Keystone Blues
February 24, 2010

Scott Brown did not win in Massachusetts because Democrat Martha Coakley believed that Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling liked the Yankees. If you want to see the same chilling pattern that elected Brown in erstwhile Democratic Massachusetts, look at the latest Franklin and Marshall poll on Pennsylvania politics. Pennsylvania has voted for a Democratic president since 1992. It has two Democratic senators, a Democratic governor, and its congressional delegation consists of twelve Democrats to seven Republicans.

What Is Malcolm Gladwell Talking About (cont'd)?
August 04, 2009

Not to pile on Malcolm Gladwell (whom I generally like a bit more than Isaac), but his contrasting Atticus Finch--and his stoic response to Tom Robinson being found guilty--with Thurgood Marshall makes no sense. Gladwell writes: If Finch were a civil-rights hero, he would be brimming with rage at the unjust verdict. But he isn’t. He’s not Thurgood Marshall looking for racial salvation through the law. Did Marshall once ever launch an extra-judicial protest over a bad verdict?

527 Watch: Vets For Freedom
October 01, 2008

The 527 group Vets for Freedom is running a new ad accusing Barack Obama of skipping Senate votes and "voting against funding for our troops." The organization, which has been around since 2006, calls itself "a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...

Ferguson On The Marshall Plan

After seeing the byline and subhead of this New Yorker piece, I naturally assumed it would fall into the genre of too-clever-by-half contrarian history that is so beloved around these parts. But no, it turns out that the Marshall plan actually was pretty important-though more as a matter of geopolitics than macroeconomics. Ferguson also delivers a stinging rebuke to those who belittle the importance of soft power. --Josh Patashnik

Enlightened Despot
April 23, 2007

Richard A. Posner is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for theSeventh Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of ChicagoLaw School. The Judge in a Democracy By Aharon Barak (Princeton University Press, 332 pp., $29.95) Aharon Barak, a long-serving justice (eventually the chief justice)of the Supreme Court of Israel, who recently reached mandatoryretirement age, is a prolific writer, and this is his most recentbook.

After Containment
April 25, 2005

The first of the giants of American grand strategy during the Cold War lived to be the last of the giants. When George F. Kennan died a few weeks ago at the age of 101, none of his great contemporaries was left. Truman, Marshall, Acheson, Forrestal, Harriman, Bohlen, and Lovett had all preceded him in death years ago; and even Kennan's most formidable rival on matters of policy, his longtime friend Paul Nitze, died last fall at 97. It is an appropriate moment, therefore, to assess what Kennan and his generation accomplished.