New York’s last romantic gets his own magazine.
Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of PowerBy Robert A. Caro (Knopf, 712 pp., $35) I. MANY LIBERAL Democrats have yet to come to terms with Lyndon Johnson.
Cape Wind, the Massachusetts pioneering and environmentally daring enterprise trying to build 130 turbines in Nantucket Bay, is now facing its last hurdle. Or breathing its last breath. All of this is in a fascinating dispatch by Beth Daley in the Boston Globe. I've written about this undertaking several times as the initiative was put through the ropes of both privilege of the very rich and the antiquated technologies of protected corporations.
Some 40-odd years ago, Chuck Schumer was my student. A few years after that, I became his student. No, not in a formal classroom sense, but in the political dimension. If you watch him, you learn a lot. He's a stand-up liberal, a New York liberal at that. But he is also an effective liberal, which means he sometimes compromises--a sin on the Upper West Side, where politics often means that you shouldn't compromise ... ever. At 23, Chuck ran for the New York State Assembly and won. Then he went to the House of Representatives and, in 1998, to the U.S.
The Iranian regime has never found itself more vulnerable. And, with this vulnerability, it has never leaned more heavily on its own narrative of history.
The idea of a Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton "unity ticket" has been floated quite a bit the last few days. But, seriously, is the idea any good? We asked a few friends of the magazine to weigh in. Here's Mark Schmitt, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. There are fights within the Democratic Party that reflect deep structural and ideological rifts that, in turn, are embodied by individual candidates: Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy vs. Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern vs. everyone else in 1972, Ted Kennedy vs. Jimmy Carter in 1980.
The historian Robert Dallek has done some fine work on Nixon and Kissinger. He's also unearthed a lot of new information on JFK's serious health problems. But his new Time magazine cover story, Warrior For Peace, is the worst kind of Camelot hagiography. Especially irksome is Dallek's willingness to believe that JFK would have ended all of mankind's problems.
When Eugene McCarthy died a month ago, I rushed to compose what I wished to be a meditation on what the man had meant to me, to my generation, and to our history. But eulogies always suffer from the press of deadlines, and so I decided to get an opinion of what I wrote from a truth-teller I've known since the 1968 campaign. I read my piece to John Callahan, a professor of English at Lewis & Clark College and the author of books on Ralph Ellison and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the harshest of the truth-tellers.