Hughes, Dewey, Nixon, Dole . . . ?


Photos of Hughes, Dewey, Nixon, and Dole 

In the last century, Republicans have posted large gains in midterm elections during the first term of a Democratic president five times. The elections of 1914, 1946, 1966, 1994, and 2010 all reflected popular disenchantment with big-government liberalism, and with the newly elected (or in the case of Truman, the newly sworn-in) Democratic president’s promotion of the same. 

What happened next? The history isn’t encouraging for conservatives. In the three cases in which the incumbent Democratic president stood for election two years later​—​Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Harry Truman in 1948, and Bill Clinton in 1996​—​each prevailed. And in 1968, when Lyndon ...


Iran Clocks Ticking


In his history of the long-running conflict between Iran and America, Kenneth Pollack writes of the “two clocks” that measure time as it relates to ...


The End of Canterbury

Will the sun set on the Anglican communion?


Photo of Rowan Williams

The archbishop of Canterbury is going to resign next year. At least that’s the story making the rounds of newspapers in London, and the interesting part is not that the 61-year-old Rowan Williams should be willing to give up another decade in the job. Or even, if the Telegraph is right, that the clergy and his fellow bishops are working to push him out.

No, the interesting news about the looming resignation is how little attention anyone appears to be paying to it. The Church of England just doesn’t seem to matter all that much, fading from the world’s stage only slightly more slowly than the British Empire that planted it across the globe. 

Cartoon of Mitt Romney

Overestimating Romney

Aside from getting votes, he’s a great candidate.


There are three basic theories to explain why Mitt Romney hasn’t been able to build support above the 30 percent level, despite being the heavily ...

Photo of two mice

A Nightmare of a Dream Team

Obama’s intellectuals.


Is it possible that the people who run the Obama administration aren’t as smart as we’ve been led to believe?

Photo of Teddy Roosevelt and Obama

The Debate Winner

How the Republican contests help Obama.


Republicans are paying a high price for allowing their presidential race to be dominated by nationally televised debates. The GOP candidates have reduced themselves to supplicants whose weak points are probed by media ...

Obama giving a speech

Undoing Osawatomie

A GOP opportunity to reverse TR’s mistake.


Osawatomie, Kansas, is where Theodore Roosevelt famously announced his embrace of progressive politics​—​from atop a kitchen table, no less, ...

Photo of Occupy Wall Street protestor being hauled off by police

Occupational Therapy

A movement custom-designed to hurt liberals.


"God, I love ’em,” wrote Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post not long after the glorious dawning of Occupy Wall Street, saying that the ...

Photo of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Obama

Turning Away from Europe

Turkey’s second thoughts.


One way to gauge the present state of European unity is to know that Turkey, which has energetically sought membership in the European Union for the ...

Photo of Stalin holding a young Svetlana

Steeled in Struggle

The saga of Stalin’s daughter.


It’s an old saw to call someone’s life worthy of a novel. Yet when several obituaries used the phrase to describe the life of Lana Peters, an ...


Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Fact Checking’

The liberal media’s latest attempt to control the discourse.


Photo of elephant and donkey boxing

If you’ve ever found yourself engaged in a futile, one-sided argument with a politician on your TV screen, you’re hardly alone in your frustration. However, if you’re inclined to jot down such intemperate outbursts, and have the chutzpah to charge people for your services​—​you might have what it takes to join the ranks of one of journalism’s most popular and elite new breeds.

They call themselves “fact checkers,” and with the name comes a veneer of objectivity doubling as a license to go after any remark by a public figure they find disagreeable for any reason. Just look at the Associated Press to understand how the scheme works. The venerable wire service’s recent “fact check” of statements made at the November 12 GOP ...

Photo of Germans

Germany’s Not So New Extremists

The police, belatedly, solve a series of racist murders.


"It seems . . . that we are in fact dealing with a new form of right-wing extremist terrorism,” German interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich ...

Books & Arts

Believing Is Seeing

History unfolds beneath the Ivory Tower.


Photo of Lenin arriving at the Finland Station in Petrograd in 1917

Mary Ann Glendon begins her chapter on Rousseau by recounting the story of Napoleon’s visit to the grave of that worthy on the estate of the Marquis René Louis de Girardin at Ermenonville and saying, “It would have been better for the peace of France if this man had never lived.” When the marquis sensibly pointed out that, without the impetus given by Rousseau’s writings to the French Revolution, Napoleon himself would not have existed, at least not as Napoleon, the first consul replied that only the future would tell if it would have been better if neither he nor Rousseau had ever lived.

The association of Napoleon—himself as real as a heart attack, as we would say today—with this kind of intellectual ...

Drawing of Count Camillo Cavour circa 1855

Das Boot

The mystery of the land of Machiavelli and macaroni.


This thoughtful and useful book is misnamed: It should be called Italy, a Historical Portrait of a Failed State. But David Gilmour’s timing is impeccable, giving us this affectionate profile just as Italy ...

Photo from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Funny Girls

The case for devouring two modern comic classics.


They wouldn’t have much to say to each other at a dinner party, but there are few more delightful young women in modern literature than Miss Lorelei Lee and Miss Flora Poste, the indomitable, and conniving, heroines ...

Photo of John Lithgow in 1996

Act Three

The midlife monologue of John Lithgow.


Show business memoirs, at least in the present age, tend to fall into one of two categories: confessional stories of addiction and rehab, to which creative endeavor is at best peripheral; or uneven and occasionally ...

Movie still of George Clooney and Shailene Woodley

Hawaiian Ay Yi Yi

Here’s a switch: Good novel makes bad movie.



Taking the Plunge

Theresa Civantos, mountaineer


Photo of a girl jumping off a cliff into a river

Some friends and I went hiking in White Oak Canyon in the Shenandoah Valley the other Sunday, and we stopped to take pictures at the foot of a tall cliff. Someone said we should climb it. I hesitated for a moment, then fell in behind the group. We made it to the top and were rewarded with glorious views of the surrounding valley.

Standing there on the cliff, I was flooded with memories of another climb, just six months before, in Israel. It was a climb that tested the limits of my endurance. At the time a college student with no mountaineering experience and a lifelong fear of heights, I’d gone along with friends, reluctant, but even more afraid of looking chicken in their eyes. Before I knew it, I’d found myself clinging to a ...


‘Workplace Violence’ Update

Photo of Obama riding a horse in Rough Rider outfit

On June 1, 2009, a convert to Islam named Carlos Leon Bledsoe (aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad) opened fired on a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Muhammad killed one soldier and wounded another. His guilt and motivation have never really been in dispute. “I wasn’t insane or post traumatic nor was I forced to do this Act,” Bledsoe wrote in a letter to the judge who presided over his case, according to the New York Times. The shooting, Bledsoe added, was “justified according to Islamic Laws and the Islamic Religion. Jihad—to fight those who wage war on Islam and Muslims.” Bledsoe, who spent more than a year studying Arabic in Yemen, also claimed that he was dispatched by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).


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