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R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and a New York Times best-selling author. He makes frequent appearances on national television and is a nationally syndicated columnist, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, The Washington Times, National Review, Harper's, Commentary, The (London) Spectator, Le Figaro (Paris) and elsewhere.

Articles by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

TYRRELL: The Taranto Principle vindicated again

The exposure of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as a hoaxer boasting of a nonexistent record of service in the Vietnam War is a splendid example of what is known as the Taranto Principle. Someday, the Taranto Principle will be taught in all the journalism schools, assuming one or two survive the present detumescence of journalism. Formulated by the inimitable Wall Street Journal editorialist James Taranto, the principle posits that when the liberal mainstream press indulges a liberal politician's deceits or fails to hold the politician accountable for his misbehavior, it encourages the politician to ascend to a higher level of misbehavior. Published May 21, 2010

TYRRELL: The Times Square surprise

As we read the news about this Pakistani jackal who admits to planning a cowardly assault on hundreds of innocent people in New York's Times Published May 7, 2010

TYRRELL: Liberals' vexation with reality

The liberals hate the middle class. There. I said it, and I am glad. Once again, I am a truth teller, in this case speaking truth to stone heads. So certain am I of the truth of my asseveration that I honestly doubt any liberal will take issue with me. Can you imagine a liberal coming forward and saying: "Wrong Tyrrell! I love the middle class." Well, I guess I can imagine it because liberals are effortless liars. Yet what specifically about the middle class might the liberals adduce to demonstrate their affection? The middle class' sobriety? Hard work? Love of country? Love of liberty? Published April 30, 2010

TYRRELL: Bill the Tea Party basher

Not so long ago, there arose on the American political scene something called the "angry left." It was an indignant group of ritualistic liberals whose appearance, the mainstream media apprised us, augured well for Democratic victory in 2008, and so it did. The angry left turned out the vote for the Prophet Obama. At the time, do you recall any public figure on the right stepping forward and warning against possible violence from the indignados of the angry left? Did, say, the Honorable Newt Gingrich step forward at a conservative forum, say the Heritage Foundation, and remind his fellow Americans of the bombings of government buildings, the burning of university libraries, the robbing of banks by angry leftists in years gone by? I cannot recall any such warnings from any conservative eminence. Published April 23, 2010

TYRRELL: After the hangover

Throughout my new book, "After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery," I posit a series of observations provoked by the liberal media's pronouncement after the 2008 elections that conservatism is dead. We conservatives have been hearing this claim on a regular basis since modern American conservatism's birth in the 1950s and even after the Reagan revolution reshaped mainstream American politics according to conservative values. Published April 20, 2010

TYRRELL: Liberal versus conservative

The pro-abortion lobby cannot be happy about a law that has just been passed and signed in faraway Nebraska. There anti-abortion forces must have clout. The law bans most abortions 20 weeks after conception on the basis of "fetal pain." Thus the Nebraskan pro-life advocates are saying that the suffering of a fetus is at least as important as the suffering of a chicken at a poultry processing plant or of a stray dog picked up by the animal control authorities. For liberalism this could mean still more liberal crack-up, as sympathizers for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other advocates of animal rights are put in the awkward position of contemplating the pain suffered by that biological inconvenience that civilized Americans still call a fetus. If they contemplate with sufficient intelligence, they might conclude that a fetus has rights. Published April 16, 2010

TYRRELL: Rhetorical attacks, or worse?

The increasing static in the air between Kabul and the White House brings to mind other dicey episodes in American diplomacy. Even dealing with allies can be tricky. Recall Charles de Gaulle. He was heartburn for five American presidents. Even Winston Churchill could be difficult, and he was half-American. He could be a trial for Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, particularly when the question of the British Empire and the future of its colonies was on the table. Published April 9, 2010

TYRRELL: Huffingtonian conservatives liberals just love

Washington - A major proposition that I advance in a book that will be published later this month, After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery, is that there exists an odious subgroup of conservatives who since the beginning of the conservative movement have made their way to prominence in the mainstream media by a cheap act. They disparage with great melodrama other conservatives. Liberals love it - and for a while love the disparagers. In the late 1990s Arianna Huffington exploited this instrument of self-promotion brazenly. For several years David Frum has been doing it haltingly, even timorously. However, in the last two weeks he has been pulling a Huffington with unusual boldness. Published April 1, 2010

TYRRELL: Worst book of the year

'Tis the time of award-giving in the great Republic. Soon the Pulitzer Prizes will be awarded, always at the risk of raising to eminence a plagiarist or literary fabricator. The Oscars have already been awarded, in their case at the risk of raising to eminence an arrant fool or likely felon. Now it again falls to me to announce the recommendation of the highly secretive J. Gordon Coogler Award for the Worst Book of the Year. This year, the Coogler Committee has recommended "True Compass," the autobiography of Edward M. Kennedy, which is for me problematic. Sen. Kennedy passed away on August 25, 2009. Published March 26, 2010

TYRRELL: Moving past Hillary

Historians will some day piece together precisely what happened in Jerusalem last week when Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. visited Israel to encourage renewed negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinians. Of a sudden, an announcement that Israel was proceeding with the construction of a small number of residential units - 1,600 in a section of Jerusalem with more than 400,000 inhabitants, roughly 181,500 Jewish and 229,000 Muslim - was interpreted as a slap in the face to the United States. Historians will have to decide whether this was an Israeli insult to Washington. Or was it a low-level bureaucratic announcement, long in the works, that assumed undue significance owing to Mr. Biden's visit? Or were partisan forces within Israel or perhaps within the Obama administration manipulating the story? Other possibilities can be conjured. Published March 18, 2010

TYRRELL: Fiddling with talk radio

There has been yet another eruption of violence from what our liberal friends a year or so ago were wont to call "the angry left." However, if you read The Washington Post, you might think this recent outburst of violence came from talk radio. Published March 12, 2010

TYRRELL: Tea Partiers and the 'angry left'

Whatever happened to the mainstream media's high regard for anger in politics? From roughly the midterm elections of 2006 through the presidential election of 2008, the "angry left" seemed to grow in stature with the media. Liberal pundits spoke of it with a hush of awe. By the election of the Prophet Obama, the angry left had acquired a hallowed public status similar to that of the muckraker or the consumerist, though no consumerist whom I have ever known has been agreeable company. Would you want to sit down to tea with, say, Ralph Nader? Certainly Ralph has never been known for his hearty laugh or elegant manners. Published March 5, 2010

TYRRELL: Hamid Karzai, Chicago Democrat

I am beginning to think of President Hamid Karzai as Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan Democrat. The way he inveighs against troops who are fighting to secure his government in that inhospitable realm sounds very much like Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, inveighing against our troops during the George W. Bush administration. Not only that, but now Mr. Karzai has arrogated for himself a formerly independent Afghan commission whose duty it was to monitor elections for fraud and other irregularities. Last week he signed a decree that henceforth will allow him rather than the United Nations to appoint officials to the Electoral Complaints Commission, which the United Nations set up in the aftermath of Mr. Karzai's rigged re-election. So maybe it would be more appropriate for me to think of him as Hamid Karzai, Chicago Democrat. Published February 25, 2010

TYRRELL: Biden takes on Cheney

This week, the Drudge Report gave emphasis to its lead headline that a CNN poll had found 52 percent of its respondents opposed to the re-election of President Obama by using the boldfaced screamer: "Shock." Who is shocked? The American people are a sensible lot. Frankly, I am not shocked. Published February 18, 2010

TYRRELL: Marketing to American men

In recent years when I have heard the ongoing dirge about the deficiencies of America's young men, I have had my doubts. The Army we have sent abroad to confront some of the most barbaric enemies Western civilization has ever faced is superb. Confronting savages, usually on their own soil, our forces have been professional to the utmost - the Wehrmacht but with democratic values. Withal, they are brave, spirited, manly. Published February 11, 2010

TYRRELL: Acts of the obnoxious

Irving Kristol, the recently deceased godfather of neoconservatism, once said to me, "Fairness is not a liberal value." I thought about his asseveration while observing the liberals' colossal indignation over conservative activist James O'Keefe's entry under false pretenses into the district offices of Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat. Mr. O'Keefe is the merry prankster who entered the offices of the left-wing Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) under the false pretense of being a pimp. Repeatedly, and in ACORN offices across the country, the ACORNiacs counseled this faux pimp on how to be a successful sex entrepreneur. He taped them. The tapes exposed ACORN for the criminal enterprise it has become. Mr. O'Keefe became a hero to some conservatives but a scoundrel to all liberals. Published February 4, 2010

TYRRELL: Savings accounts, not collectivism

Well, you might ask in the aftermath of the Democrats' unseemly frenzy to create a health care reform that restrains expenses and extends health care to those who need or want it, is there an alternative? Through all the Democrats' wheeling, dealing and spilling of red ink, sensible health care innovations have been available. They are modern reforms that have been hammered out in conservative think tanks over the years. Wherever they have been tried, they have shown promise. Yet during the Democrats' Capitol Hill revels, they have hardly been heard of. Allow me to suggest a modest health care alternative to what is commonly called the present Congress' health care monstrosity. Published January 28, 2010

TYRRELL: The lost liberals

With Scott Brown's election to the senatorial seat held by Edward M. Kennedy for 47 years, a few things are suddenly clear. Published January 22, 2010

TYRRELL: Tiger tanks

When I read the other day that lapsed golfer Tiger Woods' nationwide approval rating had fallen from 87 percent to 33 percent, the only conclusion I could draw was that he had been out campaigning for the Democrats' health care plan. According to an interesting piece on him in the current issue of Vanity Fair, the superb golfer now has a disapproval rating of 57 percent. Is this the consequence of his getting too close to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the glacial-faced Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi? No, apparently it is the consequence not of his associating with politicians, but of his living like one. His sex life has been exposed, and it is comparable to that of a particularly virulent germ. Published January 15, 2010

Sanctioning SEALs for Abed cover-up

The editor of the venerable conservative weekly Human Events is causing an admirable ruckus. Jed Babbin, once deputy undersecretary of Defense in the George H.W. Bush administration and now editor of the oldest conservative periodical in the land, is petitioning Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to dismiss charges against three Navy SEALs for purportedly causing discomfort to one of the most-wanted terrorists in Iraq during his capture in September. Mr. Babbin has more than 90,000 petitioners. Count me in. Published December 25, 2009