On Misremembering The Past
November 14, 2006
by Sanford Levinson I suppose one ought to accentuate the positive in George W. Bush's participation in the ceremony marking the memorialization of Martin Luther King in Washington, but there is also truly something indecent in his claiming, even for one second, to pay any respect to Dr. King's legacy. This is most obviously the case with regard to the issue of war.
November 13, 2006
These days, the diplomatic energy spent on Iraq isn't coming from Foggy Bottom or the Pentagon, but from an office building near Dupont Circle, where the 76-year-old Baker and nine other Washington establishmentarians have spent the last eight months working on Iraq policy options to be presented sometime before February. Technically, Baker is merely the co-chairman of the commission, which is officially known as the Iraq Study Group.
A Very Long Engagement
May 15, 2006
Bush channels Neville Chamberlain.
March 20, 2006
She took a sip of red wine, then set the glass down on the bedside table. Unceremoniously, she pulled her top over her head and dropped her skirt. She was wearing nothing beneath. Still in her high heels, she walked toward him....
Standard and Poor
February 20, 2006
One of the most familiar rituals in George W. Bush’s Washington is the fantasizing that accompanies the president’s annual budget. The ritual goes something like this: Bush announces plans to cut a variety of domestic spending programs. Conservatives cheer the spirit of the cuts—even as they worry that they could be tough to implement or that they aren’t ambitious enough. Then, during the budget process, most of these cuts are restored—except those that affect the poor. And those cuts are too small to have any practical effect on the deficit.
The Rebirth of Political Theater
December 20, 2004
It is a truth universally acknowledged that as a nation's politics grow more regressive, its arts tend to become more rambunctious. This is especially true in the theater. At the same time that the newly re-elected Bush administration is eliminating all traces of opposition from its Cabinet and its agencies, the volume of dissent is being turned up again on the American stage. Let us savor this precious privilege. An administration so eager for conformity in its inner circles will eventually try to impose it on the culture and the citizenry at large.
June 28, 2004
ONE: We have learned that Saddam Hussein's Baathist dictatorship was just as bad as everyone said, and worse. We have learned about the 300,000 Shia killed after the 1991 war, the perhaps 30,000 people buried in a single grave, the 40,000 marsh Arabs killed, the millions of refugees, and so forth--mass destruction with and without weapons of mass destruction. We have learned about the survivors. In Baghdad, a woman schoolteacher approached George Packer of The New Yorker and said, "Please, sir, can you help me? ...
TRB From Washington: Enemy Within
May 03, 2004
REPUBLICANS SAY THEY ARE dismayed by the partisanship of the 9/11 Commission and, if you define partisanship as criticism of the Bush administration--the working definition on much of the right--they are exactly right. But, if you define partisanship the way it's traditionally understood--as placing party interests above national ones--then the 9/11 Commission hasn't been very partisan at all. And that's what really irks the GOP: They're dismayed that the 9/11 Commission isn't partisan enough.
September 09, 2002
The United States added a critical ounce of prevention to its war on terrorism last week. One hundred pounds of prevention, actually, in the form of bomb-grade, highly enriched uranium airlifted from Serbia to Russia for safekeeping. The nuclear material had been sitting around for more than a decade at Belgrade's Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences—a decrepit civilian nuclear reactor—in small, low-radiation canisters that would have been easy to carry off without special equipment. The site was protected by little more than a barbed-wire fence and a few lightly armed guards.
March 25, 2002
A month or so ago, in a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters’ annual convention, Attorney General John Ashcroft said the following: “Civilized individuals, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator. Governments may guard freedom. Governments don’t grant freedom.