"What I really meant to say was ..."10:40 AM, Dec 14, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
I was going to put this in this week's newsletter, but ran out of space (speaking of the newsletter, sign up today!). In any case, the following quote ought to inspire modesty in all those who use present circumstances to make predictions about American politics:
By the November 1982 elections, President Reagan's thrust of trying to restore the economic beliefs of the Coolidge Era and the U.S. military supremacy of the Eisenhower Era had slowed markedly. Then, by early 1983, observers began to perceive the flaws in the political system and to fear yet another recurrence of the stalemate and disarray prevalent in the 1973-74 Watergate Era and then the Carter trauma of 1979-80. The pro-Republican 'rolling realignment' invoked by the administration in mid-1981 had already come to naught in 1982, and no new realignment seems imminent. Likewise, in mid-1982, independent 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson escalated his talk about starting a new party for another run in 1984, basically confirming Chapter 17's thesis of dealignment and fragmentation, although the two-party system may intermittently seem resurgent.
—Kevin Phillips, Post-Conservative America (1982), p. viii. The introduction to the book contains the sentence, "[D]espite Ronald Reagan's triumph in 1980, the chances for a historical 28-to-36-year cycle of Republican dominance are slim." Oops.
William Galston on America's rightward shift.10:47 AM, Nov 4, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Republicans won historic gains in the U.S. House (and statehouses) and above-average gains in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Why? Because Independents have swung massively behind the GOP. And the reason for this shift, as Brookings's William Galston explains, is that independents -- and the electorate as a whole -- are moving in a conservative direction:
Christopher Hitchens on Hugo Chávez.12:00 PM, Aug 2, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Chávez, in other words, is very close to the climactic moment when he will announce that he is a poached egg and that he requires a very large piece of buttered toast so that he can lie down and take a soothing nap.
Read the whole thing.
Mark Shields on the Marines.12:59 PM, Jul 23, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Columnist Mark Shields expounds the martial virtues:
I was not a great Marine. I never saw combat. I got a lot more from the Marines than the Marines got from me. But I believe fervently that this nation today needs the values of the Marine Corps as much as the nation needs the Marine Corps.
David Thomson on "Inception."12:08 PM, Jul 22, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
My favorite movie critic, David Thomson, has a great piece on Christopher Nolan's latest blockbuster, Inception. Key bit:
The liberal bargain goes bad.8:55 AM, Jun 22, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Classic David Brooks:
It was the winter of 2007. Dr. Faustus, the famous left-wing philologist, was sitting in a coffee shop in despair over the Bush-Cheney regime and the future of his country.
Suddenly, Mephistopheles, who happened to be the provost at his college, appeared, sipping a double mocha frappuccino. He sat down next to Dr. Faustus and casually asked him if he would like to be granted any five wishes in exchange for his immortal soul.
It just gets better from there.