• Remember how during the Iraq War the deranged left fingered Leo Strauss (d. 1973) as somehow the intellectual inspiration behind the neoconservative drive to war in the Middle East? It was downright silly, and in any case Thomas G. West provided a thorough refutation of this nonsense in the Claremont Review of Books.
Better get ready for a sequel. A few years ago there appeared a new edition of The Vicar of Christ, a novel by the late constitutional scholar Walter F. Murphy of Princeton University, among whose Princeton undergraduate students was one Samuel Alito. In fact Murphy advised Alito on Alito’s senior thesis, a study of the Italian Constitutional Court. Now Justice Alito wrote a Foreword to the new edition, and it includes this passage:
“Leaving active duty in 1955, Murphy entered the Ph.D program at the University of Chicago with the intention of studying political theory with Leo Strauss. What happened next set the course of Murphy’s career and touched on the subjects of “The Vicar of Christ.” Strauss recommended that Murphy write his dissertation on a medieval tract, Defensor Pacis, in which an Italian scholar, Marsilius of Padua, championed the sovereignty of civil authorities and denied any temporal authority to the pope or clergy.”
Because everything can be traced back to Strauss in the left’s fevered imagination, cue the left’s hysteria in three, two. . .
• Nice piece today in the Wall Street Journal on the gonzo independent race for governor of California by my pal Michael Shellenberger:
His political evolution resembles the cartoon recently tweeted by Elon Musk —a stationary guy in the center left of the political spectrum finds himself being pulled to the center right as his fellow liberals sprint the other way. . .
He became an outspoken advocate for nuclear energy and shale gas fracking to reduce CO2 emissions. After writing a book criticizing climate alarmism, he turned his focus to the social policies that are ruining big cities on the West Coast, especially in California’s Bay Area where he has lived for three decades. . .
As for the exodus of Californians fleeing the state’s exorbitant cost of living, Mr. Shellenberger blames environmentalists who want policies that make energy, water, housing and jobs scarce.
If you’re a California voter, I recommend pulling the lever for Michael.