EDITORIAL

A Leader from Behind

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

A Leader from Behind

Nonetheless, Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the president’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.” That’s not a slogan designed for signs at the 2012 Democratic convention, but it does accurately describe the balance that Obama now seems to be finding. It’s a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world. Pursuing our interests and spreading our ideals thus requires stealth and modesty as well as military strength. “It’s so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world,” the adviser said. “But it’s necessary for shepherding us through this ...

The Syrian Crisis

The Syrian Crisis

BY LEE SMITH

Now more than a month and a half after peaceful demonstrations kicked off in the small city of Deraa, the Syrian uprising gives the Obama ...

ARTICLES

Birther of a Campaign

The Donald takes New Hampshire.

BY MATTHEW CONTINETTI

Birther of a Campaign

Portsmouth, N.H.

For months now, real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump has terrified the country by threatening to run for president. Trump says he won’t make any final decisions until May 22, when NBC plans to air the season finale of his game show, Celebrity Apprentice. But he’s certainly been acting like a candidate. He’s consulted with pollsters and campaign strategists. He’s cobbled together a platform: trade war with China and​—​this is not a joke​—​pillaging the countries America invades. He made a surprise appearance at February’s Conservative Political Action Conference. A couple of weeks ago he tried to ...

The Real Mediscare

The Real Mediscare

Obama’s rationing is the thing to worry about.

BY MARK HEMINGWAY

Since the introduction of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, backed by the House GOP, Democrats have been heavily engaged in “Mediscare” tactics. “Put ...

Our Kind of Class Warfare

Our Kind of Class Warfare

Let’s have a tax on political power.

BY P.J. O'ROURKE

Wipe that smirk off your face, Mister President. “We cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our ...

The Coming Euro Crack-Up

The Coming Euro Crack-Up

A currency divided against itself cannot stand.

BY IRWIN M. STELZER

A spectre is haunting Europe​—​the spectre of the disintegration of the eurozone. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance ...

FEATURES

Sandstorms

Barack Obama and the Great Arab Revolt.

BY REUEL MARC GERECHT

Sandstorms

We may never know whether the conjecture of the historian Fouad Ajami is correct: that President Barack Obama sought the approval of the Arab League for the air war against Muammar Qaddafi because he thought the league—an organization that has always shown greater sympathy for the region’s rulers than for its citizenry—would turn down the French-led request to unleash Western airpower to save Benghazi. President Obama has certainly seemed sincere, if not Kennedyesque, in his intent to save the rebels in the eastern half of the country from the depredations of the most Orwellian strongman in the Middle East. But his sincerity rests in constant tension with the core tenet of a developing Obama Doctrine: American hegemony is not a good thing, either for the United States or for the world. 

Miami Vice

Miami Vice

Mayoral candidate Luther Campbell, not as nasty as he used to be.

BY MATT LABASH


Miami
 

Books & Arts

Xenophilia

No longer blind to the greatness of this versatile Greek.

BY JOSEPH EPSTEIN

Xenophon

The Landmark Xenophon’s Hellenika

edited by Robert B. Strassler

Anchor, 672 pp., $25

Xenophon (ca. 430-354 b.c.), son of Gryllos, Athenian of the deme Erchia, had the bad luck to write history directly after Thucydides and to chronicle the thought of Socrates at the same time as Plato, his almost exact contemporary. ...

Wilsons

The Two Mrs. Wilsons

The 28th president and the women who sustained him.

BY KEVIN R. KOSAR

Ellen and Edith

Postcards from Vienna

Postcards from Vienna

What Modernism looked like at the dawn of Modern Times.

BY EVE TUSHNET

But with the inevitable forward march of progress come new ways of hiding things, and new things to hide.

Spider-Man

Dangling Men

‘Spider-Man’ as spectacle and lesson for Broadway.

BY VICTORINO MATUS

New York

CASUAL

The Red and the Black

Lee Smith, Strong Horse Backer

BY LEE SMITH

Photo

On the first Saturday in May, when I hear the opening strains of “My Old Kentucky Home,” my thoughts turn not to the Bluegrass State, but to the island my mother came from. The one time I went to the Kentucky Derby, in 1976, it was because my grandfather had entered a horse from his stable in Puerto Rico, and our family went to Louisville to watch him run.

My grandfather’s father had been a taxi driver, and in the early 1900s a cab was a horse-drawn carriage. His son pitied the ragged beasts and resolved that if he ever got rich he’d fill whole fields with horses. Fittingly, it was the horse’s replacement, the automobile, that was the engine of my grandfather’s success. He owned the island’s first Dodge dealership, and the money it ...

SCRAPBOOK

Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?

Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?

The Scrapbook believes that -everybody’s little girl should have an opportunity to play soccer and strongly favors women’s athletics, in all its myriad forms, in America’s colleges and universities. As supporters of Title IX like to point out, fewer than 30,000 women participated in college sports when Title IX was enacted nearly 40 years ago, and that number has since increased sixfold. The Scrapbook thinks this is great—but that is not what Title IX is really about. And a news story and editorial in last week’s New York Times illustrate a problem that seems to be a political third rail. 

Here’s ...

PARODY

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