EDITORIAL

A Time for Choosing

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

State flags

To the Republicans of the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida:

At this moment of great peril for our nation, you have the privilege of beginning the process of selecting the 2012 Republican presidential nominee—the individual who will save us from the ghastly prospect of an Obama second term, and who will then have the task of beginning to put right our listing ship of state, setting our nation on a course to restored solvency, reinvigorated liberty, and renewed greatness.

Your responsibility is great. ...

Photo of a typical small town Main Street

The Real Main Street Agenda

BY MATTHEW CONTINETTI

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for battle! The 2012 campaign is shaping up to be a struggle over which candidate best represents the interests and ...

Photo of Speaker Boehner

In Praise of the House

BY YUVAL LEVIN

On the night Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in November 2010, John Boehner laid out the new Congress’s key priorities: to restrain the growth of government, cut spending, reform how Congress works, and end the ...

Michele Bachmann with a "repeal it now" sign

The Candidates and Repeal

BY JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

During a recent 60 Minutes interview, President Obama revealed that he was being modest when he awarded himself a B+ grade near the end of ...

ARTICLES

Inconsequential Iowa

Ignore the caucus results. They won’t matter.

BY FRED BARNES

Cartoon of elephant watching tv that says Iowa on it

When Senator Paul Simon of Illinois was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988, one of his first stops was in the backyard of a residence in Wartburg, Iowa. About 100 people had assembled to hear him. The first question: What’s up in Namibia?

Iowa is different. It was in 1988 and it is now. Nowhere else in the universe would a Third World country be the subject of the first question for a candidate for the White House. So Iowa is an odd place to have the first votes cast in a presidential race. Yet that’s what will occur on January 3 in Republican caucuses around the state.

Photo of Nuri al-Maliki

Is Iraq Lost?

Things fall apart . . .

BY FREDERICK W. KAGAN and KIMBERLY KAGAN

With administration officials celebrating the “successful” withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, thanking antiwar groups for making that ...

Drawing of Mitt Romney

Still Romney’s Race to Lose

A candidate custom-made for the nominating ­process.

BY JAY COST

We are just days away from the start of the caucus and primary season, and while many questions remain, it is nevertheless possible to get a sense ...

Photo of Ron Paul

What If Ron Paul Wins Iowa?

He’s crazy, they’re not.

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

It’s started early this time. Nobody in Iowa has cast a vote in the 2012 Republican presidential caucuses. It’s not even 2012. But the quadrennial ...

Photo of Rick Santorum

Hoping for Another Surprise

Rick Santorum’s last stand.

BY JOHN MCCORMACK

Rick Santorum is back where he began his career in politics, running like crazy in an election no one thinks he can win. As a 32-year-old long-shot Republican candidate in 1990, Santorum wore out a lot of shoe leather ...

A row of Mitt Romney campaign signs on a front lawn

Fortress New Hampshire

Romney’s redoubt.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

Bedford, N.H.
What does it take to win the New Hampshire primary? Depends on ...

Photo of a Protest in Bolotnaya Square

Russian Thaw

Putin loses his grip.

BY CATHY YOUNG

"We went to jail in one country and came out in another,” Russia’s most famous blogger, 35-year-old anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, said on ...

Photo of Vaclav Havel

A Worthy Heart

Václav Havel, 1936-2011.

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

Was it Western strength that triumphed over communism or Western freedom? It was both, of course, but Václav Havel, who died last week at the age of ...

Photo of Václav Havel

A Tale of Two Dissidents

There’s a difference between resisting dictators and accommodating them.

BY MICHAEL MOYNIHAN

The death notices for Christa Wolf, one of Germany’s most celebrated novelists, were telling. The German feuilletons heaved with tributes ...

"OOPS" sign

Rules for Republicans

Use Obama’s playbook against him.

BY JEFF BERGNER and LISA SPILLER

The two of us​—​a marketing professor and a political analyst​—​have just published a book about the highly successful Obama presidential campaign ...

FEATURES

Popular Culture and the Baby Boomers

One more thing we’ve ruined.

BY P.J. O'ROURKE

Cartoon of aging Baby Boomers

Did the baby boom wreck popular culture? “D’oh,” to borrow from the subject in question. On the other hand, consider the source. A generation ago was there anything with as much brains, sly cunning, human comedy, and broad public appeal as The Simpsons?

There was Nixon, with his landslide reelection and hilarious one-liners. But that’s politics. Politics is easier to measure qualitatively than popular culture. Failures of quality control are more evident in politics. The president of the United States surprised by Pearl Harbor versus your mother surprised by the Village People.

Photo of Mehdi Hashemi Bahramani Rafsanjani

A Ph.D. in Torture

Why is Rafsanjani’s son studying at Oxford?

BY EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI

When NATO planes launched their air campaign over Libya’s skies last spring and Western leaders said that Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi had to go, ...

Books & Arts

Unfree to Be .  .  .

Religious liberty and human rights.

BY CHARLOTTE ALLEN

Photo of man and woman being hit by a police officer

This book is yet another riposte to the late Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington’s incendiary and much-discussed The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996). Huntington’s book had been itself a response to Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man (1992). Fukuyama had argued that, what with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet empire, the era of political and ideological conflicts (“history”) was over, and the whole world was now lumbering, in an immense metaphorical wagon train, toward ...

Photo of the ‘dancing Marquess’ of Anglesey (ca. 1900)

Downhill from Here

The unedifying spectacle of an unruly ruling class.

BY ANDREW STUTTAFORD

Anglophobes or egalitarians still looking for confirmation that the English aristocracy is no longer what it was may find Marcus Scriven’s Splendour & Squalor the most satisfying read since whatever it ...

Photo of Eric Hoffer laughing

Working Man Blues

Eric Hoffer: longshoreman, writer, prophet.

BY FRED SIEGEL

Not long ago Thomas Edsall told readers of the New York Times that the 2012 Obama campaign had essentially given up trying to win the support of white working-class voters. The Democrats, explained Edsall, ...

Photo of John Le Carre

Square’s Roots

As the Cold War ended, the compass went haywire.

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

There was a time when John le Carré mattered, really mattered—back when he seemed a major talent and one of the best observers of our time: the man who had turned genre fiction into literature.

Charlize Theron as Mavis

This Way Out

An elaborate meditation on the strikingly obvious.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

The word “slight” could have been invented to describe Young Adult, the new collaboration from the director and screenwriter of ...

CASUAL

Render Unto Caesars

Victorino Matus, sybarite

BY VICTORINO MATUS

Cartoon of a man getting a facial

Las Vegas
"This is, like, your third eye,” my massage therapist told me as she dripped a mango-based oil onto my forehead, letting it trickle back through my hair, before she worked her fingers firmly over my scalp. The lights were dimmed and a sensual native beat was emanating softly from the speakers. My hands and feet, meanwhile, were lathered in warm coconut milk and wrapped in towels bearing hot stones.

It was a relaxing feeling, don’t get me wrong. But it seemed a bit unmanly. After all, I was a man with mango oil in my hair (not to mention those hot stones). Of course, it was entirely my doing—I had casually mentioned to Caesars Palace public relations I was interested in writing about spa culture and, thanks to their generosity, received a complimentary pass to the hotel’s ...

SCRAPBOOK

Damned Lies and ‘Fact Checking’ (cont.)

Cartoon of boxing match between an elephant and a donkey

It was just two issues ago that The Weekly Standard published Mark Hemingway’s devastating brief against media “fact checkers” and their systematic bias against the right (“Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Fact Checking,’ ” December 19, 2011). But Fortuna is a capricious sprite, and The Scrapbook awoke last week to find the left spitting nails about PolitiFact, the influential column produced by the St. Petersburg Times. For its “Lie of the Year,” PolitiFact selected Democrats’ claim that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget​—​passed by the House GOP earlier this year​—​would “end Medicare.” 

Practically the entire liberal wonkery cried foul, ...

PARODY

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