How Liberalism Can Win
July 27, 2010
Jonathan Bernstein notes a historical precursor to the current liberal drive to scale back the filibuster: In 1958, Democrats won a huge landslide in the last midterm with Eisenhower as president. Democrats had maintained majorities in Congress since 1955, but the 1958 elections gave liberal Democrats their first solid majorities in twenty years. Then in 1960, John Kennedy was elected and liberals controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House... ...and nothing happened. Well, not quite nothing, but most of the liberal agenda was stopped by rules that empowered conservatives in
How Robert Byrd Won My Respect
June 29, 2010
The time was March, 1973, the place a Senate committee hearing where Robert Byrd was interrogating L. Patrick Gray, the head of the FBI. A series of probing questions from Byrd elicited an admission by Gray that he was taking orders from the Nixon White House in his conduct of the investigation into the attempted burglary of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate. When John Dean, Nixon’s White House counsel, heard about Gray’s testimony, he realized the jig was up and that he had to confess his involvement to the United States attorney.
You Wanted Populism?
January 28, 2010
Going into the State of the Union, it was easy to expect a speech steeped in populism. The consensus was that the White House had misjudged the country's anger over bailouts and unemployment, all of which boiled over in Massachusetts. And so, beginning last Wednesday, Obama went out of his way to channel that anger at Wall Street.
Barack Obama, You Remind Me of Herbert Hoover
January 05, 2010
Barack Obama has been compared to almost every American President of the last hundred years--favorably to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan; and unfavorably to Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.
Cheney for Fisherman
November 29, 2009
Jon Meacham is clearly an intelligent person and skilled writer, but his judgment about America and what America needs is somewhat inferior to that of my cat Lexie. Last November, he was telling us that the election affirmed the nation’s conservatism. Now he is urging Dick Cheney to run for president in 2012.
Chavez's Friend in Massachusetts
September 01, 2009
Speculation as to who will succeed Ted Kennedy is proceeding apace, with his nephew, former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, the likely frontrunner in the January 19 special election. The eldest son of Robert Kennedy, Joe held the House seat once occupied by his uncle John and House Speaker Tip O’Neill, representing Boston from 1987 until 1999. If he does run, Kennedy would start with a financial disadvantage.
Is Bobby Jindal Really "the Republican Obama"?
October 28, 2008
With the Republicans’ presidential hopes for 2008 now all but dashed, a few upstarts in the party are—surprise—positioning themselves for future runs. Last week, Chris Cillizza flagged the appearance of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in a television spot for John Kennedy, the Republican challenger to Senator Mary Landrieu. Amid a backdrop of stately white columns, the young Indian-American governor projects a cool image of steadiness and calm. Sound like anyone you know?
October 22, 2008
'This election," said John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, on the second day of the Republican convention, "is not about issues." And he meant it. The convention that Davis helped assemble devoted strikingly little time to policy. Instead, the focus was on McCain's biography. Fred Thompson set the tone early in the convention, using his address to recount McCain's life story, especially his stint as a prisoner of war. In state delegation meetings during the week, the campaign enlisted the candidate's fellow POWs to tell delegates of his experiences in Vietnam.
Jackboots and Whole Foods
March 12, 2008
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning By Jonah Goldberg (Doubleday, 496 pp., $27.95) In graduate school I had a professor, a famous Marxist, who devoted a significant portion of a lecture to the subject of artifacts.
October 30, 2006
MAJORITY FOOLS Thomas B. Edsall is onto something when he writes that “the Democratic Party has become the political arm of the subdominant, while the GOP is home to the dominant groups in American life” (“Party Hardy,” September 25). This, however, is not new; it’s the basic story of U.S. politics since the Civil War. Until the Depression, the Democrats were (roughly) the party of the South in coalition with the urban North, while the Republicans were (also roughly) the natural governing party of “the nation” as a whole.