Magazine January 23, 2017, Issue

Obama’s Young Garden

(Roman Genn)
He has planted seeds that progressives might someday harvest

Barack Obama wanted to be the Democrats’ Ronald Reagan. Instead, he is leaving office more like the Democrats’ Jerry Ford: personally popular but with his party defeated, divided, and despairing. Democrats on Obama’s watch, like Republicans after Ford, have dropped to historically low numbers of congressmen, governors, and state legislators. The Democratic party today has less direct influence on American government at all levels than at any time since Reconstruction. On the surface, that looks like a pretty awful political legacy.

But recall that Reagan and Republican renewal came just four years after Ford’s 1976 defeat. The seeds for that renewal

Henry OlsenMr. Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an editor at, and the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


Beliefs of the 99 Percent Kevin D. Williamson attempts (“Superman Politics,” December 31) to articulate complex economic policy for the 0.4 percent “who follow these things closely.” That makes me part ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We hope that in retirement Harry Reid keeps up his workout routine. ‐ Republicans intend to pass what they’re calling an “Obamacare-repeal bill” early. It will get rid of Obamacare’s ...
Politics & Policy


AMONG THE STATIONS A frozen steeple cock announced the place – A town like any other on that coast: The rusty docks, inert, insoluble, Real estate booming, tech at full sail, And a hitching post ...


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Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.