December 29, 2002
In the summer of 1999, Trent Lott cut what seemed like a fair good deal with his Democratic counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. For weeks, Democrats had been holding up the Senate's work on a number of appropriations bills--bills the GOP hoped would force Bill Clinton to make politically treacherous decisions about tax cuts and spending. So, in exchange for Daschle's promise to let the appropriations bills move forward, Lott allowed Democrats to bring up 20 amendments to a soon-to-be-debated HMO reform bill. Conservatives were apoplectic.
July 02, 2001
MAIL FRAUD: If you pay income taxes, sometime in the next few weeks you'll receive a letter touting the recently passed tax cut: "We are pleased to inform you that the United States Congress passed--and President George W. Bush signed into law--the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001." The letter will further inform you that, thanks to this law, a rebate check (up to $300 for individuals, $600 for couples) is in the mail. ("You will be receiving a check," the letter states. "You need to take no additional steps.") Agitprop paid for by the Republican National Committee?
Roll Out the Barrel
April 20, 1998
On most days, the lobby of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Washington, D.C., headquarters has a certain rarefied air. But on this Tuesday morning it is thick with the smell of greasy, grilled bacon. The aroma is appropriate, since the breakfast speaker is Republican Representative Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Transportation Committee and, his critics say, one of the most shameless promulgators of pork-barrel spending in all of Congress.
May 13, 1996
"I weep for you," the Walrus said: "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size Holding his pocket-handkerchief Before his streaming eyes. "He's very upset," says a senior administration official of President Clinton's decision to sign the "Effective Death Penalty and Public Safety Act of 1996." "It breaks his heart." On the one hand, Clinton was reluctant to go down in history as the president who signed the first statutory limitations on habeas corpus since Magna Carta; on the other hand, there was Oklahoma City.
May 22, 1995
It was a coincidence, of course, that exactly a week after the Oklahoma bombing, the Supreme Court struck down the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, holding that Congress had exceeded its enumerated powers for the first time since the New Deal. Nevertheless, some commentators are treating the two events as if they were portentously linked.
All and Nothing at All
March 06, 1995
TNR Classic: Leon Wieseltier on Cornel West’s Tedious Writing
January 02, 1995
"Let me begin," says White House aide David Dreyer, "by contesting the premises of your question." It's a windless evening in November, and Dreyer is in his West Wing office, listening to a new recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and defending the role of Tony Coelho, for whom Dreyer once worked, in the Democrats' electoral debacle. "First," he says, "Tony was not the party chair. He was never, to my knowledge, actually in the dnc building. Second, the role of party chair in a midterm election is relatively unimportant anyhow.
May 10, 1993
The White House has expanded its search for the next Supreme Court justice; and it is now possible to evaluate the scholarship, opinions and constitutional vision of the candidates. All are able federal judges. But some are more proficient than others at textual and historical analysis, and so better equipped to win over the swing justices and to challenge the Court's most aggressive intellectual, Antonin Scalia, on his own terms. In ascending order: Mary M. Schroeder, 52. U.S. Court of Appeals, Phoenix, Arizona.
The Boy in the Bubble
October 19, 1992
On the road in 1992 with Dan Quayle.
John Wayne's Strange Legacy
August 04, 1979
There was always more to the legend of John Wayne than met the eye. To judge by most of the obituaries, the unifying effect of his long war against cancer had transcended the divisive effect of his long war against communism. His illness was thus regarded as a metaphor for all the problems that plague Western man in his decent from power. With Wane's passing, we were told by solemn editorialists, the last simplistic American Hero had bitten the dust. This meant that there would be no more Vietnams on the American horizon.