Boston College

Jim Wilson opted to spend his last couple of years at Boston College, and I, and all my colleagues, were enriched by his presence. Jim, of course, was a conservative, and I am a liberal. But before I go on about how we nonetheless saw eye to eye on this issue or that, there was something else he represented that I both admired and, to the best of my ability, tried to emulate.

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Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is taking a lot of flack for something he said about his top Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.  A few days ago, during a primary debate, Warren had joked that "I kept my clothes on" when finding ways to pay for college. It was a reference to Brown's decision to pose nude, in a spread for Cosmopolitan magazine, while he was a student at Boston College. On Thursday, a radio host asked Brown if he had a response.

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Actually, the crowd was a bit larger because the overflow was in a room across the street from the Northeastern University gymnasium. Two of my friends, foreigners who can't vote, said that right next to them was an anti-abortion hysteric--"Abortion! Abortion! Innocent Blood!"--noticed by the cops and taken out by them only after a noisy hassle. In fact, there were three of these hysterics. All this comes from a story, "Pulling out all the stops," in this morning's Boston Globe. I have no idea who will win tomorrow's contest.

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Alan Wolfe is a TNR contributing editor and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. Just before the House of Representatives voted on the Stupak Amendment, designed to stop any public funding of insurance plans that cover abortion, the U. S. Conference on Catholic Bishops (USCCB) weighed in with its endorsement.

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No Exit

The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey.

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Alan Wolfe is a TNR contributing editor and professor of political science at Boston College. One reason to lament the passing of Irving Kristol is that we will never know what this acerbic and witty critic of the New Left’s most romantic and hare-brained ideas really thought of the even more preposterously absurd thoughts of the contemporary conservatism that Kristol himself did so much to launch.

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One-Party Country

Alan Wolfe is a TNR contributing editor and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. His latest book is The Future of Liberalism (Knopf, 2009). A well-functioning liberal society requires a serious conservative presence. Writing in the September issue of Commentary, Peter Wehner and Michael Gerson, both serious people, propose things conservatives can do to make themselves more intellectually respectable.

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Alan Wolfe is a TNR contributing editor and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. His latest book is  The Future of Liberalism (Knopf, 2009). Charging Mark Sanford and his fellow roaming Republicans with hypocrisy is a story that writes itself. Yes Democrats, the most conspicuous being John Edwards, do these kinds of things too. But Democrats, or so my friends and colleagues tell me, have not made conventional sexual morality their path to power.

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Condi Rice spoke to the graduating seniors at Boston College in 2006. One of those seniors was my son. He was not particularly thrilled to have her as his commencement speaker and joined a very dignified protest against her. I disagreed with him. You should be thrilled that such an important and distinguished American is addressing you, I told him. He listened to his conscience, not to me. I had some surprising allies supporting my position during our dinner time discussions.

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The Spiritual In Art

Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater Jewish Museum Mystic Masque: Semblance and Reality In Georges Rouault McMullen Museum  I. THE WHEEL OF fashion, which turned Marc Chagall and Georges Rouault into has-beens a few decades ago, is turning again. These two misunderstood moderns are being taken seriously. The rise of identity politics in the intellectual world has certainly played a part.

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