Arlen Specter

October 02, 2006

With George W. Bush’s diminished popularity, embattled Republican candidates have mastered the fine art of knifing their titular leader. But these commonplace acts of betrayal usually reside in the realm of mere symbolism—a presidential photo-op carefully avoided, a potshot at Donald Rumsfeld. They don’t involve sinking the president’s number-one policypriority and shredding his ace-in-the-hole election strategy.

September 11, 2006

Surry Hill. So reads a plaque at the end of the long, winding private road that leads to the crown jewel of McLean, Virginia: the 18,000-square-foot mansion that Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers and his wife Edwina call home. To get there from Washington, you drive across the Potomac River and along a parkway that, in the summer, is canopied by lush green trees. Shortly before the guarded entrance to the CIA, you turn off McLean's main road and then down a private lane, passing through brick gate posts adorned with black lanterns and into a grand cul-de-sac. A massive brick Colonial with majestic

Growing Pains
September 04, 2006

FOR ALL INTENTS and purposes, the only national political story on August 8 was Ned Lamont's defeat of Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary. But all that Nedrenaline obscured another anti-incumbent surprise the very same night. In Michigan's Seventh District, Republican Representative Joe Schwarz was knocked off by a conservative primary challenger. It was an ominous sign of the national mood for sweaty-palmed Washington Republicans. But it was also significant for another reason: The Club for Growth had finally scalped its first incumbent.

May 02, 2005

PATRIOT GAMES Early this month, when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took his case for renewing several provisions of the Patriot Act before the Senate Judiciary Committee, his interlocutors were not wholly convinced. Naturally, the newly confirmed A.G. turned on the charm. He even injected some rhetorical flourish in defending a few particularly controversial provisions of the Act, which the Justice Department admitted it had never actually had occasion to use. "It's comparable to a police officer who carries a gun for 15 years and never draws it.

Christian Rights
July 07, 1997

On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., a group of Christian evangelicals and social activists met at the offices of the conservative Family Research Council to watch a short home movie. The twenty-minute film, smuggled out of the People’s Republic of China, depicted Chinese Christians involved in the illegal faith known as the home church movement. The audience watched scenes of hundreds of worshipers at passionate prayer— swaying, chanting—in the caves and fields where they secretly meet.

The Soul of a New Machine Politician
March 10, 1986

Last March Senator Alfonse D'Amato was having din- dinner at his favorite restaurant in New York City's Little Italy when he was told he had a phone call from President Reagan. The president was personally calling senators to line up support for an upcoming vote on the MX missile, a cornerstone of the administration's defense buildup. The outcome very likely could be decided by a single vote.  “Molinari, you creep, cut this bullshit out,” D'Amato barked into the phone at Reagan.