Magazine | January 28, 2013, Issue


O’Neill Uncensored

In his memoir In Confidence, former Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin wrote of an encounter he had had with House speaker Tip O’Neill: “O’Neill said no effort should be spared to prevent that demagogue Reagan from being reelected. ‘If that happens,’ he continued in a somewhat agitated manner, ‘Reagan will give vent to his primitive instincts and give us a lot of trouble, probably put us on the verge of a major armed conflict. He is a dangerous man.’”

I’ve wondered for years whether O’Neill was capable of speaking about President Reagan in that manner. Reading Jay Nordlinger’s “Good Ol’ Tip” (December 31) provided the answer.

Manuel H. Rodriguez

Burbank, Calif.

Hating Quentin

Your Week paragraph regarding Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (December 31) begins as a review, but it quickly becomes an outlet for the writer’s obvious disdain for not only Tarantino himself but also the director’s fans (“He is a clown selling tickets to slobs”). I understand that opinions differ, but I wonder why it is necessary to include an item that simply insults people.

I remember learning at a very young age that constructive criticism is the ideal approach when discussing the achievements and shortcomings of others, and I hope I don’t soon forget that. If only you wouldn’t, either.

Riley Noonan

Via e-mail

Forgetting the Basics

In The Week (December 31), you offer praise to Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio for their comments that Republicans have “too often appeared to champion the businessman” (Ryan) and that colleges receiving federal funds should be required to publish more information, such as completion rates (Rubio).

Can it really be expected that potential middle-class voters will be swayed by such pabulum? Both sound like comments by a run-of-the-mill Democrat.

What became of championing individual initiative and encouraging individuals to strive for excellence? It seems many “leaders” on the right want to wrap the voters in an intellectual Snuggie.

That is not the mindset that built the nation we have been. Let’s hope Senator Rubio and Representative Ryan will develop a message that encourages the characteristics that will make our citizens, including a softening middle class, stronger and more self-reliant.

Sherm Johnson

Carmel, Ind.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue


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Bork Vivant

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Off the Cliff

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Nixon at 100

As President Nixon sat in the Oval Office on Wednesday, June 2, 1971, the sun’s rays splashing brilliantly across the blue and gold carpet embroidered with the presidential seal, he ...


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Race and the Constitution

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Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

Pigeon Watching

The city has been great for species other than man — roaches and rats; cats and dogs; once upon a time, horses. Another big winner in the lottery of urbanization ...
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The emergence and ultimate ascendance of the English-speaking peoples — the Anglosphere — is the salient fact of modern history. And the colonization of America is the turning point in ...
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City of Lights

‘From the moment it began,” argues Michael Neiberg, a history professor at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., “the liberation of Paris was an almost mythical affair.” He is ...


Politics & Policy


O’Neill Uncensored In his memoir In Confidence, former Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin wrote of an encounter he had had with House speaker Tip O’Neill: “O’Neill said no effort should be spared ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Egyptian prosecutors are investigating a popular television comedian for insulting the president. That could never happen here. When do popular television comedians insult the president? ‐ Chuck Hagel, the Republican ...

Keep the Change

There are many compelling reasons to mint a trillion-dollar coin, including “plot device for Mission: Impossible 5.” The coin has been stolen, and nefarious enemies of the United States intend ...
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SCRAPS The hunt, for both, was empty as the light blue sky . . . the solitary gull and the eagle, at day’s end, find what little remains from the ice fisherman’s bucket; the gull landing ...
Happy Warrior

The Veil Descends

In the summer of 2010, mourners lined the streets of Wales’s capital city to pay tribute to a seven-year-old boy killed in a house fire. In fact, Yaseen Ali Ege ...

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Trump and the Black Vote

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The Age of Miscalculation

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