July 01, 1985
Lame Duck Soup
He looks like a lame duck, and he quacks like a lame duck, so is he a lame duck? This is the same question that excites all of Washington (meaning about three dozen people). What is the explanation for President Reagan’s failure to go from strength to strength following his overwhelming reelection last November? Suddenly he is losing legislative battles, coming under attack from unexpected quarters, stumbling, backing down. The official diagnosis blames Reagan’s ailments on a mysterious dynamic seemingly built into the American political system.
April 29, 1985
How We Lost
"Theory. . . demands that at the outset of a war its character and scope should be determined on the basis of political probabilities," wrote Carl von Clausewitz a century and a half ago, ". . . and [makes] imperative the need not to take the first step without considering the last." Caught up in new and sophisticated academic theories of limited war in the nuclear age, those who took America to war in Vietnam in the mid-sixties were not even aware of this "ancient" (and therefore by the antihistorical attitudes of the times, irrelevant) practical advice.
March 31, 1985
Open the Door
Chuck Lane: The case for embracing immigration.
March 11, 1985
Nuclear Idealism, Nuclear Realism
This week in Prague, Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new version of the START treaty, renewing their commitment to nuclear arms reduction. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also unveiled newly built nuclear centrifuges. And, in a well-timed TNR cover story, Peter Scoblic posed the incisive, probing question: What good is the time-tested doctrine of deterrence in an era where rogue states and terrorists have ready access to nuclear material?
January 28, 1985
On a local talk-show recently, a New York actress, Elizabeth Ashley, said of Chicago: "This is a real town." Chicago gets many friendly pats on the head like this. A fnend ut mine, a Churagoan transplanted from the East like me, growls: 'Don t you hate il when they come out here and say. Oh, what a little srtTci this city is'?"Chicago wasn't always a lost city.
November 05, 1984
Rookie of the Year
Vice Presidential debates are a sideshow, at best, to the main action of a Presidential election, but the pressures on George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro going into their October 11 meeting in Philadelphia nonetheless were enormous. After President Reagan's disastrous debate with Walter Mondale, Bush had to perform more than creditably. It was up to him to defend the Reagan record, undercut the Democratic case, and project some vision of the next four years in a way that Reagan did not.
May 28, 1984
About two weeks ago President Reagan was in Texas, and while here he said we ought to consider abolishing the deductibility of home interest from our taxes. . . . That I believe is the worst single idea around in tax law. . . . That is the only deduction that is in the tax law at all that does any good at all for the average American. Thus Walter Mondale in the Dallas candidates' debate May 2, using his signature rhetorical device of whiny hyperbole ("worst single idea...only deduction...any good at all") to exploit a recent Reagan gaffe.
The Decline of Oratory
The fault is in the speakers, and in the hearers, too.
May 14, 1984
Mission Out of Control
While Neil Armstrong was taking his giant step for mankind on the Moon in 1969, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was soaring back on Earth. By meeting President Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to land a man on the Moon within the decade, NASA had proven communism was no match for American knowhow and the American way of life. A decade of race riots, assassinations and war culminated with the stars and stripes planted in the Sea of Tranquility. But following the Moon landing, NASA went through a postpartum depression on a grand scale.
April 23, 1984
The Mushy Center
A Different Kind of Presidency: A Proposal for Breaking the Political Deadlock by Theodore C. Sorensen (Harper & Row, 134 pp., $11.95) If Senator Gary Hart gets back on the track toward the Democratic Presidential nomination, and if the candidate decides to follow the carefully considered advice of his campaign co-chairman, Theodore Sorensen, here's what will happen.