From 1930 to 1960, the United States changed from a marginal, middle-sized power to a colossus and quasi-imperial actor, a shift overseen, as Philip Terzian writes in "Architects of American Power: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and the American Century," by two men uniquely equipped for the task. Read More
Last week, David Brooks had bad news for his New York Times readers: The backlash against the Tea Party hasn't occurred. Neither has the 10-car collision the press and the left have predicted, though there have been harsh words and scraped fenders.
Instead, a different traffic event is occurring: The sort of impasse that happens when two streams of traffic feed into one lane, and there are slowdowns, stops, and multiple curses as cars maneuver for openings. In traffic terms, this is a lane merger, which can be tricky, but seldom results in a serious accident. Read More
Last Tuesday, the Republican ticket of 2008 had a very good night, just as the ticket that happened to beat it had one of the worst of their lives. While President Obama hit the low forties, and chirpy Vice President Biden was labeled delusional, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wiped out his foe by a 2-to-1 margin and Sarah Palin established herself as a kingmaker of genius, with a 2-to-1 record in recent endorsements and some rising stars to her name. Read More
If he were a different kind of a person and president, a president named Barack Hussein Obama, who was half-African, lived in Jakarta and had Muslim relations, would have been a wonderful thing: a figure perfectly poised as bridge between two different cultures, to extend an American hand to the Third World and Muslims, and to sell America and democracy to this emerging new world. Read More
You are a senator who married quite well, and whose wife holds title to five major mansions, situated in some of the world's choicest places, supplying multiple venues for year-around pleasure. But sooner or later things tend to pall, and you need something different: a shiny new yacht.
You order the Isabel for a mere $7 million, and in the interests of thrift stash it up in Rhode Island, to avoid paying the $500,000 Massachusetts state taxes. As you are trying to raise taxes on everyone else, this causes a scandal, which you do not handle well. Read More
There's hope for the Democrats if you look hard enough, and some people are looking quite hard. To Jonathan Alter and Jonathan Cohn, President Obama is FDR redux, with a noble array of historical feats that have marked him for greatness. Read More
Cognitive dissonance has struck the political classes concerning President Obama, who was hailed 18 months ago as the new President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but now looks like somebody else. To Jonathan Alter, he's still FDR, only better: being two for two (or four for four) on his major initiatives.
"You've got a ... record that's already historic," he says. He has escaped the fate of being a do-nothing failure like President Carter, and become a do-everything figure, like President Lyndon B. Johnson, yet Johnson's behavior brought Carter's results. Read More
An irresistible force is meeting an immovable object on the field of perception, and causing an odd sort of storm. The irresistible force is the growing idea that Obama has failed as a leader on a number of items: "Engagement" has failed; our allies are angry; the oil keeps gushing, his ideas are job killers; the recession goes on.
His party lost three big elections under his guidance and seems poised for a drubbing. The harder he pushes the country's laws leftward, the more its politics bend to the right. Read More
BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward and President Obama want their old lives back, and no one can blame them: all of that luxury, all of that access, all of that leisure and glitz. Actually, for most of the crisis, Obama did have his old life -- extravagant dinners, musical evenings, fundraisers for Sen. Barbara ("Don't call me Ma'am") Boxer, D-Calif., leisurely holiday weekends at home. Read More
"Women are coming to rescue the Republican Party," said the Hill's A.B. Stoddard last Wednesday, and it seems she is right.
Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina are running in California; Sharon Angle is fighting Harry Reid in Nevada; wise Latina Susana Martinez is running for governor in nearby New Mexico.
In South Carolina running for governor, Nikki Haley, a daughter of Indian immigrants, trounced a field of three men. Read More
President Barack Obama is angry at God for making it rain in Chicago, and irked at the oil spill, making him pack up in between his vacations and make trips to the Gulf of Mexico. Ideologues argue about whether corporations or government tend to be the least competent, ignoring the proof that the answer is both of them. And Democrats are having their own kind of crisis, a sort of buyer’s remorse. Read More
President Obama kicked off his reign as the Free World's main honcho by dissing the British, which was an unpromising start. First, he sent back the bust of Sir Winston Churchill. Then there were the tasteful gifts to the queen and prime minister, dug out of a sale bin at Wal-Mart. So much for Churchill and Roosevelt, Reagan and Thatcher, JFK and his sister's relation-in-law, Harold Macmillan.
Special relationship? What special relationship? You must be out of your mind. Read More
Dear Mr. President,
We hear you’re concerned with the lack of civility and mutual respect in the current political landscape. That’s nice. So are we.
You are disturbed by people saying “that all of government is inherently bad.” We are too, or we would be, if we heard someone say it, which we have not. Read More
Former President Bill Clinton is at it again, spinning his oldie of 15 years earlier, that political opposition to liberals’ plans is the low road to murder, and now he has friends.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, invokes San Francisco when Harvey Milk (and George Moscone) were murdered. Commentator Chris Matthews invokes Dallas before President John F. Kennedy’s murder (never mind that Kennedy was killed by a Marxist; the right wing was somehow responsible). Columnist Joe Klein calls it “sedition.” (Bring back John Adams!) Read More
“Teapot doom!” Chris Matthews shouted on “Hardball.” “Here they come! We’ve got a death threat in Seattle, a noisy town meeting down in Ft. Lauderdale ... and a nasty racial attack down in Georgia. We’ve got some mad haters down there.”
We do indeed, and every last one of them is a tea party member, and all of them use the pretense of caring about debt and the deficit to mask their evil and violent hearts. He’s having none of it. Read More