The Land of No
February 08, 2012

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. Emily was 23 years old and had a $2 million trust fund. She also had a warm smile, spoke kindly to everyone she met, and was tall and blonde and beautiful with the erect posture of the skier and gymnast she’d once been. We lived together in Manhattan in a tiny first-floor apartment.

A Soccer Riot in Egypt and the Ongoing Human Catastrophe in Syria
February 05, 2012

I know that soccer can engage and enrage the senses. And doubtless there have been other occasions when sports fans have killed and been killed in the frenzy of a game … or after. In Boston seven years ago, after a Red Sox win over the Yankees that clinched the American League pennant and was being celebrated in the streets, a 21-year old college student was killed and 16 others were wounded by police trying to control the crowds.

Meet The Trustee
January 30, 2012

Viewers of last week's CNN Republican debate in Florida were introduced to a new figure about whom we will surely be hearing more this year: Mitt Romney's "trustee." Romney referred to him four times in response to questions about his just-released 2010 tax returns -- never in person but instead as "my trustee," a word that rolls off Romney's lips as "my barber" or "my car guy" rolls off the lips of most Americans. Well, today the Boston Globe introduced us to this mysterious figure. R.

A Long List of the Most Terrible Things Rick Santorum Has Ever Said
January 05, 2012

On the Catholic Church’s abuse scandals: “Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.” On same sex marriage and bestiality: “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.

Romney's Underappreciated Pen Pal
December 13, 2011

Much has been made of how brazenly the Washington Post's conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, has been favoring Mitt Romney and disparaging his GOP rivals, to the point where she compromised her exceedingly staunch pro-Israel stance to chide Newt Gingrich for being excessively anti-Palestinian in his recent remarks on the Middle East.

Temperamental Journey
November 23, 2011

It was an odd and unexpected moment when, on October 18 at the CNN debate in Las Vegas, the normally even-keeled Mitt Romney suddenly lost his cool. Challenged by Rick Perry about once having employed illegal immigrants as lawn workers, Romney initially answered with a chuckle and strained smile; but, when Perry kept interrupting his attempt at a reply, Romney’s temperature shot skyward. “Anderson?” he called to the moderator, and, when no help arrived, he turned on Perry, his voice rising to a shout and his eyes flashing with anger. “Would you please wait?” he barked at Perry.

Mitt Romney: Tither Extraordinaire
November 16, 2011

My post on Monday musing on the recent highbrow critiques of Mormonism by Chris Lehmann in Harper's magazine and Harold Bloom in the New York Times provoked some thoughtful responses from Mormon readers who questioned whether Mitt Romney's religion was any grounds for discussion. Buried deep inside today's Times was another small reminder why many people believe it is fair topic for conversation: because Mitt Romney is not any old Mormon. He was, as a recent profile described, not only the "bishop" of his local congregation in Belmont, Mass.

Urban Outfitter
November 09, 2011

The past decade has seen the spread of a faith concentrated in the country’s more progressive-minded cities: the religion of smart growth. Its adherents are planners, environmentalists, and builders who believe development should be focused in existing communities rather than sprawling into the countryside. For them, good development is “infill,” “new urbanist,” and “transit-oriented,” and bad development is “greenfield,” “car-dependent,” and “half-acre lots.” They loathe cul-de-sacs and love light rail.

A Class Warrior, And Hits For Average Too!
November 01, 2011

It is not too much of a stretch to suggest that Democrats lost their filibuster-proof Senate majority in early 2010 -- and the seat held for decades by Teddy Kennedy -- because Martha Coakley did not know a whit about baseball and wasn't afraid to show it.

Why It’s So Hard to Tell Where Mayor Bloomberg Stands on Occupy Wall Street
October 24, 2011

Last weekend’s Saturday Night Live opened with a gray-haired Fred Armisen as Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Donning a jacket with lapel pins and a blue tie, Armisen spoke in a dry cadence that amplified the mayor’s at once lenient but strident response to the Occupy Wall Street protests pitched at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. “Occupy Wall Street, I’m on your side,” said Armisen’s Bloomberg. “Come to New York and let your voice be heard. You’ll be treated with dignity and respect by the city and the police.