Magazine | January 28, 2013, Issue

Letters

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

Articles

Politics & Policy

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 ...

Features

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Race and the Constitution

November’s electoral setbacks have prompted conservatives to reconsider their beliefs and rhetoric on a variety of issues. While they debate new ideas on immigration, taxes, and entitlements, they should not ...

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 ...
Politics & Policy

Nation-Building

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 ...
Politics & Policy

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 ...

Sections

Athwart

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 ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

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 ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

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 ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
U.S.

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More