Category History

Recalling the Clinton Years

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz has a piece in the New Republic commemorating the 20th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s run for the presidency. Wilentz concludes: Bill Clinton saved liberalism from itself. A sample: In order to overcome the Reagan ascendency Democrats needed to advance the rights secured during the 1960s while returning to more traditional political […]

JFK’s Supply-Side Message

    I’m reading Steven F. Hayward’s The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counter-Revolution 1980-1989. Right now, I’m about a third of the way through the book. So far, the most interesting part has been on the Reagan tax cuts. President Reagan angered Democrats throughout 1981 by championing John F. Kennedy and the New Frontier. […]

Obama’s Foreign Policy Debacle

    Conservatives have compared Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter for months now. Most point to his domestic policies: his poor handling of the economy, his inability to articulate a pro-growth agenda and his job killing policies. A better argument would focus on the foreign policy misadventures, reminiscent of the Carter years,  the president has led us […]

Sidney Hook’s Warning

Thoughts reading Sidney’ Hook’s autobiography Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century. Sidney Hook chronicles his intellectual journey in his memoir. Hook (1902-1989) was an academic, a philosopher and a public intellectual. He flirted with Marxism in his early years and was a social democrat throughout much of his professional career. Unlike […]

The Tea Party’s Justice

  Clarence Thomas has emerged as the intellectual leader of the Roberts Court, writes Jeffrey Toobin in the latest New Yorker. Thomas has been the Court’s most conservative member since becoming an associate justice twenty years ago. He has long wanted to overturn New Deal and Great Society reforms. Unlike many conservatives, he seems to […]

Things Fall Apart

The past month has been the nadir of the Obama administration. The U.S.lost its AAA credit rating; American forces suffered their worst day in Afghanistan; and President Obama was forced to sign a debt deal that included no tax increases on the rich. The president’s poll numbers went below 40%. Only 26% support his handling […]

The Russian Revolution

Thoughts after reading Orlando Figes’s A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924.   The Russian Revolution shocked the world and shaped the 20th Century. It ushered in both the first communist and the first totalitarian state. The Bolsheviks triumph dashed the hopes of Russian liberals, who wanted the country to have prudent reform. Instead the […]