February 10, 1997
Cloaks and Daggers
Jonathan Chait versus the coat-check booth.
February 03, 1997
One Bite At the Apple
At the Supreme Court arguments on Monday, January 13, in Clinton v. Jones, the justices seemed inclined to delay Paula Jones's sexual harassment suit until the president leaves office, because the president is a busy man. But even if President Clinton is temporarily spared the mortifying task of answering Jones's complaint, his trial in the court of popular opinion has already begun.
February 02, 1997
The Man Who Would Be George
It is late afternoon on Christmas Eve and the West Wing of the White House is almost empty except for Rahm Emanuel, who is sitting in his office, taking and making his own phone calls and, as always, looking out his window. It is, perhaps, the best window in the building. From it he not only can monitor who comes and goes into the West Wing (he especially loves the military flag ceremonies that accompany the visits of foreign dignitaries), but he can also see who is being interviewed by the TV reporters from their stakeout positions on the North Lawn.
January 06, 1997
The police won't cut baby Jesus any slack. When Rita Warren, a 69-year-old gadfly religious activist who lives in the nearby Virginia suburbs, pulls up to the entrance of the U.S. Capitol, the guards play it by the high-security book. They poke a metal detector under the chassis of her 1981 Oldsmobile station wagon. A bomb-sniffing dog checks out the almost-lifesize figures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, a shepherd and two sheep crammed inside the car. "How you doin', Rich?" Warren calls out to one guard. "Have a nice weekend?" "It was quiet," says Rich. "The baby was sick.
December 23, 1996
On November 27, three weeks after the citizens of California ratified the California Civil Rights Initiative, Judge Thelton Henderson of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco enjoined Governor Pete Wilson from enforcing it. Invoking a Supreme Court decision from 1982, Washington v. Seattle School District No.
New York Diarist: Kitsch and Culture
Am I right that this Thanksgiving there was less of that guilt-burdened anxiety which has suffused Thanksgivings of the recent past? No one at my dinner table asked: What do the American Indians have to give thanks for? (The absence of this question is already something to give thanks for this year.) Apparently, even the chichi-est private schools were permitted to celebrate the Pilgrim fest without apologies or embarrassment.
December 09, 1996
After Richard Nixon's re-election in 1972, Democrats accused Arthur Burns, whom Nixon had appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1970, of rigging the election by overstimulating the economy. Burns, they charged, had produced a temporary reprieve from recession, but had also built up inflationary pressures that would burst forth later and produce an even sharper recession. In coming years, Republicans may make similar charges against Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's secretary of the Treasury.
The Bloods and the Crits
During the past decade, an academic movement called critical race theory has gained increasing currency in the legal academy. Rejecting the achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s as epiphenomenal, critical race scholars argue that the dismantling of the apparatus of formal segregation failed to purge American society of its endemic racism, or to improve the social status of African Americans in discernible or lasting ways. The claim that these scholars make is not only political; it is also epistemological.
November 18, 1996
Bill Clinton and his cadre of dogged conspiracists.
November 11, 1996
Popular opinion may still support him as against the outrageous Republican alternative, and may yet conceal ... a growing and substantial dissatisfaction because of the meager results that have followed his magnificent promises, and because of the confusion and lack of direction that his rapidly shifting and self-contradictory program embodies. --"Is Roosevelt Slipping?" TNR, August 14, 1935. As President Clinton prepares to become the first two-term Democrat since FDR, commentators on the left and the right are busy expressing skepticism about his achievement.