(EDITORS: This is Maggie Gallagher's final column.)A few days ago, going through some memorabilia of my mother's, I found the original promotional material for this syndicated column, launched in 1993. I was billed as "A New Conservative Voice for Young Women!"More than 17 years ago, I set out to explain how a Yale-educated young woman from a secular Oregon family could become a social conservative:Every life is precious. It is better to care for your children than to kill them. Divorce hurts children; it also breaks apart life's most precious commitment -- a family. ... More »THIS I BELIEVE: A FAREWELL TO OPTIMISM
Opinion - Maggie Gallagher
When the press reported that Adam Lanza had Asperger's syndrome (part of the autism spectrum disorders) and other unspecified personality problems, the autism community swung into action in a way that is totally understandable. The Associated Press' headline: "Experts: No Link Between Asperger's, Violence."The vast majority of autistic people are not violent. Autistics like Temple Grandin, the professor who helped create humane strategies for the meat industry, remind us that many people with high-functioning also go on to live full, rich lives of value to themselves and others. ... More »WHEN SCIENCE DOESN'T COUNT
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but a serious case is now being made that our beloved Constitution gives us the right to have sex with donkeys.First, the lawyers:Over at Volokh.com, Northwestern law professor Eugene Kontorovich argues, "Bestiality is private sexual conduct and thus prima facie requires a very good justification to regulate. ... Insisting that bestiality bans simply regulate animal welfare is insufficient. Those regulations do not typically intrude on protected interests."Bestiality bans regulate human sexual expression. ... More »DONKEY LOVE
Have you noticed how much of Hollywood is preoccupied with thoughts of God? "Life of Pi" is the latest example of a movie with essentially religious themes.Artists in a postmodern culture are thinking about the relationship between story and truth. Even the movie "Lincoln" is organized around the idea that false narratives can serve the greater good in politics. When the people are bad, the politician must lie or mislead to serve the good. ... More »HOLLYWOOD SEARCHES FOR GOD
And so it begins, like clockwork.After an election defeat of significant proportions for the "truce strategy," GOP elites appear prepared to double-down on kicking out the social issues.This week, Karl Rove appeared on stage in Naples, Fla., with James Carville in a rather dramatic jousting over the meaning of the across-the-board rejection of the Republican brand this election cycle. ... More »IT'S THE MIDDLE CLASS, STUPID
There is no point in spinning -- conservatives need to face honestly what this election means.A first take: Gov. Mitt Romney tried to win while leaning on only one leg of the old Reagan coalition: jobs, jobs, jobs, economy, economy, economy. Against a president with a poor record on the economy, he lost.The Mitch Daniels "truce" strategy on social issues is a clear loser in this election. The Reagan coalition, which honestly may not be the pathway to victory moving forward, had three legs: values issues, national defense and economic growth. ... More »WHAT THIS ELECTION MEANS
The latest polls in the conventional swing states show a close race, with neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama clearly ahead. Yet they also show a surprising number of formerly solid blue states now within Romney's reach.The rust belt is creakily swinging, according to new polls in Wisconsin, Michigan and even Pennsylvania, where a Franklin and Marshall poll released on Halloween has Obama up by just 4 points, within the margin of error, and under 50 percent.But what surprised me the most are the new polls from Minnesota and Oregon (my home state). ... More »WHY I'M VOTING FOR THE MARYLAND DREAM ACT
Dinesh D'Souza's documentary, "2016: Obama's America," has grossed $33 million, making him one of the all-time best-selling documentary filmmakers. D'Souza stepped down from the presidency of King's College in Manhattan after admitting he got engaged to a woman before divorcing his wife of 20 years.We know these facts from D'Souza himself: Three months ago, he met a 28-year-old woman. On Sept. 28, he introduced her at a conference as his fiancee. He did not file for divorce from his wife of 20 years until Oct 4. ... More »LOVE, DEATH AND DINESH D'SOUZA
This week I gave a talk at Morgan State University on gay marriage.At the end of our panel, Kieffer Mitchell, a Maryland state legislator who voted for gay marriage, said he was grateful for the civility of the panel, that he knew good people who were on both sides of the issue, even people in his own family.That's one America. That's the America both he and I want to live in.But after the debate was over, an audience member was not satisfied with that ending. She stood up and pronounced an anathema on me.A gay reporter who identified the woman as the Rev. ... More »STIGMA AND CIVILIZATION
In her new book, "The End of Men," Hanna Rosin says we are on the verge of matriarchy.Rosin doesn't exactly celebrate the demise of men, but she is puzzled by men's reluctance to let go of old gender roles: "The women take on new roles with gusto, while the men take them on only reluctantly."It happens even in the upper classes. Steven, for example, is a househusband for his legal-eagle wife -- at least for now, while he goes to law school. "Hey if you want to win, you put your best batter on the plate," Steven says. ... More »THE END OF MEN?
Patrick McMahon is an Air Force combat veteran and nurse practitioner who worked as a transplant coordinator.In a new bombshell lawsuit, McMahon claims he was fired for raising one too many red flags about whether his patients were really dead before doctors harvested their organs.According to The New York Post, which broke the story, McMahon says that last September a 19-year-old man injured in a car crash was sent to the Nassau University Medical Center. The young patient was still laboring to breathe and had other signs of brain activity. ... More »HARVESTING LIVE DONORS?
Let me begin with a prediction: Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States.Why? Because I cannot believe the people of the United States will re-elect a sitting president who has spent so much of their money to achieve so little visible result. But polls are showing it's close, very close, and that Romney starts the fourth quarter slightly behind or dead even with a failed president. ... More »ROMNEY'S FUMBLES
My first honest reaction to the new memoir by recent Yale graduate Nathan Harden was shock.Not shock at the sexual shenanigans he relates in "Sex and God at Yale," but shock that America is still so good a country that it can produce brilliant young men innocent enough to be capable of shock when exposed to a systematically degraded sexual culture. ... More »EROS AND CIVILIZATION AT YALE
How can they defend President Obama's record?For those of us who've been wondering, the first days of the Democratic convention are very revealing. They can't help themselves. On the very first day, the Democrats made it clear: The defense is not going to rest.Obama not only promised hope and change, they believe that he delivered. He remains the protector and savior of the American dream -- the anointed one.Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated: "There was no blueprint or how-to manual for fixing a global financial meltdown, an auto crisis, two wars and a Great Recession, all at the same time. ... More »OBAMA: THE DEFENSE DOES NOT REST
The future of the Republican Party was on display in Tampa, Fla., as the roll of speakers before Mitt Romney provided a preview of nomination battles in 2016 and beyond.Let's just say it: Paul Ryan hit it out of the park, delivering at long last what so many in the base have been hungering for: He didn't just attack -- he vivisected the Obama administration."I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power," Ryan said. "They've run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. ... More »2016: THE NEXT GOP GENERATION
Last week, a man with a master's degree from George Mason University, a gun and 50 rounds of ammo walked into the Family Research Council. When a building manager named Leo Johnson blocked his entry, he shot Leo in the arm.Leo Johnson wrestled the shooter to the ground, saving untold lives. The shooter then begged for mercy from the unarmed man, saying something like, "Don't shoot me. It was not about you. It was what this place stands for."In the shooter's backpack were 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, which he apparently planned to drop on the bodies of the many people he wanted to kill. ... More »POLITICS INTERFERING WITH D.C. HATE CRIMES LAW
Mitt Romney showed he's reaching not just for a win, but for a mandate.The elevation of Rep. Paul Ryan is a game changer because it is a conversation changer. His selection as veep nominee puts front and center the need to reign in the spending of a government that borrows 40 cents from China for every dollar it spends.But, to me, the most interesting thing about Ryan is the story of his hometown -- Janesville, Wisc. In Janesville lies Paul Ryan's beating heart. ... More »THE HEART OF PAUL RYAN
For 40 years, the academic left has taught that reality is socially constructed, preferably by the left for the left. But every once in a while, reality bites back in a big way. This week was one of those times.In mediaworld, abortion doctors are just noble people striving to protect the equal rights of women.In mediaworld, gay marriage activists are all ordinary loving couples who seek nothing more than to be left alone to snuggle as they choose, and opposing gay marriage is "controversial" for a business executive. ... More »UGLY BLACK BABIES AND THE LEFT
This is not a good week to be a journalist. Watching the massive 24/7 coverage of the massacre in Aurora, Colo., coverage that will only serve to inspire some future twisted male mind to seek infamy -- to die hated but not unnoticed -- one cannot help but be disgusted.As journalists, it's understood to be our duty to do things like call up a mother in San Diego to inform her that her son killed 12 people, all so we can then report endlessly on what her cryptic response means or did not mean.Airtime must be filled; an explanation must be found. ... More »THE LESSONS OF AURORA
The "veepstakes" speculation is in full swing:Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is signaling that if called, he will serve. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has his fan club. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman let slip to ABC News that he's being intensely vetted.With Virginia in play, popular Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is being mentioned.Ann Romney's seemingly offhand comment that a pro-life woman was under consideration to be Mitt Romney's running mate pulled in names like New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, South Carolina Gov. ... More »WHY MITT ROMNEY NEEDS MIKE HUCKABEE
(EDITORS: Maggie Gallagher will be taking next week off. Her column will resume on Wednesday, July 11.)What is college really worth?A lot of people are asking that question -- and it's the cover story of this month's Utne Reader magazine.My older son is 30, and my younger is 17. I'm hoping my two sons escape from the consequences of graduating into this terrible economy, which is going to dampen the value of not only a college degree, but of all those graduate degrees parents are paying for (and students are borrowing on) for decades to come. ... More »WHAT IS A COLLEGE DEGREE WORTH?
Does biology matter?The front page of The New York Times' business section reports on a new scientific breakthrough: a noninvasive blood test that can determine paternity while a child is still in the womb, as early as the eighth week of the pregnancy.In other words, as soon as a woman finds out she is pregnant, she can find out who the father is.The Times glowingly describes this new technology's many uses: "Men who clearly know they are the father might be more willing to support the woman financially and emotionally during the pregnancy. ... More »DOES BIOLOGY MATTER?
Do children raised by same-sex couples do just as well as children raised by married moms and dads? U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California's Proposition 8 in part on those grounds. The scientific evidence is so strong, he ruled, that only an irrational human being could imagine the ideal for a child was a mom and dad.This week a big hole was punched in Walker's storyline by a new study in the peer-review publication Social Science Journal. ... More »THE GAY MURPHY BROWN EFFECT
This week, the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear any more arguments on gay marriage.Appellate Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain's dissent was scathing: "Based on a two-judge majority's gross misapplication of Romer v. Evans, we have now declared that animus must have been the only conceivable motivation for a sovereign state to have remained committed to a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia," he said. Worse, the judge went on, the decision overrules the votes of 7 million Californians based on an interpretation of Romer v. ... More »DEBATING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
As I type, the House of Representatives is debating the future of civil rights: a girl's right to life itself. Is it OK to choose to destroy a healthy unborn child simply because you or your husband prefer a boy?Should it be legal in this country?The Constitution gives to Congress the power to enforce the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection by appropriate legislation. And this week, in a historic vote, the House is going to consider using that power to ban abortions based on gender. ... More »THE FUTURE CIVIL RIGHTS OF BABY GIRLS
Back in 2004, Thomas Frank wrote a famous book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?", in which he lamented working class white people's choices to vote their "values" rather than what -- in his not-so-humble opinion -- was in their "genuine" economic interests. Why didn't they identify as liberals and vote Democratic?Frank's book was the midwife of President Obama's infamous "clinging to guns and God" remark on April 11, 2008:"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. ... More »WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH MANHATTAN?
Just how bad a blunder was President Obama's forced gay marriage endorsement?Item: Manny Pacquiao, the world's greatest boxer, just came out against gay marriage. He now faces a nasty public campaign to vilify him, including false claims he advocated violence against gay people -- something both Pacquiao and the reporter who interviewed him deny.A shopping mall owner in Los Angeles has just banned Manny Pacquiao: "He is not welcome at The Grove. ... The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelinos and not a place for intolerance. ... More »PRESIDENT OBAMA'S GAY MARRIAGE GOOF
President Obama is apparently tired of pretending he opposes gay marriage. Good.Good, because lying to the American people is always wrong, and because now the American people will have a clear choice: a president who supports gay marriage, or a president who sides with the majority of the American people, including 61 percent of North Carolinians. I'm tired of pretending, too.Conservative elites, including those at Fox News, have shamefully kowtowed to the politically correct opinion on gay marriage.Some do so reluctantly because they have been cowed into believing defeat is inevitable. ... More »N.C. VOTE PROVES RUSH LIMBAUGH IS RIGHT ON MARRIAGE
A few years ago, beauty queen Carrie Prejean innocently answered a question about gay marriage with a polite "no." She was viciously personally attacked by Miss USA pageant judge Perez Hilton, who posted a video of himself cursing at her.Prejean was eventually stripped of her crown, and as for Perez Hilton? "I'd love to have him back," pageant owner Donald Trump once said. "I mean, I'd love to have him back" -- although he didn't actually do it.That was a seminal moment for American culture wars. ... More »DAN SAVAGE AND CARRIE PREJEAN
Sarah Palin was the first to recognize the problem: By participating in President Obama's signature education initiative, the Common Core Standards, Alaska would lose control over its own curriculum.On May 31, 2009, then-Gov. Palin announced Alaska would adopt a "watch and wait" attitude: "If this initiative produces useful results, Alaska will remain free to incorporate them," Gov. Palin said, adding that "high expectations are not always created by new, mandated federal standards written on paper. They are created in the home, the community and the classroom."Texas Gov. ... More »SARAH PALIN WAS A PROPHET ABOUT OBAMA'S EDUCATION TAKEOVER
The Democrats' war on women meme is failing.If you read between the lines of the April 17 poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, you can see it's President Obama, not Gov. Romney, who has reasons to fear a growing gender gap. (This may be why Obama disavowed the meme and slapped back Hilary Rosen's mean-girl words to Ann Romney.)The Pew poll shows Obama with a narrowing lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, down from a 12-point lead last month. ... More »THIS ELECTION IS DOG MEAT
Will chicks dig Mitt?Or did Republicans blow it by attacking President Obama's decision to impose intrusive new mandates on religious charities requiring the nuns of EWTN, a Catholic television network, to pay for insurance that provides abortion-inducing drugs and contraception to women?Team Obama would clearly like us to believe Republican attacks on Obamacare's mandates alienated women.Why let the facts get in the way of a narrative that steers Republicans clear of a winning message?That's the only thing this rational woman can conclude when I take a serious look at polling data. ... More »OBAMA'S HEAD-FAKE ON WOMEN
In the whole swirling political/media uproar over Trayvon Martin's shooting, only two things are indisputably clear: A 17-year-old boy is dead, and George Zimmerman shot him.Nothing we can do can bring Trayvon back. It's clear from all versions of this event that Trayvon did not deserve to die. It is not clear whether his death is a result of murder, manslaughter or what the law calls "justifiable homicide" -- a legal term for an intentional death that is not a criminal act. ... More »ARREST GEORGE ZIMMERMAN
The shocked look on CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin's face as he emerged from the Supreme Court's oral arguments over Obamacare was priceless:"This was a train wreck for the Obama administration," Toobin said Tuesday. "This law looks like it's going to be struck down. I'm telling you, all of the predictions, including mine, that the justices would not have a problem with this law, were wrong."By Wednesday, Toobin had upped the ante: "This still looks like a train wreck for the Obama administration, and it may also be a plane wreck. This entire law is now in serious trouble. ... More »THE LONG-AWAITED COMING OF A CONSERVATIVE COURT?
The Opera House in Seattle was the setting for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and the annual board meeting of his church of Starbucks.That's what it felt like -- what with the heart-stirring videos, the soulful songs of Grammy award-winning Esperanza Spalding, and a real Baptist preacher (Rev. Calvin Butts), not to mention free coffee and doughnuts.Jonathan Baker, head of the National Organization for Marriage's Corporate Fairness Project was there to ask if the board really approved the statement that gay marriage is "core to the Starbucks brand."Yes, Schultz said. ... More »DUMP STARBUCKS
All day this past Tuesday, I crisscrossed Mississippi on the Rick Bus, a Susan B. Anthony List-led independent effort to turn out Rick Santorum voters who care about life, marriage and religious liberty.On the long road from Jackson to Biloxi, I watched Fox News and CNN frame a victory for Mitt Romney in either Alabama or Mississippi, the end of Santorum and the coronation of Romney, proof-positive that he can win in the South and be embraced by the GOP core.Instead, Romney lost in both Alabama and Mississippi.Why?As predicted, Gingrich and Santorum divided the anti-Romney vote. ... More »IS ROMNEY ELECTABLE?
It was a bad night for Mitt Romney.Don't kid yourself, Romney supporters. The mixed vote on Super Tuesday is a profound setback for the fragile front-runner.I spoke on Tuesday afternoon with a dear friend who is a key Romney supporter. The point of the call was to talk to me about consolidating the conservative support for Romney after Super Tuesday.The premise was that Rick Santorum would lose Tennessee, Ohio and North Dakota, and as a good man -- and a tired candidate -- would be about to drop out of the race Wednesday morning.Wow, did Team Romney get that wrong. ... More »THE ANTI-ROMNEY VOTE
Let's take a break from politics to ask the burning question: How did Karen Santorum and Ann Romney get so lucky?Just who are the happiest wives in America?According to a new report by the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project, "When Baby Makes Three," the surprising answer is: women who attend church at least weekly with their husband and have four or more children.Women like Mrs. Romney and Mrs. Santorum, in other words. ... More »THE HAPPIEST WIVES IN AMERICA
According to a just released Fox News poll, 96 percent of American voters feel thankful this Thanksgiving -- 79 percent of us tell a pollster we feel "very thankful."That's good news. According to a raft of new empirical studies in the discipline of "positive psychology," gratitude is good for you.Take, for example, a study by Hofstra professor Jeffrey J. Froh and colleagues that appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies. ... More »GRATITUDE: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS
Former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Sears (on the short list for Obama appointments to the Supreme Court) and family relations professor William Doherty have teamed up to produce what they call, without irony, a modest proposal to reduce "unnecessary divorce": the Second Chances Act (americanvalues.org/secondchances/). The Second Chances Act is a brilliant piece of work by two of the nation's leading pro-marriage liberals. ... More »A MODEST PROPOSAL TO REDUCE UNNECESSARY DIVORCE
At the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., last weekend, a respected Baptist pastor from Texas, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, introduced Gov. Rick Perry."Do we want ... a candidate who is a good moral person or one who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?" Then he upped the ante, responding to the press:"In my estimation Mormonism is a cult, and it would give credence to a cult to have a Mormon candidate," Jeffress said. "Every true born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian."A kerfuffle ensued, egged on by the media. ... More »WHEN FAITH AND VALUES COLLIDE
Herman Cain's star is rising. The unexpected Florida straw poll smash victory by Cain has led to voters taking a second look at the former pizza entrepreneur.A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Cain has risen into a tie for second place with the falling Rick Perry -- each claiming a 16 percent share of GOP voters.A solid 25 percent of GOP voters just like Gov. Mitt Romney. He seems to have a solid base that neither rises nor falls.The other 75 percent of GOP voters are in search of a candidate with whom to fall in love. And surely there's a lot to love about Herman Cain. ... More »THE CASE AGAINST RAISING CAIN
The goal of the APP Palmetto Freedom Forum on Monday in Columbia, S.C., was a different kind of debate that would break new ground.Boy, did it succeed.Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Congressman Steve King of Iowa and the founder of the American Principles Project, Princeton professor Robert George, asked the questions. (Full disclosure: Professor George is also the founding chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, which I co-founded). ... More »A NEW KIND OF PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
What lessons can we learn from Anthony Weiner's demise?This is America. After the high and mighty have undergone a fall, we need an Oprah moment -- a lesson to be learned, an affirmation of the underlying moral law, along with a whiff of redemption.Moreover, as a practical matter, men in elected office need to know in advance what they can and cannot do and still keep their high office. What are the current sexual rules?A whole lot of people are now trying to figure that one out. ... More »THE WEINER RULE
Anthony Weiner's escapades infuse a whole new meaning into one of my favorite words from the movie "Bambi": twitterpated."Why are they acting that way?" Thumper asks."Why, don't you know?" answers Friend Owl. "They're twitterpated. ... Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. ... ... More »THE SHOCKING THING ABOUT SEX SCANDALS: WE'RE SHOCKED
Steven Tyler, leader of the megaband Aerosmith since the '70s, is now the star judge of "American Idol"; Tyler's new memoir is No. 2 on The New York Times' best-seller list.From the distance of 40 years, Tyler remembers and writes in his memoir about the abortion he caused a 16-year-old girl: "You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. ... More »ABORTING STEVEN TYLER'S BABY
With Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels out of the race, is a Huntsman boomlet brewing? There is no shortage of voices willing to say so, including Jon Huntsman."I think the opening is to our advantage," the former Utah governor told Politico. "How many reform-minded governors are there left who are going to take a very fiscally conservative approach to problem-solving?"Daniels had a strong appeal to fiscal conservatives, but his "truce talk" added a special appeal to that subset of fiscal conservatives actively motivated to stick it to social conservatives. ... More »CAN JON HUNTSMAN STEP INTO MITCH DANIELS' SHOES?
Every two hours, a teenager in America takes his or her own life. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth, and the rate of teen suicide has roughly tripled since 1960, the year I was born. The heightened risk of suicide among gay teens has recently pulled the issue into the national spotlight, especially the "It Gets Better" campaign initiated by Dan Savage, but the rates for all teens are astonishingly high. ... More »IS HIGH SCHOOL BAD FOR TEENS' MENTAL HEALTH?
Is marriage bad for your mental health? Fox News expert Dr. Keith Ablow says so. He lauds Cameron Diaz's claim that marriage is a "dying institution," and goes on to say that in his clinical judgment "marriage is (as it has been for decades now) a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people."The vast majority?Dr. Ablow further asserts, "without a doubt" (and also without evidence), that marriage is "one of the leading causes of major depression in the nation," and points to marriage's status as a legal union as a key cause. ... More »DR. KEITH ABLOW-ING IN THE WIND ON MARRIAGE?
What happened this past Monday in the fight to defend marriage was one of those moments that reveal the character of a man, a movement and perhaps a country.It's a story that displays one man's courage, a law firm's cravenness, and a movement's will to power.The drama unfolded in the space of just a few hours.Just 24 hours after the Human Rights Campaign openly announced an effort to harass and punish law firm King and Spalding for permitting one of its lawyers, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, to take on the U.S. ... More »PAUL CLEMENT'S COURAGE, A LAW FIRM'S COWARDICE AND A MOVEMENT'S WILL TO POWER
This week, House Speaker John Boehner came out swinging with two announcements: Former Solicitor General Paul Clement would represent the House in its effort to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and the Justice Department should pay for it.Two swings, two home runs. The Defense of Marriage Act does two things: It defines marriage for the purpose of federal law as the union of one man and one woman, and it clarifies that states do not have to recognize any other form of marriage if they do not want to. ... More »ON DEFENDING DOMA, SPEAKER BOEHNER HITS A HOME RUN, OR TWO
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher's foundation, the Demi and Ashton (or DNA) Foundation, is dedicated to combatting sex slavery around the world.This week the two superstars announced a new social media campaign: "Real Men Don't Buy Girls." Visit the website's "News" section, where a series of somewhat comical ads feature studly celebrities who illustrate truths about what "real men" do and don't do, with voice-overs from the same guy who appears in the famous Old Spice commercialsThere's a theory behind the ad campaign, known as "demand reduction. ... More »REAL MEN DON'T BUY GIRLS
The arguments for gay marriage get ever stranger: This week in Indiana, Jill Cook, an executive from engine-maker Cummins Inc., testified that a proposed state marriage amendment "jeopardizes our ability to be competitive in global markets." I hope Cook was not testifying under oath, because that's an amazing whopper of a claim, and one that we are hearing more and more often.In Rhode Island, newly elected Gov. Lincoln Chafee actually touts gay marriage as key to his economic development plan for Rhode Island. ... More »IS GAY MARRIAGE AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN?
Last month, facing the problem of Muslim assimilation, British Prime Minister David Cameron denounced multiculturalism and called for a new "muscular liberalism" as the basis for a shared national identity.Applauding conservatives, beware.For Cameron's new liberal muscles were pumped this week at Owen and Eunice Johns, whose religious objections to homosexuality were used to bar them from becoming foster parents. ... More »THE LAUNCH OF 'MUSCULAR LIBERALISM'
Shocking news: Virginity is on the rise in America.The source is sober, academic, practically irrefutable: the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Its latest analysis of the sex lives of Americans age 15 to 44 includes a startling finding: Virginity is increasing among teens and young adults in the U.S.Compared with data from the 2002 (National Survey of Family Growth), a higher percentage of males and females 15-24 in 2006-2008 have had no sexual contact with another person. ... More »VIRGINITY RISING
In refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, President Obama has just made a huge mistake -- a telling mistake that demonstrates what a hard-left bubble he must now be in.President Obama's nearly unprecedented decision, based on very weak legal logic, to refuse to defend DOMA will backfire, both tactically and politically. Let's take the politics first.Even as gay marriage advocates lose battle after battle in actual elections, they feed into the media a consistent message of despair: Their victory is inevitable. ... More »THANK PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR HIS DOMA DISASTER
After same-sex marriage, what next?Many people are tired of the culture war. They'd like to throw in the towel and go back to "normal." There's only one problem: The culture war will always be ongoing because the left is never going to stop waging it. You can never "give in" and be done with it -- they will simply move on to the next item.We have seen how this process works on "sexual orientation." Just a few short years ago, an America like today would have been a barely imaginable utopia of tolerance. But that was so last decade. ... More »THE LEFT'S ENDLESS CULTURE WAR
Mitch Daniels is a mensch.For those of you who've never lived in New York, that's Yiddish for a "standup guy," or as the Coen brothers put it in their 2009 movie, "A Serious Man."At CPAC last week, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels gave a deadly serious -- and deeply moving -- call to solve the nation's gravest domestic problem: the mounting debt crisis that will crush our economy and destabilize our government unless we deal with it now."The American project," he told us, "is menaced by a survival-level threat. ... More »MITCH DANIELS AT CPAC: MENSCH OR SCHLEMIEL?
How core are social issues to American conservatism? What Would Ronald Reagan Think?At the Young America's Foundation's Reagan birthday celebration this week, Sarah Palin was asked to focus on Reagan's famous 1964 speech, "A Time for Choosing." In 1964, social issues did not exist. Abortion was illegal, and even liberals did not yet embrace sexual liberalism or the disintegration of the nuclear family. ... More »RONALD REAGAN: SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE?
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson downed Obamacare as unconstitutional. Congress, Judge Vinson ruled, has no power to require individuals to purchase health insurance. "Never before has Congress required that everyone buy a product from a private company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States."The liberal commentariat are shocked. "Blatant politics," Jonathan Cohn declared in The New Republic. ... More »MAKE THEM EAT BROCCOLI!
This week, on the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama said Roe "affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters."Sen. Rick Santorum meanwhile sparked a controversy saying abortion is a "civil rights" issue akin to slavery that President Obama should understand. He's right. Slavery was once considered a "private family matter" too -- a "domestic relationship" in which government had no right to interfere. ... More »IS ABORTION GOOD FOR GIRLS?
"I am not a hero," said Daniel Hernandez, one of the heroes of the Tucson shooting.He's the intern of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who ran toward the wounded, possibly helping to save his boss's life.That horrible day was full of wonderful Arizonan heroes, like the 74-year-old retired Army colonel, Bill Badger, who was shot in the head, and after some unknown man toppled the gunman with a chair, wrestled the shooter's gun arm to the ground and pinned him in a choke hold. "No, I don't consider myself a hero," Badger said. "I did what anybody would do. ... More »WHO ARE THE REAL HEROES TODAY?
A headline in Der Spiegel's online magazine reads: "Green Groups Try to Sex Up Climate Change."It's a fascinating analysis of how environmental groups are trying to restart a fickle public's interest in preventing global warming.The problem? Interest in global warming among regular voters in democracies has fallen off a cliff. "Environmentalists and scientists are concerned about the massive drop in public interest in the topic over the last year," the article states. ... More »THE TROUBLE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
Americans reach for a larger meaning in tragedy when possible.We hate the truth that the attempted murder of a congresswoman was likely a random act of madness.Because as frightening as some of the proposed explanations are, any explanation is better than no explanation; any explanation suggests a problem that could, potentially, be solved -- a future murder that we can avoid, rather than a problem that has no solution because it is rooted in insanity and evil, both of which test our capacity for explanation. ... More »DID SARAH PALIN MAKE HIM DO IT?
Christmas is the deadliest day of the year. After carefully analyzing all deaths between 1979 and 2004, David Phillips and his colleagues at the University of California, San Diego discovered you are 6 percent more likely to die on the day Christ was born than on any typical day of the year. And they don't know why.They considered stress, people postponing their deaths, emergency room overcrowding, winter travel, cold weather and substance abuse -- "none of which offered convincing evidence of driving the trend," according to the National Post. ... More »STUDIES SAY: CHRISTMAS KILLS, BUT NEW YEAR'S KILLS BABIES
Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find out I had been designated face No. 4 of the New Faces of the Christian Right by Newsweek magazine.Don't get me wrong, I'm flattered; still, as I told the reporter, "I don't object to the Christian right label, but it's not how I think of myself."I mean, I'm conservative and I'm Christian, of the Roman Catholic persuasion. But I became a political conservative in 1976 after reading "Atlas Shrugged," long before I or anybody at Newsweek had ever heard of Jerry Falwell. (I was a 16-year-old atheist at the time. ... More »AM I THE NEW FACE OF THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT?
For Charles Cooper, chief litigator for Proposition 8, the ultimate vindication will come when five U.S. Supreme Court justices overturn U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's decision. Judge Walker is the San Francisco judge who took it upon himself to rule that 7 million Californians had no right to vote for Prop 8 -- gay marriage, he ruled, is required by the U.S. Constitution. Chuck Cooper 1, Ted Olson 0. That's the only score Cooper cares about.While Ted Olson and David Boies bask in the glow from fawning media, Cooper has kept a much lower profile. ... More »THE VINDICATION OF CHUCK COOPER
According to recent census data, marriage has hit new lows and cohabitation has hit new highs.The Associated Press reports: "The recession took a dramatic toll on the institution of marriage in America last year, new figures show, with weddings for people 18 and older at the lowest ebb in over a hundred years." Just 52 percent of adults said they were married in 2009, compared to 57 percent in 2000. For the first time in American history the proportion of adults age 25 to 34 who say they have never married (46.3 percent) is larger than the share who say they are married (44.9 percent). ... More »WHY DO WOMEN COHABIT WITH UNEMPLOYED MEN?
The story I'm about to tell you is about a man, two women and a baby. You might call this story "Why Having a Baby With a Dude You Met on Craigslist Is a Bad Idea." These folks could be heterosexuals, but as it happens all the adults involved are gay.According to ABC News, "Karen," a 40-year-old Los Angeles writer, decided to have a baby (she later found a lesbian partner, but that's another story). She did what any right-thinking American with a profound desire for a baby would do: First she asked all her guy friends if they would father her child. When that failed, she turned to Craigslist. ... More »THICKER THAN WATER
Another GOP political earthquake: Christine O'Donnell beat Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat, fair and square.The results shocked everyone, especially the GOP establishment. "Dark horse" does not begin to describe how inconceivably unlikely O'Donnell's bid appeared to all of us, just a few months back. I myself spoke at a panel in Pennsylvania last spring, and Christine O'Donnell was just a face in the audience. She introduced herself and said she was running for the Senate against Castle. The idea she might beat him never crossed my mind. ... More »NOTES FROM ELECTION NIGHT
I have a message for Pastor Terry Jones, who has promised to publicly burn a Quran on Sept. 11: Just don't do it.Rights are important. Constitutional rights to free expression are critical. But some things are more important than rights, and one of them is to do the right thing.Burning a Quran on Sept. 11 is not a religious act, it is certainly not a Christian one. "Put away your sword," as the Master pointed out. "Those who use the sword will die by the sword."Worse, in this case, they may cause innocents to die. ... More »BURN THE QURAN? IT'S UN-CHRISTIAN
Under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the United States for the first time joined the U.N.'s Human Rights Council. The U.S. has long steered clear of this council, reluctant to participate in a "human rights" body that despots like Syria and Libya routinely chair.But Obama brought the U.S. under the council's jurisdiction, and this week his administration submitted for the first time a review of the human rights situation in the U.S. to the council. Many have criticized it for sounding too apologetic about Americans' human rights record. ... More »A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT TO OBAMACARE?
After Saturday's massive Glenn Beck rally on the Mall, the pundit class is scratching their heads and asking, "What exactly was that?!"The always interesting conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote he had underestimated Glenn Beck: "(T)he crowded Mall was nearly free of political signs and T-shirt slogans. ... Instead, Beck served up something considerably stranger. This was a tent revival crossed with a pep rally intertwined with a history lecture married to a U.S.O. telethon -- and that was just in the first hour. ... More »WHAT THE HECK IS GLENN BECK UP TO?
This week, two things happened in the gay marriage wars: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay overruling U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to permit gay marriages to take place immediately, before higher courts have a chance to review his unprecedented ruling.And a new poll released by Public Policy Polling shows that Americans continue to oppose gay marriage by an almost 2-to-1 margin. ... More »CHUCK COOPER STRIKES BACK
What do we make of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that overturned Proposition 8 -- approved by California's voters (twice!) and defining marriage as one man and one woman? This morning, an odd trio of congressional Republicans, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, Rep. Steve King of Iowa and the indefatigable Rep. Michelle Bachman of Minnesota, introduced a resolution condemning Walker's ruling, which tossed out the votes of 7 million Californians and inserted gay marriage into the heart of our Constitution.Smith, while conservative, has not been a brickthrower. ... More »JUDGE WALKER'S TYRANNY AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY