From the right: Dems Sacrificing Sanity on Kavanaugh
Now that Democrats, through their own lack of foresight, can no longer block President Trump’s “overqualified” Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, by demanding a supermajority for confirmation, Commentary’s Noah Rothman says they’re left with just one option: Radicalize their voters. So they’ve “chosen to slither through the left’s most fetid fever swamps” by claiming Kavanaugh was named only because he is most likely to shield Trump from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It’s a “bizarre claim” based on a law review article he wrote questioning whether a sitting president can be indicted that was entirely consistent with what Bill Clinton’s Justice Department concluded. Democrats are not only “cultivating a fanatical base,” they’re “sacrificing sanity in the process.” It’s a tradeoff they’ll “one day soon regret.”
Foreign desk: Croatia’s World Cup Success No Fluke
Croatia has made it into Sunday’s final in one of the biggest World Cup surprises in memory. But Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky suggests it’s really not all that surprising: In Croatia, “soccer is more than a game. It’s fed a war [and] the nation-building that followed.” A May 1990 riot in the middle of one emotionally charged game was, to many Croatians, “the beginning of the war that established their country as a separate state.” Indeed, the late nationalist leader Franjo Tudjman “used the soccer fan organizations’ radicalism to drive his message, and soccer itself to acquire legitimacy, for an increasingly independent Croatia.” And while “this may be the last war for a while that the national squad is winning,” the “memories of the time when soccer was more than a game still live.”
Ex-envoy: NATO Needs a Strategic Reset
As expected, President Trump spent the NATO summit lambasting US allies for not spending enough on defense. But former UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad at The National Interest says Trump’s “criticisms are justified: NATO must reform; it is not sustainable in its present form.” Fact is, NATO “is ill-structured, ill-equipped and ill-financed to deal with the European region’s two major security problems — an aggressive Russia and the spillover of instability and terrorism from the Middle East and North Africa.” Worse still, “some members” — like Germany — “can even be said to have enabled the threat.” So “the terms of the partnership must be renegotiated and its common ground redefined.” And we must “deliver the hard message that the future of the US commitment” is “contingent on European performance.”
Culture critic: Drop the Affirmative Action Euphemisms
For all the debate over the future of Roe v. Wade, The Washington Post’s Megan McArdle suggests another landmark case “is apt to trouble the court in coming years”: the 1978 Bakke decision that banned explicit quotas in college admissions, while permitting the use of race as a “plus factor.” This case is “the reason discussions about racial preferences are so fraught and oftentimes so confused.” Because we say “plus factors” when we mean “lowering the qualifying standards for black and Latino students” and “diversity” when “we’re really trying to right past and present wrongs.” Now this code is “breaking down in a more diverse United States where at least some groups outperform their privileged white neighbors in educational attainment.” It’s a difficult path, but “it will be much easier to navigate without a fog of euphemism” clouding the view.
Political scribe: Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ Goes Overboard
America’s cherished right of free speech “has a dark side, one that some politicians and prominent figures on the left are irresponsibly stoking of late,” laments Peter Roff at Newsweek. Go back to the Obama and Clinton years, he says, “and you won’t be able to find many or even any examples of political activists chasing down presidential appointees in shopping malls, harassing them at their homes [and] confronting them in restaurants.” But you “cannot say the same for Trump resistors,” and what they’re doing is “over the line.” Worse, “it’s not going to be long before this gets out of control and someone gets hurt.” Indeed, someone already has: Rep. Steve Scalise, gunned down at a congressional baseball game by a Trump-hater.