Wilson, FDR, Reagan, Clinton, . . . ?


Photos of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton

To the Republicans of the states of Arizona, Michigan, Washington, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia:

It is now your turn to vote in the 2012 Republican presidential contest. You will help choose the man who will bear the obligation of saving us (to repeat an earlier editorial) “from the ghastly prospect of an Obama second term, and who will then have the task of beginning to put right our listing ship of state, setting our nation on a course to restored

Photo of Marie Colvin

Free Syria


Maybe the murder of an American journalist in Syria last week will focus the American president’s mind. Marie Colvin was killed, along with a French ...


Romney Sips Some Tea

The candidate woos the grassroots in Michigan.


Cartoon of Romney trying to woo a Tea Party voter

Milford, Michigan

Mitt Romney, in jeans and a blue and white oxford, stood just to the right of the stage at Baker’s of Milford Banquet Hall, nodding his head slightly as an enthusiastic soloist with a wireless microphone belted out the first verse of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” The former Massachusetts governor smiled and joined most of the crowd for the chorus. “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.”

Wes Nakagiri, a leader of a Tea Party group called RetakeOurGov, wore a suit to introduce Romney and offered a short speech that ended with a thundering call to action. “We believe that America’s best days are ahead of us if we can just put Barack Obama behind us!” The crowd rose to its feet and offered sustained applause as Romney took the ...

Photo of Obama writing at a desk

Never Met a Tax He Didn’t Like

The defining trait of Obama’s presidency.


After three years of the Obama presidency, the economy is growing, but only slowly (1.7 percent in 2011). And Obama is threatened with the prospect ...

Photo of Richard Lugar

The Bell Tolls for Lugar

Add Indiana’s senior senator to the list of ­endangered incumbents.


After a lifetime of political good fortune in Indiana, Senator Richard Lugar can’t catch a break. He is facing what Politico calls his ...

Photo of Peter Gleick

Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning

Too many of their opponents are intellectual thugs.


The forlorn and increasingly desperate climate campaign achieved a new level of ineptitude last week when what had looked like a minor embarrassment ...


Tales of Woe

The myth of a powerful Republican establishment.


Photo of the Ronald Reagan Republican Center

Late in 2003, Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase “Bush Derangement Syndrome” to describe the rage of the left at our 43rd president, a loathing so intense that when the president was reelected his anguished opponents needed grief therapy simply to cope. This morphed in time into Palin Derangement, which infected the elites of both parties. And now some on the right have come down with a similar affliction​—​Establishment, and/or RINO Derangement​—​the belief that a Republican party elite is conspiring against them and is behind all of their woes. The symptoms are a sense of intense persecution along with one of perpetual grievance, and a feeling of having been wronged by unscrupulous people, endowed with magical powers that allow them all too often to triumph, in spite of their being so wrong. Out of this has grown a series of what ...

Cartoon of Portland hipsters

Insufferable Portland

Oregon’s capital of cool and the downside of hipness.


I keep expecting America’s trendsetters to get over Portland, Oregon, but the odes to the City of Roses just keep on coming. The Portland ...

Books & Arts

Memoirs of a Voyeur

A firsthand account of the second-rate.


Photo of Bianca Jagger, Halston, Tatum O’Neal, Steve Rubell at Studio 54

In Lucking Out, one learns that its author is a man of humble origins. He was born, he reports, into a drab working-class family in Baltimore: “socially corner-pocketed,” as he puts it in one of the many phrases he avails himself of that have more flair than precision, “and Beauty deprived.” He began his professional life even humbler, as a rock critic for the Village Voice. In the hierarchy of arts criticism, that of rock ranks just a notch above the criticism of marbles.

Rock music, like sex, doesn’t really require being written about. Best to enjoy it if you can and shut up about it afterward. But this doesn’t stop its critics from taking up the old air guitar—once in the form of a typewriter, today in that of a laptop—and stompin’ away. An early critic of rock, my friend the late Albert Goldman, who wrote iconoclastic biographies of Elvis Presley and John Lennon, many years ago sent me an essay he wrote on The Doors—“Come ...

Painting of Goethe contemplating his first love

Breaking the Mold

The Romantics as precursors to the Modern Age.


Although the definition of Romanticism has been much debated, it is not an exaggeration to claim that the generations spanning the period from the mid-18th through the mid-19th centuries were witness to a transformation in the literary, artistic, and intellectual life of ...

Photo of shoppers with filled shopping carts

Credit Is Given

Indebtedness (and its discontents) is as old as human nature.


Doomsayers have denounced consumer debt for decades. But today, for the first time since the 1930s, consumer chickens have come home to roost, with a debt crisis in the housing markets and a looming student loan debt disaster. Debtor Nation digs through a century of ...

Image from the Rules of Civility book cover

City Confidential

A debut novel probes the soul of New York.


And under the influence of the cradlelike rocking of the train, your carefully crafted persona begins to slip away. The superego dissolves as your mind begins to wander aimlessly over your cares and your dreams; or better yet, it drifts into an ambient hypnosis, where even cares and ...

Movie still of Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins

Buzz in the Air

Sometimes the Industry gossip is right. And sometimes not.


Here is a tale of how Hollywood works now, and how the entertainment press covers Hollywood, and why none of it matters.

There’s a movie coming out later this month called John Carter. I haven’t seen it; the people who have are under an embargo, ...


Leila Jane Eastland, 1953-2012

Terry Eastland on Leila Jane Eastland


Photo of Terry Eastland with his sister Janie as children

Born in Dallas on February 7, 1953, my sister Janie was a healthy baby, smart and fun to be around, the last of the three children in our family. She was Exhibit A in support of Carl Sandburg’s famous aphorism that a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.

And then, almost 17 months later, on the Fourth of July in 1954, Janie awakened with a throat infection and high fever, and soon developed convulsions. The doctors who saw her thought she had red measles. Soon it became apparent that the measles had reached her brain. She was diagnosed with measles-encephalitis. Later tests revealed brain damage.


Obama Family Values

Photo of the Obama Family

The Scrapbook was a little surprised to learn, in the Washington Post last week, that the Obama reelection apparatus is featuring imagery of the entire First Family—Barack, -Michelle, Malia, Sasha—in its forthcoming advertising campaigns. “In the months to come,” writes the Post reporter, “political strategists expect to see the first family used as a political asset.” The Post then goes on to quote the ubiqui-tous Democratic pollster Celinda Lake: “The value of the family is enormous. The more you know this family and the more you think of Barack Obama in these terms, the harder it is to vilify him.”

To which The ...


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