Elizabeth Warren’s missed opportunity and other commentary
Eye on 2020: Warren’s Missed Opportunity
The Atlantic’s Russell Berman spotlights something Elizabeth Warren “rarely — if ever — mentions” on the campaign trail: For the “entire formative period of her adult life,” she was a Republican who “championed free markets” and “regularly took the side of corporations over consumers” well into her career as a law professor. But why doesn’t she make that history “a central part of the story she tells voters”? Her account of turning left because “the research” took her to “a totally different place” politically could help her reach GOP voters. Maybe it’s the debacle of her “claim of Native American ancestry” that leaves her reluctant to talk about “major parts of her past.”
Foreign beat: Why Iran Came Clean
Iran’s admission that it “mistakenly shot down” a Ukrainian passenger jet points to bad news for “regimes that rely on manipulation, lies and terror,” Michael Bociurkiw observes at CNN. After days of “repeated denials,” on Friday the regime made the “startling admission” — because it couldn’t explain away “crowd-sourced video footage, intrepid reporting, crash scene photos and open-source flight tracking” that proved it was lying — unlike Russia, which is still denying the truth about its responsibility for the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Air flight over Ukraine. But don’t take Tehran’s “newfound honesty” as a sign of real change: With no hope of maintaining the lie, it’s just trying to “project a more human face” on an inhuman order.
Impeach watch: How Pelosi Defeated Herself
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that she would wait until this week to send impeachment articles to the Senate — a strategy, Jonathan Turley writes at The Hill, that “could jeopardize not just any trial” but also “the rules governing impeachment.” Now “if the Senate agrees to the Democratic demand for witnesses, it invites future rush impeachments where the House sends woefully incomplete and inadequate cases and demands witnesses it never bothered to subpoena.” The Senate’s best move: “Give the House a set trial schedule” of three weeks. And that doesn’t allow for testimony of the desired witnesses, “they will not be called and the Senate will proceed to its verdict. In that way, future Houses are now on notice that it is in their interest to complete their records before sending an impeachment to the Senate.”
Conservative: Sir Roger Scruton, RIP
Sir Roger Scruton, the British philosopher who died Sunday at 75, “showed great moral courage throughout his career, swimming against the intellectual tide of his time regardless of the deprecation, insult, denunciation and even hatred directed at him,” mourns Theodore Dalrymple at City Journal. When Scruton began to gain fame, “much of the intelligentsia refused to believe that a highly gifted and knowledgeable man could also be a conservative.” His work on topics from Kant and Spinoza to wine and music and animal rights to operas and novels was “so broad-ranging that the term Renaissance Man seems hardly inappropriate.” He was “much in favor of Brexit but was far from a small-minded isolationist,” and “he was revered in several Eastern European countries where, with others, and at some risk to himself, he helped keep alive the hopes of dissident intellectuals.” Rest in peace.
Religion beat: Benedict XVI Takes a Stand
“As soon as it was announced that Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah had published a book defending priestly celibacy,” sighs First Things’ Matthew Schmitz, “they were accused of attacking Pope Francis.” In fact, the retired German pontiff and his co-author wrote “in a spirit of filial obedience to Pope Francis,” as the pair put it. It’s all too “sobering,” says Schmitz, that the pope’s self-proclaimed defenders see “any clear affirmation of orthodoxy” as “a challenge to the authority” of Francis. But liberals constantly “seek occasions to signal their eagerness for the church to cast off its sexual teaching, its discipline on celibacy and anything else that offends” the modern world’s “post-Christian sensibility.” Against this pressure, Benedict’s stand for the ancient rule against married priests “is a sign that the church refuses to follow the logic of this world.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board