If a tree falls in the forest, and the media ignores it, does it make a noise? If a crisis happens-specifically, one that hurts the new president that reporters adore-and the media ignores it, is it a crisis?
We recently posted an articleÂ on the controversy over Barack Obama’s votes in the Illinois legislature on a statewide version of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA)-i.e., legislation requiring medical personnel to provide treatment to infants who unexpectedly survive abortion procedures. Our point was to clarify the record and to add a crucial “rest of the story” that is still being missed: how this legislation sailed right through the Illinois legislature once its primary obstacle-Barack Obama-left the Illinois Senate for the U.S. Senate. In both senates, Illinois and the United States, the born-alive legislation was passed unanimously, but only in the absence of Senator Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, Barack Obama gave an address on the Iraq War. It was a bizarre speech, as if it had been written two years agoâ€”when it would have made more sense. Liberals ought to hate the speech. It will make their side vulnerable to the common conservative charge that they ignore crucial facts in favor of manufacturing their own reality.
The first time I encountered Tony Snow was through his columns for the Detroit News in the 1980s, when I was an undergraduate subscribing to a forgotten but quite good publication called Conservative Chronicle. His articles were like his later work for Fox News: a combination of reliable research and lively commentary, with the latter grounded in the former, making his arguments cogent and convincing. When you read Tony Snow’s op-ed pieces, you were engaged and learned something; you came away with the assurance that the case you just heard was rational and reasoned. He advanced his particular point and, usually, the larger conservative cause.
Ms. Hillary Rodham and her Wellesley sisters sat in the crowd awaiting words of inspiration from their speaker. The commencement speaker that year was Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-MA), who in 1966 became the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. Brooke came to extend his congratulations to the 401 women. It was a good speech, perfectly reasonable—but not to Hillary Rodham.
The Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is a raucous place. Not long ago, during the Christmas season, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright-stepping back from his repeated proclamation that “God d— America!”-paused to damn the former president of America: As he gyrated and thrust his hips about the pulpit, Wright mocked Bill Clinton for “riding dirty!” with Monica Lewinsky. It was a curious way of expressing the spirit of the season.
A new CNN poll ranks President George W. Bush the most unpopular president in modern American history. The key figure is not Bush’s 28 percent approval rating, which, though dismal, is not as poor as all-time lows set by Harry S Truman (22 percent) and Richard Nixon (24 percent), but his disapproval rating, which has soared to 71 percent. No president had ever cracked the 70-percent ceiling. The previous record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, who reached 67 percent disapproval in January 1952.
Picture this scenario: The Democratic Party presidential candidate is an ex-radical from the 1960s, who had taken a sharp turn to the left during college, who denounced the Vietnam War as an undergraduate, who went on to Yale Law School to earn a degree, who taught law in Arkansas, who got involved in politics as a 30-something in the 1970s. Decades later, the candidate, named Clinton, runs for president of the United States. Clinton seeks distance from that radical past, trying to appear not as a far-left Democrat but a sensible, more moderate one. Clinton understands that the radical past will look bad compared to the Republican Party’s (older) presidential nominee, who did not protest the war that defined his generation but, instead, eagerly joined the cause, only to be shot down, wounded in combat, emerging as a genuine war hero. Clinton-as well as the Democratic Party generally-knows that such a Republican opponent is no push over, personally or politically. Can Clinton win that contest?
The historic Hillary plunge and Obama surge we are witnessing has several sources, but perhaps none as prominent as the simple fact that Barack Obama inspires people in a way that Hillary Clinton cannot. He is blessed by that incalculable political intangible that a politician either has or has not. And a central component of that intangible is a compelling personal story that people find uplifting—the underdog who rises victorious. Here, by comparison, Hillary is cursed.
On June 28, 1389 the Serbs lost to the Ottomans at Kosovo Field in the Battle of Kosovo. This began a 500-plus year dominance by the Ottoman Turks in Central Europe, and particularly in that powder keg known as the Balkans. It also meant that Islam-the faith of the Ottoman Empire-now had a door into Christian Europe.
Indeed, given all the hot news about the Republican presidential race in the last two weeks—Super Tuesday, McCain’s ascendancy, Mitt Romney’s withdrawal—we have lost sight of something historically significant, which occurred on January 30: the withdrawal from the race by New York’s Rudy Giuliani, whose presidential pursuit is suddenly over. Rudy’s exit is a striking turnabout from just six months ago, when the consensus was that Americans in November 2008 would be voting for either him or Hillary Clinton for president. His departure has profound implications, which have passed without observation in the short-term memory of today’s media culture. Consider:
Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have a habit of making outrageous statements. In the latest, he compared Soviet atrocities under Stalin to American actions during wartime. “Yes, we had terrible pages [in our history],” Putin acknowledged, noting Stalin’s 1934-38 Red Terror, when one of every eight Soviet citizens perished. “Let us not forget that. But in other countries, it has been said, it was more terrible.”
Unfortunately I was standing, not sitting, when I glanced at a periodical rack that displayed the latest issue of “FP”—Foreign Policy magazine. The question emblazoned across the cover should have been preceded by a warning to readers to sit before they read further. Instead, the innocent were accosted by this headline: “Was Fidel Good for Cuba?”
On Monday, June 7, 1982, President Ronald Reagan arrived in Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, a little over a year since both men survived near-fatal assassination attempts. The two shared not only a commonality of personal experiences but also of political interests—interests that each felt could change the boundaries of the world and the course of history.
As conservatives continue to view Mexico through the three-dimensional lens of immigration, immigration, and immigration, they might want to widen their perspective to consider a human-rights atrocity that ought to outrage them as much as border fences.While virtually no one north of the border seemed to be watching, lawmakers in Mexico City overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalize abortion for any reason and under any circumstance during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. This is no small measure for some small city. Mexico City has a huge population, and this unprecedented legislative action will deeply affect the lives of the more than 24 million inhabitants of the Federal District of Mexico City.
Earlier I wrote an article on the contributions of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who died a week ago today at the age of 76. I noted that among his most significant achievements was his ability to keep the communists from taking back power in post-Soviet Russia. Since publishing that article, it has become clear that this point requires further explanation—the lessons for history are crucial.
I tend to avoid the immigration debate, which, for various reasons that agitate some of my conservative friends, does not get me riled up. Nonetheless, in the context of this debate, the Mexican leadership continues to make an outrageous analogy, one that needs to be answered.
Back in November, on the heels of the landslide defeat of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) by Democratic challenger Bob Casey, Jr., I wrote an article recalling the first time I met Santorum. I intended the piece to be a personal recollection, with some analysis of polling data, and concluding with the point that Santorum-despite the crushing margin-should never be underestimated. This is a man capable of surprising victories.
From the tragedy of Anna Nicole Smith to the ongoing weird worlds of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton, and Brad and Angelina and Jen-has there ever been a time when Hollywood was normal? Not really.