THE PLANK DECEMBER 22, 2006
Happy New Year from The New Republic Online! Over the holiday week, Jonathan Chait pointed out how Bush fooled neoconservatives into supporting the Iraq war; Catherine O'Neill reminisced about Christmas as a foreign service brat in India; Roger Rosenblatt explained why the ghost of Christmas past was more influential than the ghost of Christmas future; S.Adele Shaw rued the Americanization of Christmas; Emma Chastain revealed the erotic side of The Nutcracker; the Editors bristled at Calvin Coolidge's admonition--delivered via New Year's card--not to disagree publicly with U.S. policy; Gerald W. Johnson looked at the forces allied against John F. Kennedy and wished him a happy new year (knowing that he probably wouldn't get one); the Editors (in 1957) saluted the initiative of a bumbling but spirited public servant and (in 1941) laid out six ways readers could help America defeat fascism during World War II; and we reprinted poems by Joseph Campbell and Philip Appleman.
As we marked the passing of Gerald Ford, we took a look back at John Osborne's coverage of Ford's presidency for TNR. Osborne watched as Ford learned how to govern in 1975, clashed with Democrats in Congress, and fought off a primary challenge by Ronald Reagan in 1976.
We also reposted some of the best essays of 2006: David Hajdu's piece on Starbucks' crappy taste in music; Noam Scheiber's profile of Tommy Goldstein, the lawyer who transformed the Supreme Court; the Editors' plea for intervention in Darfur; Michael Crowley's tour of McLean, the new GOP Mecca; and Ryan Lizza's exposé of George Allen's Confederate sympathies, which helped end the senator's presidential aspirations.
--Adam B. Kushner