Political Relationship

Disputations: The Lost Lincoln
July 25, 2009

Click here to read letters by Fred Kaplan, Michael Kazin, John Stauffer, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The following is Sean Wilentz's response to their letters. I wrote a 25,000 word essay about Abraham Lincoln, not Barack Obama. My aim was to review some of the most prominent scholarly books interpreting Lincoln on the occasion of his bicentennial, and to offer a different view of Lincoln as, first and foremost, a democratic politician.

Old World
July 17, 2009

Attention was understandably focused on Sonia Sotomayor this week, as her confirmation hearings unfolded. But what about Obama's other judicial nominees? The president has so far nominated five judges to federal circuit courts. On average, these nominees are 55 years old, more than a decade older than Sotomayor was when she was nominated to the Second Circuit. (She was 43.) For years, Republicans have been nominating sharp young conservatives to the lower federal courts.

Persian Puzzlement
July 15, 2009

About ten days after the start of Iran's insurrection, I asked a senior administration official what, if anything, the White House knew about the people behind the demonstrations. His reply: "I think it is fair to say senior administration officials are busily trying to understand how the opposition is generated and where it came from." In other words, there's a lot about the protesters we still don't know. True, Mir Hossein Mousavi and the people directly surrounding him are known quantities in the U.S. intelligence community.

The Operator
July 01, 2009

The first time I remember speaking with Karen Ignagni was via a TV satellite, for a debate about health care policy on CNN. It was the summer of 2007, not long after the debut of Michael Moore's Sicko, and each of us was playing our usual role. Ignagni is the telegenic president of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and arguably Washington's most influential health-industry lobbyist.

The Sudden Utility Of Lurid Bank Revelations
June 19, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has a noble if not quite jaw-dropping piece today on the personal use of corporate jets by executives (and former executives) at bailed-out banks. The gist: A lot of execs continued to indulge in this perk long after their companies went on the government dole. To wit: At Citigroup, two days after the bank canceled the jet order Mr. Obama criticized, former Chief Executive Sanford Weill boarded a Citigroup-owned plane for a flight to a small airport at Saranac Lake in New York state's woodsy Adirondack region.

Petraeus The Diplomat
June 11, 2009

If it weren't for the stripes on his uniform, one could be forgiven for mistaking General David Petraeus for a USAID official, or foreign service officer. While military operations took up a sizable portion of his talk at the Center for a New American Security, he portrayed the counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan as the task of more than just his soldiers, but of the entirety of the federal government.

Pining For Estrada
May 29, 2009

Bobby Eberle, my favorite wingnut over at GOPUSA, is out with a finger-wagging, I-told-you-so column arguing that conservatives wouldn't be in such a political pickles over the Sotomayor Supreme Court pick if only they had listened to him back in 2003 and locked in their own Hispanic by fighting harder for Miguel Estrada's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Tnr On Sotomayor
May 27, 2009

Diversity on the CourtFinally, a justice from the Bronx!

The Cheney Fallacy
May 18, 2009

Former Vice President Cheney says that President Obama's reversal of Bush-era terrorism policies endangers American security. The Obama administration, he charges, has "moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a follow-on terrorist attack like 9/11." Many people think Cheney is scare-mongering and owes President Obama his support or at least his silence. But there is a different problem with Cheney's criticisms: his premise that the Obama administration has reversed Bush-era policies is largely wrong.

Today At Tnr (april 14, 2009)
April 14, 2009

Barack Vs. The Banks: How Banks Are Winning The Battle To Control Obama's Economic Agenda. by John B. Judis From Adam Smith To Keynes To Obama--Liberalism Has Always Had The Same Foundations, by Alan Wolfe Is The Christian Right Finally Starting To Realize The Tension Between Religion And Politics? by Damon Linker Free-Range Pork Might Be Bad For You--But Here's Why You Should Still Buy It, by Rob Inglis Good News: Conservatives Are Warming To The Idea Of Universal Health Care.