The Corner

Defining Neo-Conservatism Down

There’s a division on the right over Obama’s speech that breaks down roughly as–it was great for an Obama speech (the pro-camp), or it was an Obama speech (the anti-camp). We’re in the latter camp, as you can see in this morning’s editorial. But other people I respect disagree. My friend JPod goes so far as to label it basically a neo-con speech. But I’ve never known a neo-con to brag about how rapidly he’s drawn down U.S. troops in an ongoing conflict, unecessarily putting at risk hard-won gains on the ground. Make no mistake–this fundamentally was a turning the page speech, as the headline writers recognized (Wall Street Journal: “Obama Marks End of Iraq War to Focus on Economy”.) John notes the neo-conesque line that we will lead “among those who are willing to work together to expand freedom and opportunity for all people.” The very next line, though, was “That effort must begin within our own borders.” Obama went on to use the troops and their sacrifice as a reason that we should unite around his effort to spend us into the ground here at home. Unless you’re grading on a very sharp curve, this is shabby stuff. In Iraq, the most important questions going forward are what kind of government we get and whether we keep troops there beyond 2011. It’s hard to believe that Obama will actually turn the Iraqis away if they ask for a continued U.S. troop presence, but we do know, if last night is any guide, he’ll be conflicted and ambivalent about it.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

Most Popular

Science & Tech

Special-Order Babies

Procreation is becoming a matter of manufacturing, engineering, quality control, and other accouterments of industrial control. Babies are already made by IVF, and then sorted for health and neo-eugenics attributes -- including sex. Desired embryos are implanted in a uterus -- either that of the mother, or a ... Read More

What Self-Help Guru Tony Robbins Was Trying to Say

Tony Robbins must have known immediately that he'd made a huge mistake in how he responded to a question about #MeToo. Last month, at one of Robbins's popular, sold-out seminars, audience member Nanine McCool told the self-help guru that she thought he misunderstood the #MeToo movement. You can see the entire ... Read More

The Dominant-Sport Theory of American Politics

I think it’s safe to assert that President Trump has an unfortunate tendency to do and say (and tweet) embarrassing things. When he does, we all join in the condemnation, and often it’s not so much for the substance as for the style. The president of the United States should be dignified, measured, slow to ... Read More
Film & TV

Little Pink House Speaks Truth to Power

Coming soon to a cinema near you—you can make this happen; read on—is a bite-your-nails true-story thriller featuring heroes, villains, and a history-making struggle over . . . the Constitution’s Takings Clause. Next February 24, Little Pink House will win the Oscar for Best Picture if Hollywood’s ... Read More