The success--and failure--of New York's conservatives.May 27, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 36 • By VINCENT J. CANNATO
Fighting the Good Fight
A History of the New York Conservative Party 1962-2002
by George J. Marlin
St. Augustine's, 434 pp., $28
THE BATTLEFIELD of American politics is littered with the corpses of defeated third parties. Occasionally, such parties might sway the outcome of a presidential race, but mostly they live their all-too-short political lives in vain. It's true that our electoral system makes it difficult for these minor parties, but they are often their own worst enemies. The roster of third parties is filled with kooks, demagogues, extremists, egomaniacs, and naive dreamers.
Bill Simon pulls an upset in California's gubernatorial primary. Can he do it again in the fall?Mar 18, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 26 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
When poll results a week before California's gubernatorial primary showed political neophyte Bill Simon with a six-point lead over two-term Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, directors of California's Field Poll suggested voters were witnessing "one of the most remarkable turnarounds in California election history." That assessment, dismissed by many observers at the time as an exaggeration, turned out to be an understatement.
A month before the March 5 primary, Riordan led Simon by more than 30 percentage points.
It's the end of an era in California politics. And with the backdrop of the war, it could be the beginning of a new era in local elections.11:01 PM, Mar 6, 2002 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
WITH THE upset victory of businessman Bill Simon over former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, the Republican primary in the California governor's race marks the end of an era. Not just the end of the Riordan era, but the end of an era when Republican politics seemed to follow identifiable national trends.
Upset is actually the wrong word for what happened on Tuesday. It's true that Riordan began the campaign so heavily favored that Simon was thought a mere nuisance candidate when he persisted in running. Riordan also had the backing of George W.
Mitch McConnell loses on campaign finance, but gains influence.Mar 11, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 25 • By FRED BARNES
THIS IS A MOMENT OF DEFEAT for Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. But he's hardly in agony. He concedes campaign finance reform, which he's been fighting in one form or another for more than a decade, will soon be enacted. Yet he struggles on. At best, he can hold up the legislation for a few weeks, time enough, he thinks, to gain a few small concessions from its sponsors. Once the measure is signed by President Bush, he promises to be plaintiff number one in a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. Sure, the media will again denounce McConnell.
As the war on terrorism continues, will conservatives have to re-fight the ideological battles of the '60s and '70s?11:01 PM, Feb 14, 2002 • By DAVID BROOKS
THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE threw its big annual dinner Wednesday night. The speaker, Norman Podhoretz, delivered an eloquent tribute to America and the Bush administration. He described what the war on terror is really about. But he also delivered a startling warning: He predicted that we are in the first phases of a great ideological fight, comparable to the ideological wars that divided Americans during the Cold War and during the war in Vietnam. Podhoretz reminded us that in the mid-1960s, the Vietnam War was popular with the public and in the media.
Pat Buchanan's world.Feb 18, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 22 • By JOSH CHAFETZ
The Death of the West
How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Dunne, 320 pp., $25.95
Pat Buchanan's thesis in "The Death of the West" is simple enough: The "cultural revolution" that swept across the West in the 1960s led to wide-spread libertinism, one consequence of which has been a drastic lowering of the birthrate in Western societies.
The era of GOP big government begins.Jan 21, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 18 • By FRED BARNES
IS PRESIDENT BUSH a big government conservative? Yes, a point that will be affirmed when the White House's new federal budget (for fiscal 2003) is unveiled early next month. "The president didn't say, 'I want it to be a big government conservative budget,'" says a White House aide. What he ordered up, according to budget director Mitch Daniels, is "a budget of big projects." And these are projects the government is to carry out: winning the war on terrorism, building up the military, creating a system of homeland security, and reviving the economy.
The man behind Margaret Thatcher's party.Jan 14, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 17 • By DAVID LOWE
by Andrew Denham and Mark Garnett
Acumen, 458 pp., $39.50
JUST twenty-five years ago, Britain stood on the brink of economic disaster as the "sick man of Europe." One of its two major parties was chained to socialist dogma, and the other was intellectually bankrupt. It's fitting that credit for the profound transformation of the 1980s should go to Margaret Thatcher.
Jan 14, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 17 • By
THE TORCH BURNS ON
"Thank God." Those were the words of Senator Robert Torricelli last week after federal prosecutor Mary Jo White announced she would not indict him for campaign finance violations--in this case, good old-fashioned bribes stemming from contributions to his 1996 Senate campaign.
In a post-September 11 political climate that has shifted rather dramatically in favor of Republicans, Washington Democrats clutched onto the Torricelli news with particular relief.
Charlie Chan, conservative.Dec 31, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 16 • By S.T. KARNICK
CRITICS HAVE NEVER cared much for Charlie Chan, but the portly Chinese-American detective has been a favorite for three-quarters of a century. Detective-Sergeant Charlie Chan of the Honolulu police became a globally recognized figure through the five novels Earl Derr Biggers published between 1925 and 1932. Numerous films featuring Chan quickly followed. He was featured in a radio series from 1932 to 1948 and a television series starring J.
Conservatives size up the GOP gubernatorial front-runner.Dec 17, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 14 • By WLADYSLAW PLESZCZYNSKI
WORD HAS IT that a leading California Republican has devised the perfect slogan for GOP frontrunner Richard Riordan's gubernatorial campaign: "More Conservative Than Bloomberg." To many California conservatives, that may be optimistic.
Badly in need of a win next year after three straight losing election cycles, California Republicans haven't set the bar very high for Riordan. "He doesn't have to convince them that he's a conservative Republican, but only that he's a Republican," says one party insider.
Politics and culture after September 11.Nov 5, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 08 • By DAVID BROOKS
"A SINGULAR FACT OF MODERN WAR," the historian Bruce Catton once wrote, "is that it takes charge. Once begun it has to be carried to its conclusion, and carrying it there sets in motion events that may be beyond men's control. Doing what has to be done to win, men perform acts that alter the very soil in which society's roots are nourished." Catton was writing about the Civil War, but his observation applies to most wars, and it will likely apply to the war to which we are now committed.
A report attacks the usefulness of the National Guard's Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams. But on September 11, they did their job.12:01 AM, Oct 25, 2001 • By DAVID SKINNER
ON SEPTEMBER 14, the Department of Defense published a press release on its website saying "Tuesday's tragedies provided an all-too-real test for one of the National Guard's Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams." It was a little feel-good statement publicizing the "first operational employment of a certified civil support team." Everything about the press release was straightforward and standard issue except for one sentence: "The team was in New York City sampling air at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency by 8:30 p.m.
Almost as scary as anthrax was the incompetence in Washington.Oct 29, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 07 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
IT WAS CLEAR EVEN FROM THE POLLS that something changed during Anthrax Week. When Gallup asked Americans about the most important issues facing the nation, that perennial favorite response from prosperous times--"education!"--registered only 3 percent. AIDS, drugs, civility, and various other concerns of a polity with a lot of time on its hands registered zero. Eighty percent cited issues of security, terrorism, and war.
Book of the Week: Midge Decter's "An Old Wife's Tale," and more.Oct 29, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 07 • By
THE SONTAG AWARD
BY RIGHTS, the latest Susan Sontag Award--our acknowledgment of inanity by intellectuals and artists--belongs to playwright Tony Kushner, author of "Angels in America." He started by telling the Los Angeles Times, "I'm hoping people will be respectful of the horror--unlike Bush, who led what seemed to be a pep rally on a mass grave. . . .