Magazine June 23, 2014, Issue

Right Reforms

“Establishment” and “Tea Party” — growing together (McConnell: AP/Timothy D. Easley; Lee: AP/Rick Bowmer)
Liberalism is not the future of conservatism

Liberals are taking the publication of a new collection of essays by conservatives as an occasion to diagnose what ails the Right. The favor should be returned. Liberalism’s reaction to the rise of “reform conservatism” shows us one of its great flaws: an unwarranted confidence in its own basic intellectual health.

“Reform conservatism” is the label that has been attached to a group of writers who believe that the conservative agenda needs to be updated and broadened: that conservative reforms to the nation’s tax code, health-care system, higher-education policies, and safety net, among other institutions, would make it easier for the

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Right Reforms

Liberals are taking the publication of a new collection of essays by conservatives as an occasion to diagnose what ails the Right. The favor should be returned. Liberalism’s reaction to ...
Politics & Policy

#NoNotMe

Collective guilt is en vogue at the moment, the ever-supple concepts of “privilege,” “rape culture,” and “entitlement” having been gradually brought into the mainstream and then ruthlessly applied to anything ...
Politics & Policy

A Concert of Democracies

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continuing pressure on Ukraine reveal more than the Obama administration’s national-security paralysis and a lack of strategic vision. Like the collapse of the League of ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Fight the Dragon

The standard economic model treats free trade as obviously positive, creating prosperity for all participants. Conservatives, and most neoliberals, have embraced that view and consistently press for further liberalization while ...
Politics & Policy

Victus

There were a few plying the dark arts of lobbying in Washington before it, but Patton Boggs was in some ways the original modern lobbyist shop. A D.C. law firm ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Dysfunctional Government

This book speaks directly to the malaise that has accompanied Barack Obama’s second term in office. “The West,” write John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, “has lost confidence in the way ...
Politics & Policy

High Stakes

In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met in Iceland for what were supposed to be brief working discussions to prepare for a summit later ...
Politics & Policy

The Real Tinsel

The story can now be told. Sort of. Almost 1 million years ago, when then-president George H. W. Bush was running for a second term, his running mate, Dan Quayle, gave ...
Politics & Policy

Monster Mash

Sometimes your feelings about a two-hour movie can be summed up by the way you react to a single fleeting scene. In the latest incarnation of Godzilla, that moment arrived ...
Country Life

Homecoming

As a weekender, I do not subscribe to any of the daily newspapers upstate, so I had no advance notice of Sergeant Shawn Farrell’s homecoming, which happened on a Wednesday. ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Is Causation Magical? While I share David Pryce-Jones’s aversion to Gabriel García Márquez’s unforgivable political affiliations and the undue accolades he received in eulogy, I’m not certain that Mr. Pryce-Jones’s article ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Hillary Clinton has a new book out. At this point what difference does it make? ‐ President Obama gave a commencement address at West Point, which he meant as a ...
The Long View

Memorandum

CONFIDENTIAL TO: POTUS FROM: Strategy RE: Rebranding as “Promise Keeper” Sir: We’ve spent the past few cycles seeing where we are in re: our rebranding efforts, and we think we’re making great progress. In the past ...
Athwart

Argument of the Week

It would appear that writers for Slate wake, stretch, yawn, and think: What comfortable, familiar, harmless aspect of life can we destroy today? What means of arranging society, accumulated over ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

OVERHEARD “Just think about her name and hit ‘delete.’” I want to interrupt, say, “Don’t believe the steps could be so simple and complete. Love rifles through your trash bin to retrieve each image that ...
Happy Warrior

Personal Library

Not long ago, I popped into a Salvation Army store in suburban Maryland to check out the used-book section. I’d unearthed plenty of gems in similar places, so it wasn’t ...

Most Popular

World

Trump Pulls American Troops Out of Somalia

President Trump on Friday ordered almost all American troops to be withdrawn from Somalia, following similar reductions in U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon announced that the majority of the approximately 700 troops in Somalia will leave the area by January 15. Many are expected to ... Read More
World

Trump Pulls American Troops Out of Somalia

President Trump on Friday ordered almost all American troops to be withdrawn from Somalia, following similar reductions in U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon announced that the majority of the approximately 700 troops in Somalia will leave the area by January 15. Many are expected to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Can Joe Biden Pardon Himself?

John Yoo argues that once he’s president, he can. He mentions the contrary possibility that the pardon power mentioned in the Constitution was understood to refer to a power to pardon someone other than the pardoner. He does not, however, defeat this possibility. He stacks the deck by presenting the argument ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Can Joe Biden Pardon Himself?

John Yoo argues that once he’s president, he can. He mentions the contrary possibility that the pardon power mentioned in the Constitution was understood to refer to a power to pardon someone other than the pardoner. He does not, however, defeat this possibility. He stacks the deck by presenting the argument ... Read More