EDITORIAL

The GOP’s Payroll Tax Opportunity

BY JAMES C. CAPRETTA AND YUVAL LEVIN

Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama

Despite the outcome, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did many things right during the course of this year’s campaign. Perhaps most notably, polls suggest that he was able to convince a plurality of Americans that the GOP’s plan for smaller government was better for promoting long-term economic growth than the president’s statist approach. But there was one line of attack Romney was never able to overcome, and which may well have cost him the working-class voters he needed to win: The Obama campaign effectively drove home the notion that Romney, and Republicans more generally, care more about the rich than the middle class.

There can be no doubt that answering that charge, by proving it wrong, ...

Barack Obama

Don’t Go Wobbly

BY FRED BARNES

Four years ago, President Obama followed the advice of Rahm Emanuel never to let a crisis go to waste. He proposed an economic stimulus package brimming with pork and ...

The Hill

A Fine Mess

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Is the Grand Old Party in as much disarray as it seems? Yup. For one thing, Republicans are electorally shellshocked. For the past couple of years, they had been ...

ARTICLES

The Sebelius Coverup

Obamacare’s insurance exchanges need scrutiny.

BY JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

Sebelius gets sneaky

Many states are wisely signaling that they aren’t interested in doing the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare. As a result, many if not most of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — the heart of the beast — will have to be set up and run by the Obama administration at the federal level.

States are not required to set up Obamacare exchanges, but it seems to have surprised observers that many are choosing not to. Politico reports that, with only 17 states so far having said they will set up the exchanges, the “Department of Health and Human Services’s role in bringing the law to life is going to be a lot bigger than originally thought.” More than a third of ...

Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln

The Blessings of Liberty

Secured by immense power.

BY ADAM J. WHITE

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, portraying the president’s battle to abolish ...

Capitalism and its Discontents

Capitalism and Its Discontents

The worst economic system, except for all the ­others.

BY IRWIN M. STELZER

Almost everyone knows that without banks we couldn’t get mortgages, ...

The TSA pats down an elderly man

Now with the Union Label

The TSA’s new uniforms.

BY KATE HAVARD

If you’re headed to the airport for the holidays, here are some tips to keep you off the Transportation Security Administration’s “naughty list”: Holiday puddings (even the figgy ...

Susan Rice

Benghazi Storytelling

Too many answers, not enough truthfulness.

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

The White House has had quite enough of the controversy over ...

An Anti-Morsi Protester

The Quality of Morsi

Egypt’s new strongman.

BY LEE SMITH

Egypt’s political crisis seems to be testing the conviction, long held in certain Western circles, that actually having to govern a modern nation-state will moderate ...

FEATURES

A Nation of Singles

The most politically potent demographic trend is not the one everyone talked about after the election

BY JONATHAN V. LAST

The New American Gothic

For a brief moment last month​—​roughly a 72-hour span beginning at 11:00 p.m. on November 6 and concluding late in the evening of November 9​—​everyone in America was interested in demographics. That’s because, in addition to rewarding the just, punishing the wicked, and certifying that America was (for the moment) not racist, President Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney pointed to two ineluctable demographic truths. The first was expected: that the growth of the Hispanic-American cohort is irresistible and will radically transform our country’s ethnic future. The second caught people by surprise: that the proportion of unmarried Americans was suddenly at an all-time high.

Rockets

A Recipe for Violence

Obama’s ‘offshore balancing’ and the New Middle East

BY THOMAS DONNELLY

The greater Middle East, the mostly Muslim lands stretching from ...

Books & Arts

Whose Kind of Town?

Understanding the Second City.

BY ANDREW FERGUSON

Mayor Richard J. Daley overlooking a public-works project (1966)

Twenty years ago an editor for the Chicago Sun-Times told Neil Steinberg—at the time a young reporter for the paper—that he might someday become the next Sydney J. Harris, and Steinberg, for reasons unclear, did not punch him in the kneecaps. Harris was dead by then, but from the 1950s to the 1980s he had tortured Sun-Times readers with a column composed of nothing but aphorisms, sententious squibs, little dollops of uplift that were so banal or dubious they perversely compelled a reader’s attention.

 “The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation, but false progress,” Harris would write, letting the sentence hang there all alone in a sea of newsprint until an asterisk pulled a reader’s eye, kicking and screaming, down to the next one: “The time to ...

William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot (ca. 1925)

Metre Reader

America’s coming-of-age in poetic form.

BY WYATT PRUNTY

The Open Door begins with Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and zooms from there, highlighting 100 years of modern poetry, including that of Louise Bogan, Hart ...

Victorian Bloomsbury

Eminent Precursors

Distinguished groups in Bloomsbury before there was a Bloomsbury Group.

BY EDWARD SHORT

Looking back on 19th-century England, Lytton Strachey saw what he called the “Glass Case Age,” taking particular exception to Victorian intellectuals. 

...

Picasso's work

Monochrome Picasso

Weaving the Master’s spell without color.

BY DANIEL ROSS GOODMAN

It may be hard to believe that one of the more underrated New York art exhibits of recent ...

ohio

Goodbye, Columbus

A brief ‘au revoir’ to the Battleground State.

BY JOE QUEENAN

 I think I speak for many Americans when I say how much I am going to miss talking about the great state of Ohio for six to eight hours a day now that the 2012 ...

Daniel Day Lewis

A Lincoln Portrait

The Great Emancipator transcends the material, as usual.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

Almost everything about Lincoln is good—and, in many aspects, far better than good—save its most notable element. Steven Spielberg is the most successful, wealthiest, and most garlanded motion-picture director in the history of cinema, and he can make any film he wants. Only ...

CASUAL

The Day the Twinkie Died

BY MATT LABASH

Twinkie in a Hearse

Just as everyone remembers where they were when JFK was shot (I was in Heaven with Jesus and Buddy Holly, still unborn), it will similarly be impossible to shake the memory of where you were on the day that Hostess died. I was in my car, listening to public radio. The news of 18,500 people losing their jobs, not to mention the demise of an American institution—one that predates FM radio, the ballpoint pen, radial tires, and rock ’n’ roll—came almost irreverently. Torn between disrespectful Twinkie jokes and food-scold haughtiness, the faux-nostalgic announcers were unable to invoke crushing grief, the only kind called for on this tragic day. The kind they’d feel if, say, This American Life went on hiatus, or the Hipster Snack Emporium stopped selling wasabi peas.

SCRAPBOOK

Cliff Diving

fiscal cliff diving

Kim Jon Eun: The sexiest man alive

Most Credulous Communists Alive

The Scrapbook has always believed that larger lessons can sometimes be gleaned from smaller, even seemingly inconsequential, events. Consider, for example, this week’s ...

Wise Guy by Joseph Bottum

Required Reading

Our contributing editor and former colleague Joseph Bottum, now resident in his native Black Hills of South Dakota, has (we think unexpectedly) added Christmas Laureate to ...

West pointers

Permission to Snicker?

It wasn’t long after General David Petraeus’s affair was revealed that progressive types started queuing up to explain that the real problem wasn’t the CIA director’s ...

Sentences We Didn’t Finish

"I don’t know [Susan] Rice at all, so I have no opinion on her fitness for the job, but I think the contrived flap over her Libya comments certainly shouldn’t disqualify ...

PARODY

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