MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., conservative. That description of the civil rights leader whose birth we celebrate today might surprise or even offend many of the people coming to town to celebrate the inauguration of a new president and the supposed triumph of conservatism in some form or other. But in his way, Dr. King did a lot to preserve, protect and defend the best of our principles and values. Dr. King worked to turn back extremism, violence and racial nationalism at the height of the civil rights movement, and to keep the cause of essential and long-overdue change in the American mainstream.
The faith that he defended and helped refine was a sort of national creed based on what had come to be widely accepted, after many painful years, as the immutable truth that all of us are created equal -- and on the idea that Americans are united not by race or by a particular religious belief or ethnic origin, but by our devotion to the concepts of popular government and individual rights.
On Tuesday, when President Obama gives his farewell address in Chicago, he will likely use the occasion to cement in people's minds his preferred vision of his legacy. At the same time, expect the outgoing commander-in-chief to exploit the occasion to figuratively filibuster any effort to undo what he considers his landmark achievement: Obamacare.
Following President Obama's speech, expect right-of-center pundits, and what's left of the honest media, to parse his prose and present an alternative assessment of his eight years in office. Competing fact-checking and fake-news stories will fight for the last word on the final days of his presidency. Then there will be President-elect Donald Trump's first press conference on Wednesday -- strategically planned to eclipse President Obama's closing comments.
In the din of the competing narratives, conservatives may lose sight of areas in which the Obama administration deserves praise. Here are three.
WASHINGTON -- If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama.
Mr. Trump made his animus toward the news media clear during the presidential campaign, often expressing his disgust with coverage through Twitter or in diatribes at rallies. So if his campaign is any guide, Mr. Trump seems likely to enthusiastically embrace the aggressive crackdown on journalists and whistle-blowers that is an important yet little understood component of Mr. Obama's presidential legacy.
It's been nearly two months since Donald Trump won the 2016 election for president of the United States but somehow that's not been enough time for the reality to sink in for many political liberals. Yes, presidential elections have been emotional for some time. I can vouch for how sad if not depressed many conservatives were when Mitt Romney lost his bid to unseat President Obama in 2012. If you didn't already know that, it's probably just because you don't know many conservatives. The media never for a moment considered how heartbreaking that loss was for many Americans worried about the direction of the country.
A new Republican congressional investigation claims that the Obama administration fired a top scientist and intimidated staff at the Department of Energy in order to further its climate change agenda.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, released a wide-ranging report on Tuesday that shows how senior Obama administration officials retaliated against a leading scientist and plotted ways to block a congressional inquiry surrounding key research into the impact of radiation.