EDITORIAL

Let Romney Be Romney

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Photos of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mitt Romney

No whining. No nagging. No teeth-gnashing. These are our springtime resolutions here at The Weekly Standard, at the beginning of the six-month general election campaign to select the next president of the United States.

Let’s stipulate once and for all that Mitt Romney isn’t a perfect candidate, that he’ll have trouble connecting with some voters, and that he’ll at times fall short of compellingly articulating a reformist conservative agenda for the 21st century. We’ll further stipulate​ once and for all that the Romney campaign will be at times annoyingly ham-handed, at other times exasperatingly short-sighted, and will prove in general only imperfectly ...

Photo of Obama speaking to members of the military

Obama’s Way of War

BY REUEL MARC GERECHT

Is Barack Obama a warrior president? Not in the British tradition, of course, which gave us Winston Churchill, with his crazy cavalry charge against ...

ARTICLES

His Fulltime Job

Obama’s shameless electioneering.

BY FRED BARNES

Cartoon of Obama licking envelopes

President Obama is breaking new ground in his campaign for reelection. He is going where incumbent presidents have never gone before. He is doing things for which President George W. Bush would have been pilloried. And Obama is doing all this in plain view.

Yet the media have rarely found the new ploys and gambits of Obama’s campaign worth mentioning, much less spotlighting. For instance, in his address at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, Obama treated his agenda and Jesus Christ’s as one and the same. Since the media didn’t raise any flags, one might have concluded a comment such as Obama’s was normal for that event. It wasn’t.

Photo of Ann Romney introducing her husband in Chantilly, Va.

Post-primary Mitt

Now he’s auditioning for the top job.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

Chantilly, Va.
In a narrow warehouse in exurban Washington, D.C., a vinyl poster ...

Photo of Maryland’s Martin O’Malley

Doomsday for Maryland?

Martin O’Malley’s budget failure.

BY KATE HAVARD

Annapolis

Photo of Al Armendariz

Crucified by Government

Washington plays by TSA rules.

BY GEOFFREY NORMAN

Government, and the party of government, have been through something of a rough patch lately. First, there was ...

Photo of Osama Bin Laden's bed

The Bin Laden Raid, a Year Later

Al Qaeda is down but not out.

BY BENJAMIN RUNKLE

Even before the celebrations a year ago had ended, terrorism experts were debating the strategic significance of Osama bin Laden’s death at the ...

FEATURES

We Who Are About to Bug Out Salute You

The liberal habit of sanctimonious betrayal, from Reconstruction to Afghanistan.

BY SAM SCHULMAN

Photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

"Perhaps I’m being overly cynical,” wrote a well-known realist and conspiracy theorist on April 23, “but the new ‘strategic partnership’ agreement between the United States and Afghanistan strikes me as little more than a fig leaf designed to make a U.S. withdrawal (which I support) look like a mutually agreed-upon ‘victory.’ It is already being spun as a signal to the Taliban, Iran, and Pakistan that the United States remains committed, and the agreement will undoubtedly be used as ‘evidence’ that the 2009 surge is a success and that’s now ok for the US to bring its forces home.” But Harvard’s Stephen Walt​—​for it is he​—​avows that the agreement is just a cosmetic gesture that “facilitates doing the right thing,” which Walt, together with Vice President Joe Biden and many others, thinks is to bring the Taliban back into power in some ...

Photo of Marco Rubio and David Rivera in January 2008

The Rise of Rubio

Will a longstanding friendship block his vice presidential prospects?

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

Shortly after Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin primary and, in effect, the Republican nomination, I asked a prominent Republican strategist whom he ...

Books & Arts

Whose Fault Is It?

Laying the blame for blame.

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

Picture of a goat

This might have been a funny book if it hadn’t tried so hard to be serious. It might have been a serious book if it hadn’t strained so hard to be funny. It might have been witty, it might have been clever, it might have been profound—it might even have been good. If it weren’t so bad.

No, not bad, exactly. Lord knows, there have been thousands of worse books published. But Scapegoat is so relentlessly mediocre, so uncompromisingly second-rate, that it might as well stand in for all that’s wrong with publishing these days. It’s a little sad, I suppose, to take Scapegoat as our scapegoat, the outward and visible sign of the true ...

Photo of German infantryman surveying the wreckage of a Soviet tank, 1941

Turning Point

Hitler lost the war the moment he invaded the Soviet Union.

BY MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS

The German assault against the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, was the largest military undertaking ...

Photo of John D. Rockefeller donating a dime

The Giving Game

The saga of philanthropy still needs its history.

BY MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER

Study the history of philanthropy in America and you quickly discover that books you would assume exist don’t. Want a history of the Ford ...

Image of The Winter Cherry

Mrs. D.’s Gift

A second flowering in the Augustan Age.

BY KATE LIGHT

Happily, poet Molly Peacock possesses formidable biographical skills, for they are essential to the task of taking on her subject, the life and art ...

Photo of R. A. Dickey in action

No Spin Zone

Reflections from the thinking man’s knuckleballer.

BY JOSHUA GELERNTER

In June 2010, the nation’s capital was atwitter with stories of the Washington Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg, a starting pitcher who threw 100 ...

Still from the movie

No Laughing Matter

The ingredients are there, but the experiment fizzles.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

The Five-Year Engagement is the latest presentation from the orbit of Judd Apatow, the comedy mastermind whose particular genius is to ...

CASUAL

Shop Talk

Jonathan V. Last, closet carpenter

BY JONATHAN V. LAST

Cartoon of a man in a wood shop

I was never in any danger of succumbing to golf. As a teenager, I worked three summers looping at a local country club and spent a lot of time around the game. I understood its appeal: the satisfaction of precise physical motion, the thrill of hunting for new and better equipment, the quiet and solitary beauty of the fairways. But it didn’t touch me in the deep place that causes people to fall in love.

And so that little corner of my life—the one men reserve for useless, addictive hobbies—sat empty.

SCRAPBOOK

Julia’s America

Image of Julia

Gullible voters are supposed to get all wound up about the GOP “war on women,” but it seems to us that the Democratic stance that women are helpless creatures who must be coddled by an all-consuming government is far more pernicious. If you think that’s an unfair characterization of Democrats, we kindly direct you to the Obama campaign website, where you can take a gander at an interactive slide show, “The Life of Julia.” 

Ostensibly, it’s an examination of “How President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime—and how Mitt Romney would change her story.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, imagine Obama’s social policies explained in paper doll form for idiots. It’s ...

PARODY

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