who are supporters of any form of Islamism. Even then Joe McCarthy claimed that there were communists in the Pentagon, and […]

The Face of Things to Come?

Given tomorrow’s well-predicted outcome, let’s sharpen our focus, all extraneous considerations aside. Historian Sean Wilentz a couple of weeks ago gave us this essential consideration of Elmer Gantry Father Coughlin Lonesome Rhodes Glenn Beck’s extracted essence of John Birch Society and the lesser known Willard Skousen. Much to his own credit, Ron Radosh conservatively gave […]