The Big Think

by Mona Charen

A cheerier than usual Need to Know this week as Jay and I welcome an old friend, the congenitally optimistic Bill Kristol. Jay reminisces about Bill’s practically single-handed defeat of HillaryCare in the 1990s. Just Bill’s brain and a fax machine! 

We three analyze the present moment for conservatism and the Republican Party (the “big think”) and wonder who will be the next intellectual entrepreneur in the party, someone who, like Kemp or Reagan, will seize upon an issue and carry it to the nation as the conservative reform. It’s not enough, Kristol argues, for Republican governors to argue “I was a successful governor.”

Jay and I speak of Jon Stewart, foreign policy – specifically the Obama administration’s practically unbroken record of offending allies and appeasing enemies – and Alice Munro. Jay, an expert on the Nobel Prizes (as on so many things) praises her brilliant prose, and I look forward to sampling it. We hope you’ll sample Need to Know.