Roger Kimball

The people should decide on Donald Trump, not the courts

In a big victory for democracy, but a big blow to the partisans of ‘Our Democracy™’, the Supreme Court of the United States just reversed the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court, which had determined that Donald Trump could not appear on the ballot for president in that state.  A coven of anti-Trump activists, desperate to

Trump’s big Iowa win spells the end for Ron DeSantis

Until now, the person who won the Iowa caucus by the largest margin was Bob Dole back in 1988 – by 12 points. A ray of hope that the Nikki Haley contingent and the Ron DeSantis faction harboured was that even though Trump was likely to win, perhaps he wouldn’t win convincingly. An achievement they understood — history

What’s going on in the Republican party?

23 min listen

Freddy speaks to Roger Kimball, editor of the New Criterion and columnist for The Spectator’s US edition. After Kevin McCarthy was ousted as speaker of the House this week, they discuss why the Republican party is such a mess. 

Joe Biden has become a global embarrassment

What time is it? A bit like the emperor Domitian, Joe Biden seems confused about the time. Warned by an omen that his death would come at midday, Domitian daily pestered people around him with that question, relaxing only after the dreaded hour had passed.  Alas, his caution availed him not. One day in September 96

Trump’s interview blows the Republican debate away

One of the reasons that Donald Trump is so despised by the beautiful people of America – the people that the New York Times columnist David Brooks memorably evoked when he began a tweet ‘We in the educated class…’ – is that he consorts with so many unbeautiful people: not just working stiffs but B-list entertainers, Nascar

What went wrong for Ron DeSantis?

30 min listen

Freddy is joined this week by Roger Kimball, editor of the New Criterion to talk about the diminishing power of Ron DeSantis. It wasn’t so long ago he looked like a serious challenger that could beat Donald Trump to the Republican nomination. Where did it all go wrong?

Twitter troubles weren’t the only problem with DeSantis’s launch

Free tickets to Disney World: maybe that’s what Ron the aspiring Don should give to the clever staffer who thought of having him announce his candidacy for POTUS on Twitter Spaces.  It was only the official announcement, of course. But having him unfold the bulletin on Twitter Spaces, in an unscripted chat with Elon Musk, was supposed to

What to drink at Thanksgiving

This is a tricky column. It’s still hot and humid where I am, which inclines me to tell you about some summer wines. But you won’t be reading this until just before Thanksgiving, which means something robust and cockle warming is in order. A fork in the road rises up before me. Which path should

The Republicans will come for the FBI after the midterms

As one commentator noted, Tuesday’s red wave in the midterm elections is going to be like the red elevator scene in The Shining. I had to look that one up but, yep, it seems like an appropriate metaphor for what is about to happen. Some hapless scribe called Emily Oster recently wrote an article for the Atlantic called ‘Let’s declare

Roger Scruton’s philosophy of wine

The philosopher Roger Scruton died in January 2020 just a few weeks shy of his 76th birthday. He left behind a large circle of admirers and a correspondingly large shelf of books in a variety of genres – novels, opera libretti, volumes of occasional journalism, cultural and architectural criticism, and various philosophical works, popular as

Christopher Steele – the spy who loved himself

Delicious. Christopher Steele, the single most discredited actor in the entire Trump-Russia collusion nonsense, is set to be interviewed on Monday by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the single most pompous of all the brood of lying, self-important American talking heads. I know that there is stiff competition for that first title. After all, Steele had to beat

The complicated history of English wine

Hugh Johnson’s classic World Atlas of Wine, first published in the early 1970s, is now up to its eighth edition. My edition, the sixth, was published in 2007. It is 400 pages long and has exactly one page devoted to the wine of the United Kingdom. The latest edition is 16 pages longer but it, too,

Kamala invades Poland

You can tell that the Biden administration is getting serious. They have unleashed their ultimate weapon, cackle diplomacy. The warhead is nicknamed Harris, and it is now in Poland cackling away, endeavouring to assemble the high-level Pierogis before Russia flattens Kiev or Putin decides to go nuclear – and by ‘go nuclear’, alas, I mean ‘go

Is Joe Biden trying to make America poor again?

John Maynard Keynes is alleged to have said ‘When the facts change, I change my mind — what do you do, sir?’ I am no fan of Keynes generally, but there is something to be said for that pithy ‘second-thoughts’ comment. It pains me to admit it, but the president’s address to the joint session

Trump is right not to concede

I am happy to see that President Trump is acting on the maxim of the month: Don’t concede if you didn’t lose. Any other GOP president would be on the defensive now. ‘Yes, there was voter fraud, but, but, but…’ That dangerous conjunction is a fledging concession just waiting to spread its wings and fly.

Why are Trump voters more enthusiastic?

21 min listen

Freddy Gray is in America for the final week of the election campaign. The polls show Joe Biden is set to win the race by a clear margin, but his supporters are nowhere to be seen. Freddy asks Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of the New Criterion, why Trump voters are more enthusiastic.

The debate was no disaster for Biden — but Trump won

A couple of days ago, Paul Mirengoff observed that ‘Going back at least as far as Ronald Reagan, incumbent presidents have not done well in first debates.’ Was that true tonight? Yes and no. President Trump interrupted too often, he did not respond to Chris Wallace’s questions or Joe Biden’s assertions with the specificity that

There is no justice in looting

‘Never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish.’ We should dust off that old Jesuit adage in this season of American rioting. It may not be quite as mellifluous as ‘persistent perversity provokes the patient pedagogue to produce particularly painful punishment’, but it does suit the case. The death in Minneapolis of George Floyd at the hands

The real impeachment scandal

I am so glad that Nancy Pelosi has finally come to her senses and declared — on the floor of the House no less — that impeachment is ‘a hatchet job on the presidency’. Yes, that’s right. The House, said Pelosi, is ‘not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance’. Nicely

Trump’s re-election campaign never stopped

 New York The great ceremonial game of poll dancing is gearing up for its quadrennial orgy. Headlines across the fruited plain bark out numbers and percentages in mystic confabulation. Votaries sway back and forth as the modern magi of the press repeat the results of this contemporary incarnation of taking the auspices. Was any medieval