10:46 AM, Aug 31, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
I've suggested before that 2016 is beginning to look more and more like 1968. This is true in terms of the presidential contests—on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is Eugene McCarthy, Hillary Clinton is Lyndon Johnson, Joe Biden will be Hubert Humphrey, and (the big question!) Elizabeth Warren could be Bobby Kennedy; and on the Republican side, where Donald Trump is "a kind of cartoon version of Richard Nixon."
But the reason our politics looks like 1968 is that our broader social condition is increasingly reminiscent of 1968. This was brought home in remarks Saturday by Houston district attorney Devon Anderson, after the shooting of Harris County sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth.
"Anderson...said the criticism of police had gotten out of hand: 'It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement,' she told reporters at a news conference."
"The silent majority." The phrase is back, and rightly so. I'm pretty sure the silent majority does support law enforcement, and will speak up. But isn't it time for political leaders to speak for and support the silent majority? Donald Trump claims to do so. Can't the Republican party do better? Won't some other Republican candidate—a current contender, or someone not yet in the race—emerge to speak convincingly for middle America?
After all, when GOP candidates did aim to speak for the silent majority, they won 5 of 6 straight presidential elections (1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988). Since then they've lost the popular vote 5 of 6 times—with the one exception being when George W. Bush came closest to being a silent-majority-type candidate in 2004. Obviously, the phrase won't be enough. There will have to be a re-thinking of Republican and conservative orthodoxy, something both Nixon and Reagan were willing to do. I'd prefer more of a Reaganite than a Nixonian re-thinking. But either way, the time is right and the moment is now.
9:35 AM, Aug 20, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
For some reason, the president will be honoring a football team at the White House today. It is not quite football season, yet. The team in question has not been a team for a long time, and there is no particular anniversary occasion. This is not the fiftieth year since it achieved glory or anything of that sort. Just another August day.
8:00 AM, May 21, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The thoughtful Carl Cannon has written a piece, "Richard Milhous Obama," concluding that our current president has more in common with our 37th than President Obama's partisans would like to acknowledge. The estimable Victor Davis Hanson has weighed in, defending against liberal dissents the proposition that "Nixon Is a Fair Comparison" with Obama.
3:05 PM, Feb 1, 2013 • By NOEMIE EMERY
Vietnam veteran and ex-Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Isolation) made a stunning impression in his audition for the role of secretary of defense yesterday, though it was not quite the one that he wished. "Though he was being asked about things he had said over the course of the past 15 years, it was what Hagel said yesterday…that had his defenders reeling in shock and even his critics aghast at how poorly he handled himself," wrote John Podhoretz in the New York Post. Said Roger L. Simon, "They had to send him a note in the middle of the proceedings to remind him of the administration’s position on Iran and 'containment,' and even then [he] got it wrong."
10:55 AM, Apr 22, 2012 • By PETER WEHNER
It’s widely reported that Charles Colson once said he'd walk over his grandmother to get Richard Nixon elected to a second term. In the Nixon White House he was considered smart, effective, and ruthless—Nixon's "hatchet man." Then came Watergate, a prison sentence, and a conversion nearly as dramatic as St. Augustine’s or St. Paul’s.
Ted Sorensen bloviates.2:10 PM, Sep 28, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Since 1963 Theodore C. Sorensen has been subsisting on his eight-year career as a ghostwriter for John F. Kennedy, and faithful readers of the New York Times have come to rely on his periodic contributions to the editorial pages during the past 47 years. Here Sorensen has repeated, with emphasis, his simple, three-part formula for understanding modern American history:
Declassified Nixon documents.1:10 PM, Jul 2, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
The answer, of course, is yes. But it happened a long time ago, in the Nixon years. During Nixon’s first term in office, Charles Radford, a young enlisted Navy man detailed as an admiral’s assistant and posted in the Old Executive Office Building, assiduously collected White House documents from refuse baskets, burn bags, and directly off of officials' desks and passed them along to his superiors.
The president doesn't need to follow a pointless trend. 4:40 PM, Apr 19, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
A number of names are being tossed about in the sweepstakes to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, and the three front-runners at the moment seem to be Merrick Garland and Diane Wood, both federal appeals court judges, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan, former dean of the Harvard Law School. My own preference would be for Elena Kagan. This is not because of any particular virtue in Kagan, or defect in Wood and Garland--all three of whom, I'm sure, are eminently qualified to serve--but because Kagan, if appointed and confirmed, would be the first Supreme Court justice since Sandra Day O'Connor (1981) who had never been a federal appellate judge.
Have the Democrats left no room for moderates? 4:42 PM, Feb 16, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
I, too, was surprised by Sen. Evan Bayh's decision not to run for a third term. In an institution where members have a habit of hanging on until they leave the chamber feet-first--casting votes while attached to IVs, being wheeled in and out for quorum calls--it is always noteworthy when a relatively young senator voluntarily steps down. (At 54, Bayh is two years older than his father, Sen. Birch Bayh, was when the elder Bayh was defeated for re-election by Dan Quayle in 1980.)
The Remarkable Second Career of Chuck ColsonJun 28, 1999, Vol. 4, No. 39 • By JOE LOCONTE
Sixty-seven-year-old Chuck Colson looks almost spry as he threads his way through the New Jersey State Prison, a maximum security facility in Trenton, New Jersey. The barbed wire, watchtowers, and 15-foot walls suggest a pretty exclusive club: Only men who've committed crimes earning them 25 years to life are admitted here.
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