EDITORIAL

The Reactionary Left

BY MATTHEW CONTINETTI

Photo of hippies in the sixties

That slight dizziness you’re feeling is a contact high from the clouds of left-wing nostalgia in New York City and Washington. The anarchists, antiglobalization activists, student radicals, and sympathetic journalists gathered at Occupy Wall Street desperately are trying to recapture the protest spirit of the 1960s. Meanwhile, Democrats from Paul Krugman to Barack Obama pine for the economy of the 1950s, when the distribution of incomes was much more equal than today. At the same time, high unemployment, lackluster growth, and austerity have led these Democrats to attempt to restore the politics of the 1930s, pitting “economic royalists” against the downtrodden masses. We knew liberals believed in recycling, but this is getting ridiculous.

Photo of Mitt Romney

‘To Bigotry No Sanction’

BY PHILIP TERZIAN

One intriguing, even unexpected, aspect of the race for the Republican nomination has been the emergence—perhaps we should say the reemergence—of ...

Photo of Anti-Assad demonstrators

What Syria Policy?

BY LEE SMITH

The threat against the life of the American ambassador to Syria comes during a bad streak for the Obama administration. First was the Iranian plot ...

ARTICLES

Forgive Us Our Debts

Europe runs out of money.

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

Cartoon of a euro bill going down the drain

London

As they do every few weeks, the leaders of the European Union met in Brussels on Wednesday, October 26, to solve their finance problems once and for all. As the sun rose on Thursday they emerged with a document that resembled an Obama budget—crystal-clear about its aims and aspirations, opaque about how it intends to achieve them. There is a reason for that. It is that these aims and aspirations are growing less and less realistic.

Back in 2010, when the crisis seemed ...

Photo of Keynes in 1935

Where Keynes Went Wrong

What if government spending depresses instead of stimulates?

BY CHARLES WOLF JR.

It is generally recognized that the conceptual underpinnings for so-called stimulus programs lie in the theory developed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. That the practical results of these programs in recent ...

Photo of a foreclosed house

A Cure for the Housing Blues

The cramdown solution.

BY IKE BRANNON

The biggest impediment to economic growth is the housing overhang, a fact that’s beginning to be acknowledged by both parties. In the last three ...

Photo of Candidate Romney at the Fairfax County Republican headquarters

Mitt Romney, Telemarketer

The frontrunner takes a turn on the GOP phone bank.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

Fairfax, Va.

FEATURES

Hidden Persuaders

The unheralded gains of the pro-life movement

BY FRED BARNES

Photo of ultrasound

Opponents of abortion are rarely interviewed on television these days. “It’s much harder to get on TV than it used to be,” says Charmaine Yoest, who heads Americans United for Life. Bookers of guests for news shows tell her, “We don’t want to talk about abortion. We’re tired of it.”

Perhaps the mainstream media are simply incapable of covering more than one social issue at a time. For the moment, the conflict over gay marriage and gays in the military is monopolizing media coverage, TV and print alike. Abortion is barely an afterthought.

There’s an upside to this for ...

Photo of a soldier in silhouette against the horizon

Defeat in Iraq

President Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops is the mother of all disasters

BY FREDERICK W. KAGAN, KIMBERLY KAGAN and MARISA COCHRANE SULLIVAN

Iraq is not Vietnam. There are certainly analogies: the length and unpopularity of the wars; the late escalation and increase in forces; the counterinsurgency success that came after public support for the effort ...

Books & Arts

Unchanging Channels

A look at television’s insular universe.

BY TEVI TROY

Carl Betz (left), Buddy Ebsen in ‘Barnaby Jones’ (1973)

There is a venerable tradition of conservative books on Hollywood’s pervasive liberalism. 

Ben Stein got the ball rolling in 1979 with his groundbreaking The View from Sunset Boulevard: America as Brought to You by the People Who Make Television. Stein argued, based on interviews with top executives, that there is a certain worldview that Hollywood writers and producers share that is reflected on the screen. This view was not necessarily liberal so much as skeptical of large organizations—think the military, corporations, and organized religion—as well as rural America. The origins of the perspective stemmed from the shared demographic ...

Drawing of a man on a boat harpooning a whale

Inside the Whale

Great strength, glaring weakness, in a debut novel.

BY STEFAN BECK

Near the end of Moby-Dick is an indelible description of two boats lost to the White Whale: “The odorous cedar chips of the wrecks danced ...

Photo of man conducting music

Transcendent Voice

Why Bill Evans was, and remains, an original.

BY IAN MARCUS CORBIN

In the spring of 1958, Miles Davis was in search of a new piano player, and a new sound. He found both in an unlikely figure: Bill Evans, a shy, neatly combed, bespectacled white boy from Plainfield, New Jersey. ...

Photo of William Thackeray

Writer’s Progress

Behind the scenes of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novelistic life.

BY EDWARD SHORT

n 1853, when William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) made his first lecture tour of America, Boston particularly pleased him because, as he said, its “vast amount of toryism and donnishness” reminded him of Edinburgh. Today, there may ...

Photo of Norman Corwin

Traveling Fellow

From radio to Reagan, Norman Corwin (1910-2011) fit the pattern.

BY LAUREN WEINER

The man often called the poet laureate of radio’s golden age died a few weeks ago at 101. His name was Norman Corwin, and he was a consequential ...

Still shot from the movie

Into the Abyss

There’s no way to disguise a harrowing descent.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

CASUAL

Words, R.I.P.

Matt Labash, reluctant emoter

BY MATT LABASH

Cartoon of emoticons

For 13 years now, I have been a Yahoo! Mail customer. Notice I didn’t say a “proud” Yahoo! Mail customer. For if you use Yahoo! for emailing, there is nothing to be proud of. As Gmail or even AOL users will eagerly explain, Yahoo! has always had a down-market feel. It’s like buying your suits at Montgomery Ward, or tending your social networking needs at Myspace—a haven for birthday magicians, child predators, and unlistenable garage bands.

Who knows why I chose it in the first place. It was the go-go ’90s—a mad swirl of budget surpluses, impeachment hearings, and tech bubbles. There was no time to think. We were too busy living. Maybe I was seduced by the wild-westness of the word “yahoo” or the ever-present exclamation point, my portal to excitement. But I signed ...

SCRAPBOOK

Sic Semper .  .  .

Photo of gold statue head

Tyrants come and go, sometimes dying in their beds, but more often than not dying at the hands of long-suffering subjects or conspirators. Hitler (1945) shot himself while the Red Army closed in on his bunker. Nero (68 a.d.) cut his throat before he could be beaten to death. Stalin (1953), after suffering a stroke, probably died because his underlings were too frightened to summon a physician. Samuel Doe of Liberia (1990) was tortured before he was executed; Doe, in turn, had tortured his predecessor William Tolbert (1980) before murdering him.

The Scrapbook was reminded of these melancholy facts by the grisly last moments of Libya’s Colonel ...

PARODY

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