The Latest

The Wit of WFB

Who knows what Bill would advise regarding our current contentions. He liked to surprise, whether by endorsing marijuana decriminalization or by opposing a blind man’s sailing expedition (“a profanation,” he ...
Politics & Policy

The New Patriotism

President Obama’s second inaugural address wasn’t eloquent, but it was effective. As oratory, it made one false step after another, the result of straining for presidential orotundity. “For we, the people,” ...

Flagging an Issue

My wife, the very shrewd Sally Pipes, penetrated to the heart of the debate in a single sentence tonight when, only about 15 minutes into the exchange, she observed: “Romney’s ...

An Ugly Debate

Like bearbaiting, our presidential debates are getting to be bad for the bear and bad for the audience. Last night’s exchange diminished the contenders, who having called each other liars ...

The View from the Harvard Club

I watched last night’s debate in a venue not favorable to careful analysis of the dialectics, but well suited to observing an overwhelmingly liberal audience’s reaction: the bar at the ...

Reading Obama

I didn’t get to watch President Obama’s acceptance speech last night, but I did read the transcript today. It wasn’t one of his best — his 2008 acceptance was underwhelming, ...

Bicentennial Flashback

Thursday night was anticlimax. It reminded me of the 1976 Republican convention in Kansas City. After Gerald Ford had given his acceptance speech, he invited Ronald Reagan down to give ...

Taking Back Patriotism

The Reverend Joseph Lowery stole the rhetorical show, but President Obama’s speech was interesting, dignified, and unmemorable, like so many inaugural addresses.  That does not mean it was unimportant.  As ...