Richard Nixon

Making An Example Of Nixon
December 29, 2006

Despite a flood of articles on Gerald Ford's decision to pardon Richard Nixon, I haven't seen anyone put forth the best reason for prosecuting Nixon all-out: deterrence. Wouldn't it have been valuable to throw a president in jail, or at least see him convicted of serious criminal charges? I know, I know, it might have prevented our country's "healing" so soon after Watergate and Vietnam. But seriously, a lot of American presidents have done a lot of bad things. Wouldn't the example of Nixon have served as a nice warning? --Isaac Chotiner

The other Vietnam syndrome.
October 09, 2006

At the beginning of August, President Bush introduced a war-weary American public to an old conservative slander disguised as a new approach to the Iraq war. Shifting from his earlier rhetoric of optimism, he gave a series of election-timed speeches that were noticeably grim. Bush no longer emphasized the prospects of success; rather, he spoke of the danger of defeat. "Some politicians look at our efforts in Iraq and see a diversion from the war on terror," he said in a speech late last month.

Pin Prick
May 08, 2006

Ryan Lizza on George Allen's race problem.

War College
March 20, 2006

Hillary Clinton, congratulations. You’re the lucky recipient of a winning political issue, which has the added virtue of being morally important. Send your thanks to Columbia University and the U.S. Supreme Court.   This week, the Court unanimously upheld the Solomon Amendment, which denies government funding to universities that prohibit military recruiting on campus.

Fact Finders
February 28, 2005

Imagine that God were to appear on Earth for the unlikely purpose of settling, once and for all, our disputes over economic policy. And suppose that, to my enormous surprise, he announced that every empirical claim advanced by conservatives was correct. Cutting taxes produces such great economic growth that even the poor benefit. Privatizing or eliminating social programs like Medicare and Social Security will cause the elderly to save more money and enjoy higher living standards.

Fact Finders
February 26, 2005

Imagine that God were to appear on Earth for the unlikely purpose of settling, once and for all, our disputes over economic policy. And suppose that, to my enormous surprise, he announced that every empirical claim advanced by conservatives was correct. Cutting taxes produces such great economic growth that even the poor benefit. Privatizing or eliminating social programs like Medicare and Social Security will cause the elderly to save more money and enjoy higher living standards.

Turn On
October 18, 2004

George W. Bush and John Kerry probably differ more on energy policy than on any major issue except abortion, yet news organizations have said barely a word about their positions. Energy policy ought to be a limelight issue this election year. Congress has not passed an energy bill in more than a decade. Oil consumption and oil imports continue to rise. Natural gas prices are high and supplies are tight. Average fuel efficiency of new cars is the lowest in 15 years. The United States continues to supplicate to Persian Gulf dictators for petroleum.

White Flight
August 02, 2004

West Virginians sour on the Iraq war.

Devils in America
February 16, 2004

Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America By Ted Morgan (Random House, 685 pp., $35)  NEARLY FIFTY YEARS AGO the United States Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. Within three years of his disgrace, McCarthy was dead, his health destroyed by heavy drinking. His time in the limelight had been brief.

Idiot Time
July 08, 2002

Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips (Broadway Books, 432 pp., $29.95) Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! by Michael Moore (ReganBooks, 304 pp., $24.95) I. As Lord Bryce noted in 1888 in The American Commonwealth, the American way of choosing presidents rarely produces politicians of quality. Subsequent events vindicated his point: in the half-century after his book appeared, Americans elected to the presidency such undistinguished men as William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G.

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