Jonathan Chait

Means of Consent
January 15, 2001

The New Republic has obtained President Bush's inaugural address, and it reveals the new president's determination to end Washington's adversarial culture and restore comity between Democrats and Republicans. "A new breeze is blowing, and the old bipartisanship must be made new again," Bush declares. "The American people await action. They didn't send us here to bicker." That inaugural address was actually delivered by President George Bush in 1989 (and obtained via an electronic database). But the theme will undoubtedly reappear in his son's speech. George W.

Not Equal
December 25, 2000

You generally assume that people who have spent decades specializing in a topic know far more about it than you do. On questions of medicine you grant a doctor the benefit of the doubt, and on questions of law you grant a lawyer the same benefit. This is especially true when the lawyers wear robes, work in a large marble building, and write in detail about constitutional statutes of which you were not previously aware.What can you think, though, when the U.S.

Losing It
December 11, 2000

Imagine that the events last week in Miami had been reversed. A canvassing board counting votes likely to make George W. Bush the next president is besieged by a crowd of Democratic operatives. A Democratic congressman nearby tells his aide to "shut it down," whereupon the throng begins to scream " Cheaters!" and "Fraud!," pounds on the door of the room to which the counters have retreated, and lets it be known that some 1,000 reinforcements, incited by racial appeals on a local radio station, will soon arrive on the scene.

Fall Guy
November 20, 2000

With the Florida recount ongoing, it looks as if George W. Bush may win the presidency yet. If so, the great consolation of this Tuesday's balloting may be that it has rid us forever of the noxious presence of Ralph Nader. Indeed, the only element of the campaign more discomfiting than Nader himself has been the spectacle of liberal intellectuals obsequiously slathering praise upon the Green Party candidate in an effort to sweet-talk him into abandoning his candidacy.

Confidence Game
November 12, 2000

IF YOU TUNED in to the presidential race this final week, you probably read that George W.

Still His Party
August 07, 2000

The quest to venerate Ronald Reagan began ignominiously. In the early '90s, conservatives set out to convey Reagan's greatness to future generations by constructing a gleaming new government building in downtown Washington, D.C. But plans for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center went comically wrong. Construction ran hundreds of millions of dollars and several years over budget, and, once completed in 1998, the building was so manifestly useless that federal agencies had to be coaxed to move into it.

Still His Party
August 07, 2000

The quest to venerate Ronald Reagan began ignominiously. In the early '90s, conservatives set out to convey Reagan's greatness to future generations by constructing a gleaming new government building in downtown Washington, D.C. But plans for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center went comically wrong. Construction ran hundreds of millions of dollars and several years over budget, and, once completed in 1998, the building was so manifestly useless that federal agencies had to be coaxed to move into it.

Washington Diarist: Foe Pas
July 24, 2000

When you're in the opinion-journalism business, you inevitably make enemies. The trick lies in picking ones who will make you look good, not only in the short run but for years to come. If you have just spent 3,000 words arguing that Representative Jones is a malicious, provincial scum ball, the last thing you want is to pick up The Washington Post and read that Jones has just authored a brilliant treatise or left Congress to raise money for orphans. At the same time, it's important that your adversary have sufficient credentials so that you won't be accused of beating up on a helpless foe.

Golden Mean
July 03, 2000

Fall 1999 was a miserable time for Vice President Al Gore. Facing an unexpectedly strong primary challenge from Bill Bradley, Gore's listless campaign seemed to exist only to provide fodder for a series of withering assessments by a snickering press.

Company Man
June 05, 2000

Like most Washington lobbyists, Ken Kies has filled his office with photographs of himself in the presence of political luminaries. There is one of him embracing House Speaker Dennis Hastert; another depicts him with President Clinton in the Oval Office, Kies's mouth forming a thin, slightly crooked smile. But, among the dozens of photos, one stands out.It shows Kies next to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. As in the other photos, both men are smiling. But, in this one, Lott's hand is wrapped around Kies's neck, as if to strangle him.

Pages