EDITORIAL

Forward, March!

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Photo of Ronald Reagan

The conventional wisdom about the 2012 presidential race, among most political professionals and especially Republican campaign operatives, has been this: Reelection efforts are all about the incumbent. This incumbent is beatable. President Obama’s job approval rating, for the last couple of years, has consistently been below 50 percent. This reflects above all a poor economy, and voters vote their pocketbooks.

It’s true, the conventional consultant wisdom continues, that Republicans aren’t too popular either. But if the election is a referendum on Obama, and if Republicans can just avoid getting in their own way by raising wacky social issues or scaring ...

Cartoon of Obama, Pelosi and Biden playing monopoly

Undoing Obamacare

BY JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

A month before President Obama signed Obama-care into law, his secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, said, “I think the president remains committed to the notion that we have to have a ...

Photo of the Supreme Court

A Lose-Lose Case

BY FRED BARNES

In his autobiography, Ronald Reagan recalled when Pat Brown, his opponent for California governor in 1966, put together a TV commercial in ...

photo of a missile from inside

Beware ‘Flexibility’

BY JAMIE M. FLY and ROBERT ZARATE

President Obama didn’t intend the world to hear him tell outgoing Russian president Dmitri Medvedev that he’d have “more flexibility” to accommodate ...

Photos of Paul Ryan and David Petraeus

Ryan vs. Dempsey

BY GARY SCHMITT and THOMAS DONNELLY

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey is getting an appetite for political controversy. 

ARTICLES

Only in New York

The battle of the Park Slope Food Coop.

BY ZACK MUNSON

Cartoon of coop members arguing with each other

Brooklyn

Do you know what your grocery store thinks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Do you care? If you don’t, you’re probably not a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, located in a yuppie-hipster (yipster?) enclave in western Brooklyn. Coop members do care: For more than three years there has been a fierce debate about whether the member-owned-and-operated grocery should boycott Israeli products. At the coop’s monthly general meeting on March 27, members took a vote to decide the issue. Or, rather, to decide whether to send a ballot to the entire membership to decide the issue. (Cooperation requires a lot of voting.)

Photos of John Oliver, Ali Bongo Ondimba

UNESCO Funny Business

Annals of a dishonest PR campaign.

BY CLAUDIA ROSETT

Surely Comedy Central’s The Daily Show meant well when it sent comedian John Oliver all the way to Africa to file a report savaging the ...

Photo of Hilton Kramer

High Culture’s Paladin

Hilton Kramer, 1928-2012.

BY PHILIP TERZIAN

It would be tempting to describe Hilton Kramer, who died last week at 84, as the last of his breed, his kind: the cultural mandarin who, perched ...

Photo of the president with Dodd and Frank

Obamacare for the Financial Industry

The disastrous Dodd-Frank Act.

BY PETER J. WALLISON

All the Republican presidential candidates have called for repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act. Foreign governments are sending delegations to Washington ...

Photo of a killer whale performing

Animal Desires

Coming soon to a courtroom near you?

BY WESLEY J. SMITH

When People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sought a court ruling declaring SeaWorld’s killer whales “slaves” under the 13th Amendment, ...

Photo of Chinese nukes on display in Beijing

Nuclear Utopianism

The wishful thinking of U.S. arms control.

BY KEITH B. PAYNE

George Kennan, the celebrated architect of U.S. Cold War doctrine, called arms control policy during the 1920s and 1930s a species of wishful ...

FEATURES

The Book That Drove Them Crazy

Allan Bloom’s ‘Closing of the American Mind’ 25 years later.

BY ANDREW FERGUSON

Bloom holding the book

He had gone public with his ideas. He had written a book​—​difficult but popular​—​a spirited, intelligent, warlike book, and it had sold and was still selling in both hemispheres and on both sides of the equator. The thing had been done quickly but in real earnest: no cheap concessions, no popularizing, no mental monkey business, no apologetics, no patrician airs. .  .  . His intellect had made a millionaire of him. It’s no small matter to become rich and famous by saying exactly what you think​—​to say it in your own words, without compromise.

—Ravelstein, by Saul Bellow

Artist’s rendering of the SLS

Candidates in Orbit

The late, great U.S. space program.

BY P.J. O'ROURKE

We’ve had some fun with space policy in the 2012 presidential race. Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show, candidate debates, and ...

Books & Arts

Guilty Man

Posterity ponders the Hiss case.

BY RONALD RADOSH

Alger Hiss mugshot in 1949

Since the publication in 1978 of Allen Weinstein’s definitive Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case, only partisans of the far left have continued to insist that Alger Hiss was innocent. They see him as a framed-up New Dealer who was painted by Republicans as a patsy through which they could indict liberals as soft on communism. I never had illusions that Alger Hiss was anything but a man of the old pro-Soviet left, and probably a Communist.

In the late 1970s, when he was at the pinnacle of a sudden popularity, and making appearances at campuses throughout the country, I was given the opportunity to attend an afternoon talk and reception for him in New York. The event took place at the apartment of the lyricist E. Y. ...

Photo of Groucho Marx

Hee Hee=MC2

A postmortem on humor kills the joke.

BY DAVID GUASPARI

Humor plays an extraordinary role in everyday life. The traditional Martian observer might marvel at our craving for the incapacitating, nonproductive seizures known as laughter. Many major philosophers have proposed ...

Photo of Count Leo Tolstoy, 1908

Leo the Great

The novelist makes room for the celebrity.

BY JORDAN MICHAEL SMITH

History’s greatest novelist has not received the definitive scholarly biography he deserves. Why not? I put this question to Joseph Frank of ...

Photo of ‘Weegee’ and his portrait of Konrad Adenauer

Night Vision

The Dance of Death, with flashbulbs and film.

BY STEFAN BECK

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean​ — ​armed with nothing more than a camera, ...

the letter Q

The Alphabet Blues

The agony (and occasional ecstasy) of the letter Q.

BY JOE QUEENAN

Every month I get a prescription for a Lipitor generic filled at my local pharmacy. I also get a prescription for another medication, but I don’t ...

Movie still of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games

Slaughterhouse One

A gripping Grand Guignol for girls.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

No wonder that the movie version of the surpassingly strange young-adult novel The Hunger Games is an enormous hit and bids fair to become ...

CASUAL

Laggard

Christopher Caldwell, jet laggard.

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

Cartoon of a man buying lunch in his pajamas

A

t about quarter till nine Monday morning, heading back to the office after a big lunch of barbecued chicken and rice, I realized how much of my life I’ve lived under the influence of jet lag. I had spent the weekend at a conference in Belgium. My flight from Brussels had got in at 8 p.m. the night before, which meant 2 a.m. in my head. I gave my family the usual greeting (“Hello! Goodnight!”) when I crawled up the steps. I settled into bed with a book and read half a sentence (“One of the strange things about the—”) and then clonk! went the book on the floor. Next thing I knew the dog was barking psychotically at something in the window, most likely her reflection. ...

SCRAPBOOK

Inside the Liberal Bubble

image of the constitution

In Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.’s closing arguments before the Supreme Court in defense of Obama-care last week, The Scrapbook couldn’t help but notice a rather desperate gambit. He twice defended the health care law’s constitutionality by arguing it will help secure the “blessings of liberty,” as if the phrase stated in the Constitution’s preamble is a catchall that trumps the limits on federal power of the Constitution proper.

Talk about a tell. Blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, George Mason University law professor David Bern-stein summed it up: 

PARODY

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers