The American Spectator

American Spectator is a monthly trade magazine published by the American Spectator Foundation. Founded in 1967, the magazine covers politics, culture and current events.

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 10, December/January

Agents of Influence
WHOM IS THE PRESIDENT LISTENING TO, and what is he being told?Judging from those we've read about in the past several months, it is a scary thought indeed. Presidents always get lots of advice from many quarters, but there are a few people in any administration...
All the President's Regulators
If Congress can't pass Obama's liberal agenda, these people will impose it.DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF THE Obama administration, conservatives have directed much of their fire on the major legislation the president is pushing through Congress. This concern...
An Editor as Framer
An Editor as Framer The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide By Seth Lipsky (Basic Books, 336 pages. $25.95)THIS IS AN IMPROBABLE BOOK. But Seth Lipsky seems to specialize in improbable projects. In the 1990s, he revived a hundred -year-old Yiddish-language...
Anne, with the Saints
MY DATE FROM ALABAMA WATCHED eight years ago, incredulous and perhaps horrified, as Anne Russell and I high-fived and jumped around and yelled like maniacs. New Orleans Saints running back Ricky Williams had scored a game-winning touchdown on the game's...
Another Clinton Scandal
WASHINGTONI HAVE BEEN DEFAMED BY TAYLOR BRANCH, and he will not reply to my repeated calls for clarification. The defamation takes place in his new book, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President. The defamation he printed comes from the...
Battle Cry in the North Country
Doug Hoffman's campaign in upstate New York isn't necessarily over.YATES WALKER ATE BREAKFAST in the Blue Moon Café on Main Street in Saranac Lake, New York, on the morning of November 4, and delivered an after-action report on the battle that had just...
Books for Christmas
Our annual list of holiday gift suggestions from distinguished readers and writers.BRIAN C. ANDERSONALAIN DE BOTTON IS ONE of the most charming, intelligent writers around today, able to shed new light on topics ranging from architecture to travel to...
Brace Yourself
BECKETT'S DESPAIR IS AS BRACING AS EVER." So, at least, says the Sunday Times critic proudly quoted on the marquee of the new production in London by Simon McBurney of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which was first performed there in 1957. Mr. McBurney himself...
Caprice Prize
THE FIRST WEEK IN OCTOBER saw a stunning turnabout in coverage of Barack Obama. Pro-Obama coverage might have hit its peak on Monday, October 5, when CNN's Situation Room aired an astonishing segment "fact checking" a comedy sketch. No joke.The skit...
Current Wisdom
The NationAnd so concludes another interlude of navel-gazing in the company of columnist Patricia J. Williams, Obamamaniac:So Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is something all Americans should feel good about, a reassurance that we are moving toward a light,...
Do Do That Voodoo That They Did So Well
Do Do That Voodoo That They Did So Well Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity By Brian Domitrovic (ISl Books, 368 pages, $27.95)"THE VERDICT 0N SUPPLY-SIDE ECONOMICS IS mixed," wrote Harvard economist...
Fragile Freedom
IN CREATING "FREEDOM WATCH," the editors planned to keep examining a theme that deeply concerned Ronald Reagan throughout his life. He expressed it often- in the 1967 speech that inspired the column, in a 1981 address as he assumed the presidency- and...
Guitar Man
Thaddeus McCotter steps out as an unlikely Republican leader.THADDEUS MCCOTTER IS BORED. His answers for what ails the Republican Party and the reasons he gives for why it came to its current minority status on Capitol Hill are thoughtful, even insightful....
I'm Being Tested
FRIDAYD-DAY. AFTER MANY WEEKS and even months of resisting my doctor's urgings to get an angiogram, off I go with said doctor, Paul Grodan, MD, to get the damned test. I am having my driver, Mr. Milkey Imtiaz, drive me down there to a hospital in a faraway...
Labor Unions and the News Media
OVER THE YEARS, commentators have given much thought to the news media's "liberal bias." But one issue has been overlooked- press criticism of labor unions. That is because it is hard to spot something that doesn't appear in print. The media just don't...
Nobody's Pluperfect
Nobody's Pluperfect Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor By Matt Latimer (Crown Publishers, 283 pages, $26)MATT LATIMER HAS WRITTEN this year's most entertaining book about what goes on- or doesn't- in Washington. This is a laughout-loud book...
Obama, Obviously
WASHINGTONWHAT STRIKES ME ABOUT POLITICS over the last couple of years is how obvious it all has been. In 2008, as the junior senator from Illinois campaigned across the country demonstrating his gifts as a motivational speaker and community organizer,...
On the Prowl
Gitmo ContinuityWhite House sources say that various legal advisers inside and outside of government are now saying they see little upside to closing down the Guantanamo terrorist holding facility, and that it will be difficult for the Obama administration...
Ronald Reagan's Berlin
BERLINWHO BROUGHT ABOUT THE FALL of the Berlin Wall and then the end of the Cold War? Lots of candidates for the credit were being proposed as this city commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Wall's end.A dinner held at the posh Adlon Hotel by the...
Seeking the Welfare of the City of Our Exile
Seeking the Welfare of the City of Our Exile American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile By Richard John Neuhaus (Basic Books, 270 pages, $26.95)THE DEATH OF Father Richard John Neuhaus last January coincided with the posthumous publication of his lastbook,...
The Continuing Crisis
October passes and the presidency of the Prophet Obama continues on its whirly-whirly course. The Telegraph of London reported that the Prophet's popularity decline is now the most precipitous for any elected president at this stage in a presidency in...
The Decline of the Best
The Decline of the Best Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine, and the End of Prance By Michael Steinberger (BLOOMSBURY, 256 PAGES, $25)WE HAVE IT ON THE AUTHORITY OF none other than Nicolas Sarkozy that France has the best gastronomy in the world. So convinced...
The Great Consolidator
Benedict XVI is finding ways to allow all roads to lead to Rome again.FOR ALL THE STURM UND DRANG that rolled off the British newspaper presses in late October, you'd think the Limey scribblers were sounding the alarm over an imminent threat to the realm...
The Hospital Where I Grew Up
IT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE to go back to a scene of your childhood and to understand from rekindled memories where and how the first seeds of your faith were planted.I recently had this experience, courtesy of the BBC, as a result of being the...
Their Finest Hour
Their Finest Hour Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America By Craig Shirley (ISl Books, 740 pages, $30)THE LANDSLIDE OUTCOME OF THE 1980 presidential election now seems a foregone conclusion. With double-digit inflation...
The Jobless Recovery and Its Structures
The liberals in power face an economic problem that could become a political one as well.WHEN THE DEMOCRATS TOOK CONTROL of the White House in 2008, they inherited, along with the burden of a deep worldwide recession, the enormous promise of the political...
The New Normal
Forget the naysayers. Happy capitalism is here again.ON APRIL 14, 2009, in a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama made reference to the Bible: "There is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men. The...
The Rotting Fruit of Multiculturalism
CAN EUROPE BE THE SAME PLACE with different people in it? asks Christopher Caldwell in Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. It took an American to raise an issue few here dare to.The continent is a very different place today from what it was a couple...
Totalitarian Sentimentality
CONSERVATIVES RECOGNIZE THAT social order is hard to achieve and easy to destroy, that it is held in place by discipline and sacrifice, and that the indulgence of criminality and vice is not an act of kindness but an injustice for which all of us will...