National Review / Digital


In baseball you can’t tell the players without a scorecard, but in political commentary you need a metaphor. As intellectually destitute as it was, the midterm campaign now blessedly drawn to a close did not come up short in this department. It promises to be trampled by metaphors. It will end up at the bottom of a pile of flailing metaphors all yelling “Lemme at it!” Future historians looking for a catchy book title will find such an embarrassment of metaphorical riches in it that they will evolve on the spot and form a brand-new genus of mankind: happy intellectuals.

The metaphor that comes immediately to mind for Decision 2010 is “the barbarians are at the gates,” a flawless description of the many candidates and their supporters who have spent the past year bragging about how dumb and low-class they are. Then there are the “storm” entries — “the calm before” and “the eye of” — and even a metaphorical pun: “The house of ill dispute.” But I found one that really does say something about Decision 2010 in particular and our perishing republic in general. My metaphor of choice is “riding the Segway.”

November 29, 2010    |     Volume LXII, No. 22

  • And many have Jim DeMint to thank for it.
  • How to keep the grassroots growing.
  • It’s your policies that were the problem, Mr. President.
  • History need not, and likely will not, repeat itself.
  • Twelve spending-reduction priorities for the new Congress.
  • Ten tips for economic dynamism.
  • Letting rate cuts on top earners expire would cost more than it’s worth.
  • Keep your eye on these rising GOP stars.
  • The Democratic wipeout beyond the Beltway.
  • We will face pressure to cut military spending imprudently, and we should resist it.
  • Ronald Reagan articulated the principles that must underlie a lasting conservative majority.
  • A divided government faces a budget crisis.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Conrad Black reviews The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II — The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy, by George Weigel.
  • Edward Feser reviews The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.
  • Travis Kavulla reviews The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief, by V. S. Naipaul.
  • Fred Schwarz reviews Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda, by Carolyn de la Peña.
  • Richard Brookhiser feels the noise.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
The Bent Pin  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Editorial  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .