EDITORIAL

A Deliberative Convention

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Photo of 1932 Democratic National Convention in Chicago

The late Murray Kempton famously said that “a political convention is not a place where you can come away with any trace of faith in human nature.”

Witty—but wrong. American history suggests we’re entitled to put some faith in political conventions.

In 1787, the constitutional convention that met and deliberated in Philadelphia saved the Union and produced the Constitution of the United States—described by William Gladstone as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” In ...

Syrian protestors

Hurry Assad Along

BY LEE SMITH

Last week the Obama administration’s point man on Syria, Frederic Hof, went to Capitol Hill to apprise the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the ...

ARTICLES

Chaos in Caucusland

Who’s going to win in Iowa? Who knows.

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

Photo of Mitt Romney at the Missouri Valley Steel plant in Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux City, Iowa

"They’re all idiots.” It was a considered opinion, offered by a waitress at a popular northwest Iowa restaurant last week in response to my inquiry about her thoughts on the Republican presidential field. Our waitress was not a Democrat; in 2008, she caucused for Mitt Romney. And she’s interested in the current race, as she demonstrated with a succinct but sophisticated analysis of the candidates. The more she sees them, the less she likes them. 

It’s not just ...

Photo of all the Republican presidential candidates

The Agony of Victory

It’s the age of anxiety for Republicans.

BY FRED BARNES

The thrill is gone. Enthusiasm fired by the Republican sweep in the 2010 election has faded as fear of blowing the opportunity to defeat President ...

Photo of Jon Huntsman campaigning in Nashua, N.H.

In the Hunt?

In New Hampshire, the former Utah governor is 25 points behind, and gaining.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

Wayne MacDonald, the chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, has a general message for presidential candidates as the January 10 ...

Photo of a sign that reads, "one term president"

A Very Beatable President

But the GOP can still blow it.

BY JAY COST

We are a little over 10 months from Election Day, and the Christmas hope of many conservatives is that voters next November will deliver a decisive ...

Photo of Ron Paul

The Company Ron Paul Keeps

Meet Alex Jones.

BY JAMES KIRCHICK

The Republican Jewish Coalition announced this month that congressman Ron Paul would not be among the six guests invited to participate in its ...

Photo of a Swiss mountainside chalet

Mortgaging Our Future

The case against 30-year loans.

BY ELI LEHRER and IKE BRANNON

The conventional wisdom holds that a housing finance system built on the bedrock of long-term, fixed-rate mortgages—the sensible, historic, ...

FEATURES

High School Monumental

How much education does $124 million buy?

BY ZACK MUNSON

Photo of The new Wilson

Washington, D.C.

Last year, I happened to drive by my old high school, Woodrow Wilson in Washington, and I saw something very encouraging: The school was being demolished. Why was this encouraging? Well, the sprawling, red brick building had been standing, with little modification and not enough maintenance, since 1935. It lacked basic amenities that people who went to normal schools might take for granted, like functioning light fixtures and a supply of toilet paper. (We did have an indoor pool for a while, until one of the walls said “screw it” and collapsed.)

Photo of Angela Merkel talking to Nicolas Sarkozy

Cameron to Eurozone

Drop dead

BY IRWIN M. STELZER

"A man attending a wife-swapping party without his wife.” So a ...

Books & Arts

Dwight’s Dream

The demise of middlebrow America.

BY ANDREW FERGUSON

Photo of Leonard Bernstein conducting a ‘Young People’s Concert’ in 1958

If I thought of Dwight Macdonald every time I came across a PBS pledge drive, I would think of Dwight Macdonald much more often than I do. But I do think of him now and then, and the pledge drive is usually the occasion for it. When America stares wide-eyed as its intellectual public TV network shills for itself with doo-wop concerts and Suze Orman get-rich pep talks, we can thank Macdonald. He’s the spiritual father to the pledge drive.

A witty magazine writer who thrived from the forties through the early seventies, Macdonald was a steady contributor not only to “little magazines” like Partisan Review and Commentary but also, in a rare instance of journalistic crossdressing, to the high-paying slicks: ...

Photo of George Kennan with the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State

Wrong Telegram

The mysterious reputation of George F. Kennan.

BY JOHN BOLTON

Yale professor John Lewis Gaddis has written an impressive biography of George Kennan, the Cold War strategist, Soviet expert, and intellectual icon of the liberal establishment. Well worth reading, it nonetheless raises ...

Photo of Max Beerbohm

Opus Maximus

A comic master’s comic masterpiece turns 100.

BY SARA LODGE

A great English comic novel celebrates its centenary. The funniest femme fatale of all time turned 100 this year.

Photo of Lionel Barrymore as Henry F. Potter

Life Is Earnest

No wings for this angel, but Mr. Potter was right.

BY MEGHAN CLYNE

Christmas is nigh, and so are the nonstop showings of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. As they do every ...

Photo of Alec Guinness from movie

Slow Motion Smiley

A remake of a television version of the espionage novel.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

The new version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy—John le Carré’s 1974 novel made into an indelible 1979 miniseries with Alec Guinness—isn’t really a piece of storytelling. It’s more of an art installation, a ...

CASUAL

Goodly Fragrance

Joseph Bottum, the scent of Christmas

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

Cartoon of grumpy elderly woman

Mrs. Johansen always complained. She’d whine about newsprint smearing. She’d grumble that I folded the paper wrong. Never mind that I was delivering to all her neighbors; she knew that some of them, most of them, were waiting for a chance to steal her newspaper, and she’d make me wedge the paper—folded in thirds—between her door handle and the jamb.

Which was fine on a Saturday. But who could get a fat Friday newspaper into that narrow space? So, every time I fumbled at the door, I’d hear her. Well, no, not every time. Memory is a boastful guide, at best. But often enough, she’d be up at six in the morning: a hatchet-thin woman with an angry glare and a ...

SCRAPBOOK

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

Christopher Hitchens offers a cigarette to an Iraqi man

"One way of describing him, as well as of valuing him, would be to say that he was a man at war.”

(Hitchens on Orwell, 
Grand Street, Winter 1984)

PARODY

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