It’s Still the Economy, Stupid

At the Republican Iowa caucus in January, vendors sold buttons featuring a variety of slogans.  “Give Me Liberty, Not Debt,” read some.  “Legalize the Constitution,” demanded others.  The clashing slogans were more than just a memorabilia mash-up; they spoke, as well, of the perpetual vacillation during presidential election campaigns between the inescapable place of economic …

American Interventionism and the Tragedy of Foreign Policy

Since World War I, every American president has had to confront the potential agonies, moral uncertainties, and quagmires of military intervention abroad. Certainly, the price of intervention weighs on Barack Obama even as he pulls out troops from Iraq and vows to do the same from Afghanistan. He has already spent American energy and resources …

A Symbolic Victory in Iraq

In war and in history, images matter. Powerful and accessible, an image can provide an enduring symbol, encapsulating the legacy of an entire war in a single shot. Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic photograph for Life magazine of an American sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square during a victory parade did just that, and it will …

The Infuriating Brilliance of Remaining Calm

It has not taken long for former supporters of president Barack Obama, particularly on the Democratic Party’s left wing, to label Obama’s presidency a disappointment. Obama ran for president largely to counter eight years of increasingly radical conservatism under George W. Bush, with its legacy characterized by war in Iraq, economic decline, and heedlessness, anti-intellectualism, …