The New Republic Staff

Ford Praises Nixon
and
January 13, 2007

The Times and other papers have picked up some comments from President Ford, who before his death (obviously) made clear his thoughts on various twentieth century presidents. Many of his opinons are pretty unremarkable, or at least unsurprising: He claimed Carter was a bad president, liked Ike, and wished the Reaganites would stop crowing so much about ending the Cold War (he also thought Reagan was a "poor manager").

Learning From Mistakes
and
January 12, 2007

by Jeffrey Herf Over the semester break I made time to read Thomas Rick's Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. It's an important book for thinking about whether or not "the new way forward" announced by President Bush the other night has any chance of success. It catalogues the now familiar misjudgments and blunders that the United States has made since 2003, above all invading with too few troops and with no expectation of or plan for a "postwar" insurgency. Yet Ricks' book is interesting for a historian of the twentieth century in another sense.

Race To The Bottom
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January 12, 2007

Good news for Duncan Hunter! He's no longer the most ridiculous GOP presidential candidate. The reason? Texas Congressman Ron Paul has tossed his hat into the race (link via PoliticalWire). Although, come to think of it, Paul does at least have some presidential campaign experience, having run as the Libertarian candidate in '88. Maybe Hunter still is the most ridiculous. --Jason Zengerle

Double G, Double Trouble
and
January 12, 2007

Uh oh. Does this foreshadow a Rudy-Newt ticket? On a substantive note, the Iraqi Citizen Job Corps they propose doesn't sound like a bad idea. But analogizing the current situation in Iraq to the one in New York City in the 1990s seems like a stretch, to put it mildly. After all, Baghdad today would make even the worst neighborhood in the Bronx or East New York circa 1991 seem like the Upper East Side. --Jason Zengerle

Quien Es Mas Macho? Senor Steve Kagen O Senor Ricardo Montalban?
and
January 12, 2007

Apropos of Ryan's "Macho Dems" piece in last Sunday's NYT, here's a story Democratic Congressman Steve Kagen of Wisconsin recently told about himself to some of his constituents. From the Oshkosh Northwestern (via PoliticalWire): Kagen, D-Appleton, was among a group of freshman lawmakers invited to the White House on Nov.

Department Of Pots & Kettles
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January 12, 2007

A brief, off-topic post for DC-area residents: This morning I suffered what I imagine is a widespread annoyance. Driving into work, I was hectored by a large public-safety ad that jeered, "Hey Slick, email the office later.

Lieberman Continues His Descent!
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January 12, 2007

My accusation yesterday that Joe Lieberman is an apparatchik was clearly too mild. --Isaac Chotiner

Escalation?
and
January 12, 2007

There's been plenty of speculation lately that the White House is gearing up for some sort of military confrontation with Iran. First there was his speech two nights ago, in which Bush talked about "addressing Iran and Syria" with a rather menacing undertone. Then the U.S. military raided an Iranian liaison office in the Kurdish city of Irbil and took a couple of Iranians captive--a move roundly denounced by the Kurdish regional government.

Romney's Hypocritical Web
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January 12, 2007

It'll be fun to watch Mitt Romney try to wriggle free from the web of contradictions he has crafted in such a short political career. He has not even announced his presidential campaign yet, but a press release issued today shows just how difficult Romney's journey will be.

Furrows In The Water
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January 11, 2007

by David A. BellThe decision to escalate in Iraq reminds me of a series of letters I read a few years ago in the French military archives, from the French commanding general in Pamplona, Spain, in the years 1810-11. All right, it may not seem like an exactly obvious connection. But the war fought in Spain against Napoleon between 1808 and 1814 was a classic case of insurgency, seen by many historians as the first great modern example of the phenomenon. In fact, the word "guerrilla" was first popularized during the conflict (it comes from the Spanish for "little war").

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