National Review / Digital
The Week

(Roman Genn)


At least she can console herself that she’s still the first female House minority leader.

President Obama had a good December in the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress, signing a 9/11 first-responders bill, a new START treaty, and a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military. The first-responders bill, despite its name, is a slab of New York City pork allowing first responders, Manhattanites, and their trial lawyers to file claims for 20 more years. The START treaty had serious advocates (Henry Kissinger); its critics argued, plausibly, that in the vain hope of making nice with an increasingly post-post-Soviet Russia, it puts us on a path that will limit our missile-defense capabilities. DADT repeal heedlessly burdened a military engaged in two wars. Obama’s successes remind conservatives and Republicans that even a weakened president is still the big dog in American politics. Not as big as he was, though. Obama extended the Bush tax cuts in a deal with the congressional GOP that reflected its new clout, and Congress failed to enact DREAM (the amnesty program for young illegal immigrants) and a grotesque $1 trillion omnibus spending bill slapped together by Harry Reid. And starting now, Reid’s majority shrinks, John Boehner takes the speaker’s chair — and Obama’s leash shortens.


January 24, 2011    |     Volume LXIII, No. 1

  • Evicting the president in 2012 will not be easy.
  • Strategy and tactics for the new House majority.
  • Our economy and culture would benefit from its remembrance.
  • The Khodorkovsky trial exposes the ugly truth of Putin’s Russia.
  • In memoriam.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Glenn Harlan Reynolds reviews Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America, by William McGowan.
  • Claire Berlinski reviews The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East, by Mitchell Bard.
  • Helen Rittelmeyer reviews Pathology of the Elites: How the Arrogant Classes Plan to Run Your Life, by Michael Knox Beran.
  • Ryan T. Anderson reviews Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The King's Speech and True Grit.
  • John Derbyshire fills a hole.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Editorial  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .