Clinton

Right Turn

These are heady times for conservatism. The last 20 years have seen a decisive shift in the West toward market economics and away from statist intervention. The welfare state as it has historically been understood is an endangered species. Culturally, the importance of family structure, religious faith, and personal responsibility is affirmed by a wider array of people than for a generation. And with September 11, the bedrock conservative insight that the world is an inherently dangerous place has been decisively proved once again.

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On the Road

We were stuck in the border zone between Tajikistan and Afghanistan—some 15 journalists from all over the world in a caravan of Russian Lada Nivas and Volgas, Land Cruisers, Mitsubishi jeeps, and minivans. For five hours, since setting out from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, the caravan had been scattering dust squalls over fields of bursting cotton and parched earth. Down here in the border zone, though, the dust took on a different, unsettling aspect. We had a lot of time to notice because it was 5:10 p.m. and the Russian and Tajik border guards had closed their office at 5:00.

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Slow to Anger

As well as bombs and food, American aircraft have been dropping leaflets over Afghanistan that say, "The partnership of Nations is here to assist the People of Afghanistan." It's unclear how many Afghans have been convinced their welfare is the primary aim of America's war. But the propaganda is certainly winning hearts and minds at the State Department, which has been busy plotting Afghanistan's political destiny.

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No Choice

What do Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Susan Sontag have in common? All acknowledge a truth that most Americans would rather not: that what took place last week was, as Sontag put it, "[not an] attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions." That those actions should be a source of pride and not a cause for selfflagellation is beside the point. Terrorist grievances aren't with America. They're with America's global power.

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The Day Before

Credit administration officials with this: They took to the airwaves in record time to calm the American public. Only the administration officials weren't from the Bush administration. Sandy Berger, William Cohen, Richard Holbrooke, Bill Richardson--the networks paraded the entire Clinton national security team in front of the cameras for wisdom on America's day of grief. And, if the Bush team has any sense, it will do exactly the reverse of what they recommend. That's because the Clinton administration offers a template precisely for how not to respond to terror.

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Sick

This week, after months of congressional wrangling, President Obama signed historic health care reform into law. For the last ten years, TNR’s resident health care expert Jonathan Cohn has been writing about the big structural problems in our health care system and what can be done to fix them. This week’s archive piece is a Cohn classic: a 2001 examination of why America’s best hospitals were suffering under the existing health care system.

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Gun Shy

Noam Scheiber on how Al Gore led the Democrats away from gun control.

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Means of Consent

The New Republic has obtained President Bush's inaugural address, and it reveals the new president's determination to end Washington's adversarial culture and restore comity between Democrats and Republicans. "A new breeze is blowing, and the old bipartisanship must be made new again," Bush declares. "The American people await action. They didn't send us here to bicker." That inaugural address was actually delivered by President George Bush in 1989 (and obtained via an electronic database). But the theme will undoubtedly reappear in his son's speech. George W.

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Good To Go

Five years ago—five years and two months, to be exact—I wrote in these pages that "no president of the United States has had such valent sympathy for Israel as President Clinton." "You could see it on his face," I went on, "...

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Moral Minority

Here are some of the things for which Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is best known: He opposes abortion rights and signed into law a measure so restrictive the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. He fights with teachers' unions and helped bring a school-voucher pilot program to Milwaukee. Finally, and most famously, he despises welfare, having signed one of the first laws requiring single mothers to work in order to receive government assistance. So it's no wonder conservatives are so gleeful that President-elect George W.

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