The adoption of so-called "right to work" legislation in Michigan, of all places, represents an historic setback for organized labor. First, Republicans went after public employees in the birthplace of public unions, Wisconsin. And now they have taken the fight to private employee unions in the cradle of modern industrial unionism.
Which past president stood up most stalwartly for the anti-tax, anti-welfare, anti-union principles that animate today’s conservative movement? Of course, most activists on the right would confer that honor on Ronald Reagan.
I. The American dream of politics without conflict, and of politics without political parties, has a history as old as American politics. Anyone carried along on the political currents since 2008, however, might be forgiven for thinking that the dream is something new—and that a transformative era was finally at hand, in which the old politics of intense partisan conflict, based on misunderstanding, miscommunication, and misanthropy, could be curbed if not ended. After the presidency of George W.
Welcome to TNR’s 2011 List Issue. In putting the issue together, we had one major priority: to avoid creating a power list featuring anyone who regularly dominates headlines. Instead, we had a different idea: What if we revealed something about D.C. by documenting who quietly wields power? From there, we began to hatch other ideas for lists, and we realized that—while they can certainly be cheap gimmicks—lists can also convey a lot about a city. Below is the first list from the issue: Washington’s most powerful, least famous people.
Leading conservatives seem to adore Martin Luther King. Jr. As president, George W.
The death of Osama bin Laden will raise the inevitable question: What are we still doing in Afghanistan? The answer, of course, is that the mission in Afghanistan is about something bigger and more ambitious than eliminating Al Qaeda’s leaders—most of whom, in any event, are probably living in Pakistan, as bin Laden was when the United States finally tracked him down. No, the mission in Afghanistan isn’t about killing Al Qaeda members.
As President Obama prepares to deliver his 2011 State of the Union address, the American people have already delivered their own verdict: The state of the union is not good. A Gallup survey released yesterday revealed declining public satisfaction on virtually every front—not only about the ability of individuals to get ahead through hard work (the core of the American Dream), but also about our system of government, the size and power of the federal government, and the size and influence of major corporations. Most of these declines have been a long time in the making.
Almost exactly three years ago, as the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was splitting the Democratic Party in half, we asked a group of eggheads and eminences—mostly liberals—to write short essays for the magazine announcing who they would support in the 2008 election. Now, with President Obama’s popularity suffering and many of his supporters expressing frustration with his administration, we thought it would be worthwhile to return to the same group and ask: Do they stand by their endorsements from three years ago?
Barack Obama is gunning for a confrontation with the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts has signaled that he welcomes the fight. Last week, the chief justice described the president’s State of the Union condemnation of the Citizens United decision as “very troubling” and complained that the speech had “degenerated to a political pep rally.” Roberts was making an argument about etiquette--dissent was fine, he said, but Obama had somehow transgressed the boundaries of civilized discourse by delivering his attack to a captive audience.