History

The Collapse of the Democratic Party In South Dakota: What Happened?

Featured image 2014 was a terrible year for the Democrats nationally, but in South Dakota it was a catastrophe: Democrats hold only 20 out of 105 seats in the state’s legislature, all 13 officers and representatives elected statewide are Republicans, and in the race for Governor, the Democrats suffered the worst margin of defeat in the state’s history. This marked the nadir for a party that as recently as 1978 was riding »

What’s in a political name?

Featured image I am unenthusiastic about Jeb Bush as a presidential candidate for several reasons: his position on immigration reform, his position on the common core, and the fact that his last name will make him difficult to elect. Some conservatives have advanced another reason to be unenthusiastic: the fact that his father and brother have both been president. Political dynasties are unseemly, if not un-American, we are advised. To me, apart »

Did the Kennedy Administration Try to Drive Reagan Off the Air?

Featured image Ronald Reagan apparently detested Bobby Kennedy, another sign of Reagan’s good judgment since Kennedy was an awful human being. But this is something I hadn’t heard before: Michael Reagan says that Bobby leaned on General Electric to get Reagan off television: [A] few months after [subpoenaing Reagan before a grand jury], Kennedy tried to get him fired from General Electric Theater. Or, at least, that’s what Reagan believed. “Dad told »

Oral History of Clinton Administration Could Pose Problems For Hillary

Featured image The Miller Center at the University of Virginia has posted online more than 70 interviews that constitute the “William J. Clinton Presidential History Project.” The interviewees are for the most part members of the Clinton administration, or in any event sympathetic to it. Nevertheless, not all of the facts that the interviewees relate will be helpful to Bill Clinton’s memory or his wife’s presidential ambitions. I haven’t had time to »

New York Times Corrections, State Capital Edition

Featured image Today the New York Times published a correction to an op-ed that appeared in the paper on November 27. The op-ed, by Ned Blackhawk, was about the Sand Creek massacre, an evergreen memory for liberals who see only the bad in American history: An Op-Ed article last Friday attributed an erroneous distinction to the Union general Patrick Edward Connor and the Colorado governor John Evans, who were involved in massacres »

America’s first socialist republic

Featured image We provided the platform launching Professor Paul Rahe into the blogosphere. He is one of the country’s most distinguished scholars, but he has also proved to be a natural blogger as well. He now posts at Ricochet. In view of his study of Republics Ancient and Modern, Professor Rahe is the academy’s foremost authority on the history of republics. Although his more recent work on “soft despotism” (cited below) was »

Reagan and Bush 41 provide no precedent for Obama’s amnesty by executive order

Featured image Tonight, President Obama will override Congress and effectively declare amnesty for at least several million illegal immigrants. As Scott has noted, Obama himself has repeatedly admitted he lacks the constitutional power to make this move. Some of Obama’s defenders claim that the president was mistaken when he acknowledged his lack of power to override the immigration laws. One supporter (I don’t remember who) said that Obama received bad legal advice. »

Erdogan and Harvard: Muslims Discovered America!

Featured image You likely have seen that Turkish President Recep Erdogan told a gathering of Latin American Muslim leaders in Istanbul that America was discovered by Muslim sailors: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that the Americas were discovered by Muslims in the 12th century, nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot there. “Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, »

The Berlin Wall @25, Take 2

Featured image FWIW, here are some excerpts of my account of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the larger currents around it from the Epilogue of The Age of Reagan, picking up right in the middle. One part of this at the end—that revolutionary politics are over—is clearly incorrect, though the “crisis on the Left” bit remains more true than ever: The material and structural factors [of the end of the »

The Berlin Wall @25, Take 1

Featured image Today everyone is marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall—the signal event of the end of the Cold War. I find that students today, all born after the demise of the Soviet Union, have a hard time grasping the depth and vividness of the conflict. The Cold War might as well be the Boer War, and the Berlin Wall is as hazy as Hadrian’s Wall. It »

The Catcall Video, In Historical Perspective

Featured image I wrote yesterday about the infamous “catcall” video that has been the subject of much controversy on the web and in the news. We might think that the phenomenon of men accosting women on the street is a symptom of our decaying culture–I incline toward that view–but a reader points out that the issue has been with us for a long time. It’s just that the remedies used to be »

Mucking around revisited

Featured image Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism has just been published in paperback. Our friend Jean Yarbrough took a devastating look at what Goodwin has on offer this time around in the pages of the Claremont Review of Books. In light of next week’s elections, Professor Yarbrough’s account of the book – of the incestuous relationship between »

Media Alert: Gipperpalooza Tomorrow

Featured image I’ll be a guest on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio show tomorrow at 8:05 am eastern time to discuss the 50th anniversary of the “Time for Choosing” speech.  Check the website for a broadcast station nearby or to listen online.  And there’s still time to make your reservation (free) to my lecture and panel discussion about The Speech at the Reagan Library tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. »

“A Time for Choosing” @ 50

Featured image As noted here before by Paul and me, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s famous “extremism in defense of liberty” speech at the GOP convention, which I also wrote about in the Claremont Review of Books. The other more important speech of 1964 was Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing,” whose precise 50th anniversary arrives next Monday. Power Line readers in the LA area may wish to »

“We Are Going To Win the Cold War”—A Conversation with Herbert Meyer, Part 3

Featured image In this installment of our conversations with Herbert Meyer (part one here, and part two here), we look back at the end of the Cold War, and especially Herb’s prescience in a memo he wrote in the fall of 1983, since declassified, entitled “Why Is the World So Dangerous?” (PDF link). Here he remarks that this memo was not just controversial, but also unwelcome even among many hard-liners in the »

A conversation with Dick Cheney

Featured image The Foundation for Constitutional Government has just released Bill Kristol’s “Conversation” with former Vice President Dick Cheney. The “Conversation” is one in a series of long-form interviews conducted by Bill with key intellectuals and players. Vice President Cheney has not shied away from commenting on the ongoing catastrophe of the Obama administration. It is always a pleasure to hear from him, but this interview goes well beyond events of current »

The Roosevelts: A hagiography

Featured image When writer Mark Gauvreau Judge was repeatedly invited to review Ken Burns’s 10-part, 18-and-a-half hour documentary on the history of jazz in 2000, his response was always the same: “I don’t need to see it to write a review. It’s Ken Burns, hippie granola-head and king of the documentary-melodrama, which means we’re in for yet another race-obsessed orgy of political correctness.” (In retrospect, Judge concedes, he was only “half-right.”) With »