The New Republic Staff

Gwfh Hearts Gwb
January 10, 2007

by Eric Rauchway The man on horseback, preferably wearing a closely tailored uniform, stalks the annals of humankind. He garners followers, many of whom believe that he stands not only for himself and his faction but for History--that greatness means embodying the logic of progress and pressing it forward. In the theories of Thomas Carlyle or G. W. F. Hegel, such men qualify as heroes, as History's Great Men. Today Scott McLemee asks, "Is George W.

More Trouble For The Church
January 10, 2007

And more light on the new and fast brewing scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. No, not the one about priests diddling little boys. But the one about clergy in the Polish church having collaborated with the Communist political police and informed on other clergy who adhered to Catholicism's honorable stance of non-cooperation and, in fact, resistance. Craig S.

Terrorism, Cont'd
January 10, 2007

Poor Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He thought he had a cease fire with ETA, which Elaine Sciolini calls in this morning's Times, "[T]he armed Basque separatist organization." It is, of course, the armed Basque terrorist organization. But, never mind. Zapatero was working on the assumption that ETA and Spain were both on a sure path to peace. Alas, then ten days ago, a bomb attack at Barajas airport killed two people and injured some two dozen others.

Trouble In Lebanon
January 10, 2007

Hassan M. Fattah, who wrote occasionally for TNR, is now in Lebanon, and I almost always learn from him. His "Beirut Memo: A Nation With a Long Memory but a Truncated History" teases out the tale of everyone wanting to hijack Lebanon's sovereignty and character and submerge it beneath their own. (Jack Shafer, now that everybody else but you, putz--oh, and also John Kerry--seems to get the idea, please pay attention.) So there is isn't even one national history taught in the country's schools. There's a Maronite history and a Sunni history and a Shi'a history.

The New York Times's Value
January 10, 2007

I frequently bitch about The New York Times. But sometimes I feel that I and the rest of us who bitch are spoiled. What London papers are better? Or Paris papers? Not a one. OK, what is true is that the Times and I have parted company on several important issues in the world. So I don't often read its editorials, except--in fact--when friends have told me that there is a particularly obtuse one. And I don't read the op-ed page which is mostly political milquetoast.

The Nation State
January 10, 2007

Yes, I know: The New Criterion has for years been edited by Hilton Kramer, who the hip folk think is a crank. Well, why shouldn't he be cranky? Is the state of our culture so rich and deep that serious editors, writers and thinkers generally should be, well, complacent and cheery? It, of course, is not. And neither is our politics, by which I don't mean how and on whom taxes are levied or whether single payer health insurance would mean an advance or decline of medical care or whether there is some hope or just desperation in the ongoing American presence in Iraq.

Game On
January 10, 2007

Wednesday's NYT reports: Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they intended to hold symbolic votes in the House and Senate on President Bush's plan to send more troops to Baghdad, forcing Republicans to take a stand on the proposal and seeking to isolate the president politically over his handling of the war. The White House, of course, takes a dim view: The White House press secretary, Tony Snow, criticized the Democrats' plans.

The Problem With Klein
January 10, 2007

Jason's post on Joe Klein quoted one of the most telling things Klein said during a long few days of blogging: Liberals were "right" about Vietnam, but they have paid a price ever since because they were so obnoxious about their correctness. I suppose in some sense Klein is correct (Vietnam hurt the left politically), even if being "obnoxious" about a terrible war that killed millions of Vietnamese and 60,000 Americans is, well, understandable.

Capturing The Center
January 10, 2007

Charlie Cook's column today makes the case that primary voters in 2008 are really looking for electability: For all the talk about swing voters, we have seen extremely low instances of crossover voting--when members of one party vote for congressional and presidential candidates of the opposite party--in recent elections.[Snip]Will former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's perceived electability in a general election be enough to offset his more liberal social and cultural issue positions on abortion rights, gun control and gay rights, particularly considering his early strength in the polls

All That Was Missing Was Jerry Lewis
January 10, 2007

Maybe I just don't understand the optics that matter in a Republican presidential primary, but isn't this video--recording the glory and the magic of Mitt Romney's fundraising telethon--the kind of thing that shows everything that's wrong with politics? I mean, the three-minute video basically consists of scenes from a room full of rich folks calling their rich friends to raise money not for the March of Dimes or some public television station but for a millionaire politician.

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