Sunday, January 3, 2016

Another retrospective look at 2015: Daily Beast's nominations for top columns

Following are some snippets that Scriber nominates from the Daily Beast's list.

Frank Bruni on Donald Trump

Frank Bruni aimed high and low, taking on Republican front runner Donald Trump and Gov. Scott Walker, whose poor polling numbers led him to quit the race early. In “Trump-ward Christian Soldiers?” Bruni chides professedly pious voters for supporting a bombastic, thrice-married billionaire who “just about runs the table on the seven deadly sins. He personifies greed, embodies pride, radiates lust. Wrath is covered by his anti-immigrant, anti-“losers” rants, and if we interpret gluttony to include big buildings and not just Big Macs, he’s a glutton through and through.”

Tom Moran on Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie got slammed to the turf in the journalistic equivalent of a quarterback sack by the estimable Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger in a column under the ominous title: “After 14 years of watching Christie, a warning: He Lies.”

“Other lying politicians tend to waffle, to leave themselves some escape hatch. You can almost smell it,” writes Moran, before listing a series of serious whoppers by the man who would be president. “But Christie lies with conviction. His hands don't shake, and his eyes don't wander.”

Ouch.

Peter Wehner's calls for civility

Over at Commentary, Pete Wehner has been fighting an often lonely fight to connect the soul of the conservative movement with civility in the face of Trump & Co. ... Wehner is an elegant thinker who brings historic and theological perspective to his columns. His persistent calls for bringing civility, principled compromise and perspective to our politics makes him a much-needed voice for Republicans right now.

Good luck with that. Judging from the attempts by the GOP contenders to out-trump Trump, conservatives seem deaf to Wehner's pleas.

Honesty, humor, clarity and courage are core parts of the columnist’s palette and the surreal spectacle of the still-unfolding campaign seems to ensure that the reported column renaissance will continue in 2016.

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