America the Beautiful

How Mitt Romney Genuinely Fired Up His Followers
November 06, 2012

Mitt Romney actually developed a following of sorts by the end of the campaign. What are we to make of this? A valediction from Ohio.

The Obama Campaign’s Attack-Ad Edge, Revealed
July 24, 2012

Last night, I had the good fortune to be part of a small gathering of reporters assembled by a quartet of top political scientists who have embarked on an effort to analyze voter opinion in the 2012 election at a level of depth and nuance beyond what we’ve managed in past years. A centerpiece of the effort is their attempt to gauge voter response to the ads that are already crowding the airwaves in battleground states.

Why Mitt Says The Things He Says
January 12, 2012

For all the talk this past week about Mitt Romney's latest gems -- his "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me" line and his "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip" -- I'm surprised more people haven't reckoned with the fact that they were quite inconsistent statements. One was meant to express empathy with economically distressed voters, one was meant to reflect a business-minded toughness and clarity. They were spoken within a day of one another.

American Idle
December 19, 2005

"Without the Cold War," Rabbit Angstrom asks in John Updike's Rabbit at Rest, "what's the point of being an American?" Rabbit's question, which he posed in 1990, anticipated something in the national mood during the decade that followed. In 1995, social critic Christopher Lasch wrote that the United States had descended into a "democratic malaise," the most telling symptom of which, Harvard public policy scholar Robert Putnam wrote, was a decline in civic engagement.

Star-Spangled Earache
December 15, 1985

Not long ago Representative Andrew Jacobs Jr. of Indiana filed a bill to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "America the Beautiful" as our national anthem. Many people have long advocated just such a change, and for a number of reasons the bill deserves wide support. "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been the official national anthem only since March 3, 1931. Most people assume that it has been the anthem virtually from time immemorial and that it is thus now sacrosanct.