EDITORIAL

The Man Who Likes Mandates

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Photo of Mitt Romney

Why is there still so much resistance among Republican primary voters to Mitt Romney, the likely but not inevitable GOP nominee? Perhaps the deepest reason is this: At a moment in history when we need a bold commitment to reform, a fundamental willingness to limit the state and revitalize self-government, Romney’s achievements and qualifications seem out of step with the times.

Consider a revealing debate moment. It’s not from this year’s campaign but from 2008, when Obamacare did not yet exist. Here’s an exchange from the debate among Republican candidates at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on January 5 that year:

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Don’t Go Wobbly

BY MAX BOOT

It’s been a bad few weeks in Afghanistan. The burning of several Korans by U.S. military personnel at the Bagram airbase on February 20 sparked ...

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Big Labor’s Big Bucks

BY MARK HEMINGWAY

Last week, the New York Times reported that “labor leaders say they will mount their biggest campaign effort, with far more union members ...

ARTICLES

There’s a Chance! Yes!

Could there be a brokered convention?

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

Cartoon of Santorum, Romney, Gingrich

Nobody had the week of March 11 circled on the political calendars last fall. The week after Super Tuesday featured two contests in the Deep South, two on the islands, and a caucus in a state that had already hosted a meaningless, if well-attended, primary. But last week may end up being more significant than most in the bizarre and meandering Republican presidential nominating process. It was the race in a snapshot: Rick Santorum did better than expected. Mitt Romney failed to win over very conservative voters but continued to add delegates. And Newt Gingrich underperformed but vowed to continue.

Still, something changed: The campaigns for two of the three leading candidates ...

photo of an elephant statue

GOP Blunders

There aren’t as many as the media think.

BY FRED BARNES

The media specialize in spotting political blunders, miscues, and lost battles by Republicans. And reporters and commentators have found a lot of ...

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One Rule at a Time

The right way to cut government red tape.

BY ELI LEHRER

Just about every poll on regulatory issues shows many Americans hold contradictory views. By growing majorities, Americans say they oppose ...

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Official Crusade

Michelle Obama’s theology of the body.

BY MEGHAN CLYNE

On February 11, as the debate over the Obama administration’s rule forcing religious institutions to provide insurance for contraceptive and ...

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The End of Reference

Hail Britannica.

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

It’s around, say, 1979, and you’re trying to remember where you saw that article on rising radiation levels in Eastern Europe. It might have been in ...

Photos of David Koch, Charles Koch, Ed Crane

Family Feud

In defense of the Cato Institute.

BY P. J. O’ROURKE

Ideological snits and quarrels are the rightful province of feckless leftists. Their neverending dissensions give them something to Occupy (as it ...

FEATURES

Without Precedent

The Supreme Court weighs Obamacare.

BY ADAM J. WHITE

Cartoon

Ordinarily, judges decide cases by applying the text of laws and the precedents laid down in previous cases. But the Supreme Court is no ordinary court, and the cases that it chooses to decide are not ordinary ones. Cases in which the lower courts disagree; cases of utmost national importance; cases for which there is little precedent or the written law is ambiguous​—​this is the Supreme Court’s daily fare.

But even among those hard cases, there is a subset that stands out. In late 2005, Barack Obama, then a freshman senator, placed those extraordinary cases at the center of his opposition to John Roberts’s nomination for chief justice:

Books & Arts

The Master’s Voices

Henry James gets the scholarly treatment.

BY WILLIAM H. PRITCHARD

Photo of Jeremy Northam and Uma Thurman in ‘The Golden Bowl’

Among the scholarly and critical books that continue to crowd the Henry James shelf in university libraries, this new one by Michael Anesko deserves a significant place. Monopolizing the Master tells the story of what happened to Henry James’s legacy after his death in England in 1916 at the age of 72.

Not long before he died, he declared that he had long thought of “launching a curse not less explicit than Shakespeare’s own on any such as try to move my bones.” Expressing his “abhorrence” of any biography of himself, and of giving to the world instances of his private correspondence, he destroyed reams of letters from family and friends. Such vigorous ...

Photo of Germans saluting Hitler

Evil on Parade

What were Americans thinking about the Third Reich?

BY SONNY BUNCH

The common counterfactual as it relates to Hitler is somewhat fantastical: If you could go back in time and kill the Austrian madman before he ...

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Families Matter

The message of the ‘Moynihan Report’ remains urgent.

BY EDWIN M. YODER JR.

We recently reached a landmark in the checkered annals of social science: the 47th anniversary of an initially obscure paper that few living Americans have heard of, and ...

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Lively’s Art

Passion, gentility, manners, and morals.

BY KYLE SMITH

To open a Penelope Lively novel is to accept an invitation to the exhilaration of nuance. That is the kind way of putting it. To be less kind would ...

book cover

Take Up the Slack

Is grand strategy governed by ambition or politics?

BY CHRISTOPHER LAYNE

Grand strategy is about how states use their military, economic, diplomatic, and soft power resources to gain security and advance their interests ...

Craig Lawrence on the runway

China by Design

Fashion Week in Hong Kong is serious business.

BY SAMANTHA SAULT

Hong Kong

Photo from The Godfather

Forty Years On

Why ‘The Godfather’ is a classic, destined to endure.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

There were surely people at the first showing of The Godfather upon its release on March 15, 1972, who understood that the film they were ...

CASUAL

Europe’s Drinking Problem

Victorino Matus, without a drop to drink.

BY VICTORINO MATUS

Cartoon of a German man staring at a glass of ice water

The announcement made news on both sides of the Atlantic: “A meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control,” the London Telegraph reported last November. As a consequence, “producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim [that water hydrates] and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict.” It took the EU three years to arrive at this decision.

Not that we should be so surprised. After all, the European Union regulates the shape and size of condoms. It is also fiercely ...

SCRAPBOOK

Greed and Excess at the New York Times

Photo of the New York Times headline

One of the stranger episodes in contemporary journalism has just occurred in the pages of the New York Times, and what it means is a question the otherwise omniscient Scrapbook would like to answer, but cannot.

It all began last Wednesday when the Times published an op-ed piece entitled “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs” by a South African financier named Greg Smith. Like many more-in-sorrow-than-anger accounts of an awakened conscience, Smith’s essay went to considerable lengths to assure readers that the author is a gentleman of high standards and higher ideals, and that his decision to leave his friends and colleagues at the ...

PARODY

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