Political History

Hagel: The New Eisenhower

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
December 18, 2012 |

In signaling that he’s likely to select Chuck Hagel as his secretary of defense, Barack Obama is sending a message about his second term. In the decade since 9/11, the spirit of Harry Truman has dominated American foreign policy. Now it may be giving way to the spirit of Dwight Eisenhower. And that could make all the difference in the world.

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Kludgeocracy: The American Way of Policy

  • By Steven M. Teles, Johns Hopkins University
December 10, 2012

The last thirty years of American history have witnessed, at least rhetorically, a battle over the size of government. Yet that is not what the history books will say the next thirty years of American politics were about. With the frontiers of the state roughly fixed, the issues that will dominate American politics going forward will concern the complexity of government, rather than its sheer size.

Verify Some, But Mostly Trust

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
November 9, 2012 |

Twenty-four hours after Mitt Romney’s concession speech—as most of America nursed election hangovers, pundits opined on what went wrong for Romney and what’s next for Obama, and Florida continued counting votes—I gained perspective from an unexpected source: Mexico. I was at a hotel in Puebla watching the late-night TV hosts of Tercer Grado (the Third Degree) news commentary show bash the amateurish democratic process of their neighbors to the north.

The Ghost of George W. Bush

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
September 10, 2012 |

The conventions are over, but the individual who will determine the 2012 election didn’t attend either of them. His name is George W. Bush.

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What Robert Caro Got Wrong

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
May 31, 2012 |

Robert Caro’s series on The Years of Lyndon Johnson, now in its fourth volume (with, the author’s health willing, one more to go) ranks among the towering achievements in literary biography. Volume 1, The Path to Power, tracing the future president’s youth, may be the best book ever written about the role of money in American politics. Volume 2, Means of Ascent, while deeply flawed, is a seminal study in corruption. Volume 3, Master of the Senate, is a riveting portrait of how LBJ transformed a deliberately sluggish institution into a vehicle for self-aggrandizement and social justice.

The Sidebar: France's New President and Egypt's Democratic Transition

May 17, 2012

On this week's episode of The Sidebar podcast (available below) Leila Hilal discusses Egypt's first ever presidential debate and the emerging democratic process in the Middle East. Jeff Vanke talks about France's new president and the future of the Eurozone. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Also, Leila Hilal spoke with us on camera to preview Egypt's upcoming elections:

From Hope to Hardball

  • By
  • Noam Scheiber,
  • New America Foundation
April 20, 2012 |

Though it was obvious to almost no one at the time, Thursday, April 5, may have certified a momentous change in contemporary politics. It was that day when Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus was quoted saying that the Republican “war on women,” a favorite liberal talking point, was a creation of Democrats and the media—no more reality-based than a Republican “war on caterpillars.” It probably wasn’t the most outlandish comment a GOP operative uttered that hour.

The Sidebar: Inequality in the Tax Code & Campaign Updates

April 13, 2012
Inequality in the tax code and updates from the Presidential campaigns are topics for this week's episode of The Sidebar. Host Pamela Chan is joined by Rachel Black and Franklin Foer.

Imagine a Congress That Can Do Great Things

  • By
  • Tamar Jacoby,
  • New America Foundation
March 14, 2012 |

With just months to go before the presidential campaign ends all meaningful activity on Capitol Hill, members of Congress are struggling to move a few must-pass pieces of legislation. One of the most pressing is the highway bill, which Congress is considering this week. Not only does all federal funding for transportation depend on passing a bill by March 31; the highway trust fund itself is scheduled to go broke in 2013 and the deal in the making pays for only two years.

This is essential national maintenance. Yet Congress is - you guessed it - gridlocked.

GOP Hypocrisy on Religion: Quran Burning vs. Contraception

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
February 27, 2012 |

There’s a lot to admire about conservatives. By conservatives, I mean people who believe that when you cast aside the inherited wisdom of past generations in a bid to make society dramatically better, you usually make it worse. The problem with many in today’s Republican Party isn’t that they share this skepticism about change. It’s that they apply it selectively. When conservative principles restrain their country, their religion, their class, today’s conservative leaders cast them aside.

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