Politics

What a Republican Majority Has Not Meant

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It has been more than a year now since the Republicans gained an absolute majority in Congress and the White House. The road to this majority began in the third year of Bill Clintons first term. The Republicans gained complete control of the 104th Congress (19951997), held on to control in the 105th Congress (19971999), and remained in power ... [click for more]

The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 In 1912, Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith introduced a “Government of Ireland Bill” that attempted to establish an Irish parliament with a popularly elected lower house and an appointed senate. A small delegation of Irish was to remain at Westminster to represent Ireland’s interest in the ... [click for more]

Our Elective Monarchy

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One of the myths Americans live by is that they rejected monarchy when the British left involuntarily in the late 18th century. Had a Martian been visiting the United States last week, he never would have believed it. Witnessing the state funeral and worshipful wall-to-wall cable-television coverage, our Martian would have sworn that Ronald Reagan had been the king ... [click for more]

The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 In the 1840s, a new voice would be heard in Ireland: the Young Irelanders, who urged the Catholic peasantry to return to their Gaelic roots. Literary and political radicals, the Young Irelanders sprinkled Gaelic terms throughout their writings long before the language was revived in order ... [click for more]

The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Irish history has been likened to the cry of wind through a ruined house because so much of it deals with destruction and the breaking of a whole into parts. Centuries of conflict between Catholic and Protestant, Irish rebel and British authority offer a dramatic narrative ... [click for more]

How Hitler Became a Dictator

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Whenever U.S. officials wish to demonize someone, they inevitably compare him to Adolf Hitler. The message immediately resonates with people because everyone knows that Hitler was a brutal dictator. But how many people know how Hitler actually became a dictator? My bet is, very few. Id also bet that more than a few people would be surprised at how he ... [click for more]

Campaign Finance Won’t Square the Circle

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The new restrictions on freedom that constitute campaign-finance reform raise some important issues in political philosophy. It would have been nice if the five Supreme Court justices who upheld the law had addressed those issues. They didnt even notice them. The majority said Congress violated no constitutional stricture, particularly the First Amendment, when it barred political parties from raising or ... [click for more]

What Bush Did Wrong during the War

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The brouhaha over what President Bush did or didnt do in Alabama during the war in Vietnam misses the point. Even if he put in all the time required by the Air National Guard, the real question, which nearly everyone evades, is: what obligation did a young man have with respect to that war? Every respectable politician must say (if ... [click for more]

Don’t Look to Politicians for Inspiration

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The other day I heard someone lament that the current field of presidential contenders includes no one who can be looked to for inspiration. My first response was to wonder why anyone would look to that group for inspiration in the first place? Why indeed? I’m not sure where Americans got ... [click for more]

Are We Electing a Military Ruler or a President?

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Amidst all the hubbub among the Democratic Party candidates for president over who supported President Bush’s invasion of Iraq and who didn’t, have you noticed that not one of them has brought up the Constitution and, specifically, the constitutional requirement that the president secure a congressional declaration of ... [click for more]

A Bush-Clinton Ticket Would Be Unbeatable

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In view of President Bush’s State of the Union address, I’ve got a great idea as to how the president can guarantee himself reelection — dump Dick Cheney as his vice-presidential running mate and select Bill Clinton instead. Think about it: Bush and Clinton share the exact same philosophical vision for the role of government ... [click for more]

Keep Politics Away from Money

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The supporters of campaign-finance regulation, and now a bare majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, are trying to square the circle. They want a vast distributive state in which politicians dispense favors at the expense of others without the appearance of corruption. An inherently corrupt system with no appearance of corruption is about as likely as, well, a square ... [click for more]
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