'The GOP of Old'


'The GOP of Old'

"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Kentucky senator Rand Paul said Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?” he added coyly.

The names he had in mind were of course those of John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Those spokesmen for “the GOP of old” had the bad form to call out Rand Paul after he took to the Senate floor to speculate glibly about American presidents and American military and intelligence officers calling in unprovoked domestic drone strikes against innocent Americans. McCain and Graham, advocates of what Paul calls an “aggressive” foreign policy—i.e., the foreign policy of the Republican party for the last 70 years—also challenged Paul’s general foreign policy prescription.

What does Dr. Paul prescribe? In an interview last week, Paul appealed to the wisdom of Vice President Joe Biden. In the 2012 vice ...

Obama and Pelosi: We’ve found out what’s in Obamacare, alas.

Plan B for Obamacare


"With Obama-care entrenched, Democrats feel free to gripe,” read the headline in Politico. And gripe is the word. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington gripes that the administration won’t subsidize Americans “just above the poverty level.” Senator Bill Nelson of ...

The Falklands: 99.8 percent say this is a herd of sheep, not un rebaño de ovejas

Stand with the Falklands


The American position on the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic should be obvious.


The Falklands, discovered by Britons in the late 17th century and named for the First Lord of the ...


New World Pope

An Argentinian Jesuit in the Vatican.


Jorge Mario Bergoglio at his first mass  as Pope Francis in the Sistine Chapel

There was much talk during the recent conclave in Rome, as there usually is at such times, about the Catholic church as a medieval institution. Occasionally that took the mild form of newspaper Sunday supplement pieces brightly describing the voting process in the Sistine Chapel. More often it combined a sneer at the past with an attack on the present. 

In the face of a wild, almost hysterical national rejoicing—Argentinians flooding the churches to weep in joy, parading through the streets to cheer in a way not seen since Poland went mad in the wake of John Paul II’s election 35 years ago—Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner could not avoid issuing a statement of congratulations when her old enemy Jorge Bergoglio, cardinal of Buenos Aires, was elected Pope Francis by the Roman conclave on March 13. But her earlier denunciation of the man as the residue of “medieval times and the Inquisition” reflects ...

Tom Corbett

Booze Blues

The politics of liquor stores in Pennsylvania.


The legacy of Gifford Pinchot rests heavily on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Pinchot is known nationally as a great conservationist. In Pennsylvania, however, he’s remembered as a great Prohibitionist. Pinchot was governor when Prohibition ended in 1933 and he ...

Tom Wolff

Cash for Doctors



With Obama-care poised to kick in to high gear next year, Dr. Brian Forrest routinely hears skeptics ask if the new laws and regulations will stifle his innovative primary care practice outside Raleigh, N.C.

The Weekly Standard has been checking in with Forrest since our May 24, 2010, ...

Is this where the unions will end up?

The Unions vs. Obamacare

Disenchantment sets in.


"I heard [Obama] say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ ” John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, representing 260,000 union workers, recently told the Wall Street Journal. “If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I ...


Round Two

Another constitutional challenge to Obamacare.


At issue in the Supreme Court’s most important case last year was the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The mandate, which takes effect in 2014, requires most Americans without health ...

Some folks didn’t get the memo.

Partners in Terror?

Iran, al Qaeda, and the secret bin Laden files.


The arrest earlier this month of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and former spokesman, has sparked renewed interest in an old question: What is the extent of the relationship between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda?

The Senate Barbershop


The Senate barbershop gets a trim.


The barbershop of the U.S. Senate has run deficits of approximately $350,000 a year for each of the last 15 years. So Senate sergeant at arms Terry Gainer has decided to try out a new model, one that has looked rather unfashionable during the Obama era: privatization.

Gainer ...


Among the Evangélicos

For Republicans reaching out to immigrant groups, a glimmer of hope: Protestant Hispanics are genuine swing voters.



Marietta, Ga.
The 2004 presidential election was the Republican party’s high-water mark with Hispanic voters. George W. Bush received between 40 and 44 percent of the Hispanic vote that year. Bush lost Hispanic Catholics to John Kerry, but he overwhelmingly won Hispanic evangelicals, 69 percent to Kerry’s 29 percent.

In 2008, the numbers changed dramatically. Barack Obama secured the votes of 74 percent of Hispanics, while John McCain won a paltry 22 percent, despite having been the GOP’s spokesman for comprehensive immigration reform. Sixty percent of Hispanic evangelicals supported Obama, and just 36 percent McCain. Four years later, Obama’s support among Hispanics dipped slightly, to 71 percent, but Mitt Romney received only 27 percent. An October 2012 Pew poll found that while 73 percent of Hispanic Catholics supported Obama, just 50 percent of Hispanic evangelicals did so, with 39 percent supporting Romney. Republicans have no reason to be happy about that ...

C.F. Payne

The Heretic

Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him?


Last fall, a few days before Halloween and about a month after the publication of Mind and Cosmos, the controversial new book by the philosopher Thomas Nagel, several of the world’s leading philosophers gathered with a group of cutting-edge scientists in the ...

Books & Arts

Forbidden City

The left-wing stranglehold on academia.


Noam Chomsky releases doves, Cabramatta High School, near Sydney, Australia

Neil Gross is a sociologist at the University of British Columbia who previously held posts at the University of Southern California and Harvard, has a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, and received undergraduate training at Berkeley. He edits Sociological Theory and has written a book on the liberal philosopher Richard Rorty. 

He has all the markers of an academic on the left, and Gross confesses in his introduction to this study of faculty politics that he has “very liberal social attitudes” and that his views on the economy and law are center-left. Nevertheless, he registers clearly the overwhelming ideological slant of higher education. Reviewing survey and voter registration data, he concludes that “the professoriate either contains the highest proportion of liberals of any occupation in the United States for the period 1996-2010 or is right behind another famously liberal occupational group, authors and journalists.” 

Sir John Wheeler-Bennett (1958)


‘Well done, Wheeler-Bennett,’ as historian and sage.


"Tonight my country stands alone,” the British historian and diplomat John Wheeler-Bennett told the American people in a radio broadcast on the night of June 17, 1940, the day that France capitulated to Hitler. He continued:

Alone before the ...

Demi Moore as Hester Prynne in ‘The Scarlet Letter’ (1995)

The Secret Society

Hawthorne as chronicler of the American unconscious.


Nathaniel Hawthorne is an enigma. 

In the heady days of Amos Bronson Alcott’s progressive schooling experiment, Margaret Fuller’s proto-feminist Memoirs, and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s call to self-reliance, Hawthorne wrote short stories and “romances” peopled with ...

de Gaulle

France’s de Gaulle

Or de Gaulle’s France. Are the two interchangeable?


In downtown Algiers, on June 4, 1958, Charles de Gaulle expressed himself clearly, as usual. The conventional wisdom has it that he was “ambiguous,” even “duplicitous.” But what he said was that the page had to be turned in Algeria: Political and civil ...

James Franco

Under the Rainbow

A charming 20th-century fairy tale gets the crass treatment.


I've spent worse hours at the movies than the ones I spent watching Oz the Great and Powerful, which purports to tell the story of how the Wizard gained his dominion over the Emerald City. It has a great title sequence, there are a few good lines,


Mister Early Riser

David Skinner, (anything but) routine parent


Dave clegg

My wife Cynthia occasionally interviews our kids, jotting down their answers in little journals. She asks questions like, What was your favorite part of our trip? What was your favorite meal?


The Carcass of Caracas


The Scrapbook took note last week of plans in Venezuela to embalm the late strongman Hugo Chávez and put his corpse on permanent public display. This would have placed a comparatively tinhorn character in some fast historical company—Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung—and made his resting place a must-see on the Macabre Tourism trail (The Carcass of Caracas, Peasant Under Glass, and so on).

But, alas! The Scrapbook must report that it probably won’t happen. It seems that, according to his (interim) successor President Nicolás Maduro, “Russian and German scientists have arrived to embalm Chávez, and they tell us it’s very difficult because the process should have started earlier. .  .  . Maybe we can’t do it.” Which means that Chávez may soon be buried in the usual way, as he seems to have wished, in his provincial hometown of Sabaneta. And which also means that the scenes of celebrity mourning we had anticipated—Harry Belafonte ...


Papacy Idiocy

Among its many splendors, a papal conclave affords a refreshingly unguarded window into the media’s parochial view of the larger world.

This time around the pre-conclave press saw a series of pieces suggesting that two American cardinals were seriously being considered as papable. (With ...


A Headline that Will Live in Infamy

Good news for a change from Phnom Penh: Ieng Sary, brother-in-law of and cofounder with Pol Pot of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge movement, died last week. Or perhaps it wasn’t really good news. His heart (who knew he had one?) gave out before the Cambodian-U.N. tribunal had a chance to ...

White House Tours


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