Paul A. Rahe

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Slavery and Confederate Nationalism

Today, 21 March 2011, marks the 150th anniversary of Alexander Hamilton Stephens’ delivery of the Cornerstone Speech in Savannah, Georgia. On 20 December 1860, the state convention called by the legislature of South Carolina after the election of Abraham Lincoln

Hillary's Moment

Inside the Obama administration, a debate is raging. In the face of the uprisings in the Middle East, Barack Obama has opted to sit on his hands. He has a talent for that. Robert Gates, who is extremely wary –

What Should Obama Say Tonight?

Sad to say, what I wrote last year at this time is hardly less apt today: “The State of the Union Address is ordinarily a bore. It generally consists of a laundry list of proposals, and the list nearly always

Military Neglect on Our Part

We were given fair warning on Tuesday when Robert Gates arrived in China. I doubt, however, that we will heed it. Liberal, commercial polities have a tendency to be caught flat-footed at the beginning of an armed conflict, and what

Military Neglect on Our Part

We were given fair warning on Tuesday when Robert Gates arrived in China. I doubt, however, that we will heed it. Liberal, commercial polities have a tendency to be caught flat-footed at the beginning of an armed conflict, and what

Obama's Re-Election Strategy

Well, one thing is now clear. Barack Obama very much wants to be re-elected, and he is willing to do whatever it takes. As I have already pointed out in anticipatory posts – first here, then here – he could

Will Obama Triangulate by Hiring Daley?

There have been reports – here, here, and here– that Barack Obama has approached William M. Daley about becoming the White House Chief of Staff. If true, these reports are very interesting, indeed. You see: Bill Daley has a history.

Economic Storm Clouds on the Horizon

The experts charged with determining when recessions begin and end tell us that the latest of these unpleasant events ended a while ago. Technically, they are no doubt right. But that does not mean that the economic crisis we have

Barack Obama: A One-Trick Pony

A bit less than a year ago, I posted piece entitled Is Barack Obama a One-Trick Pony? I raised this question with an eye to three thumbsuckers that had recently appeared – one on Politico by veteran commentator Elizabeth Drew;

Beyond the Liberal Spin: The Realignment Underway

The election is now over and the results are in – except in Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and a congressional district here and there. And one by one the usual suspects are weighing in with their comments. Most of these are

Hillary's Date with Destiny

“There is,” Shakespeare’s Brutus said to Cassius, “a tide in the affairs of men.” Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a

Judgment Day

Over the last twenty-two months, Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have sown the wind. Today – if the polls are any indication – they will reap the whirlwind. The portents have been there for a very

An Electoral Earthquake in the Offing: Its Historical Context

Scott Rasmussen now predicts that the Republicans will pick up fifty-five seats in the House. Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia still has the pick-up at forty-seven but says that, if forced to tweak the numbers right now, he

Democrat Civil War: Going to the Mattresses?

Back in mid-June, Leslie Gelb floated an idea in an op-ed piece that he published in The Wall Street Journal. After the midterms, he argued, when Robert Gates resigned his position as Secretary of Defense, Hillary Clinton should be given

In Praise of Carly Fiorina

There is a brief story by Jim Carlton in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal entitled “Fiorina Stays Away from Middle Road,” and in the cover story for the latest issue of The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes describes

Obamacare in the Courts

On Thursday, in Detroit, a federal district judge named George Caram Steeh ruled Obamacare constitutional. On Friday, Mike Pence, a Republican Congressman from Indiana, expressed his confidence that the Supreme Court will declare key sections of the bill unconstitutional. I

John Boehner's Pledge to America Defended

A lot has been written on this site and elsewhere concerning the Pledge to America that the Republicans unveiled on Friday. For the most part, bloggers have been critical. Some have argued that it will not do the Republicans any

Can We Trust the Polls?

Can we trust the current polls? I do not mean to level any accusations. I think that, with rare exceptions, the pollsters are doing their best to assess the trends. If nothing else, they know that accuracy pays off –

Mike Pence at Hillsdale: 'The Presidency and the Constitution'

Congressman Mike Pence spoke at Hillsdale College Monday night at the invitation of the Young Republicans. I attended the dinner held in his honor before the talk, briefly chatted with him, and listened with care and interest to his talk

Constitution Day

Today marks Constitution Day. On 17 September 1787, in Philadelphia, the Framers of the American Constitution added their signatures to the document they had produced, and soon thereafter it was dispatched to the Continental Congress for consideration by the states.

Restoring Constitutional Government

We have come a long way in the last twenty months. The President of the United States, his Chief of Staff, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Majority Leader in the United States Senate have done for

John Boehner's Wiliness

I am not personally acquainted with John Boehner, though I laid eyes on him once. I do not really know Eric Cantor either – though we met in passing in April, 2009 when I was in DC promoting my book

John Boehner's Testing Time

A year ago, in a blogpost entitled The Great Awakening, I argued that conservatives “should be grateful to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel.” After all, I wrote, they had unmasked “the Democratic Party as a conspiracy

The Rats Begin Leaving Obama's Sinking Ship

Ten months back, at the very end of September, I posted online a brief piece entitled Obama’s Wrecking Crew, in which I drew attention to a column in The New York Post in which Charles Gasparino reported two items of

Democrat Civil War: Time to Turn to the Capo di tutti Capi?

Something ominous is happening within the Democratic Party, and Barack Obama will soon have to start paying attention. For weeks now, James Carville has been railing against the Obama administration’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf. On Tuesday,

Patronage, Principles, and Political Parties

When they teach American government and the history of the early American republic, political scientists and historians have a puzzle to explain. There is, within the American constitution, no mention of political parties. And yet it is impossible to make

Financial Regulations Reformed?

On Wednesday, if all goes as planned, President Barack Obama will sign the financial-reform bill crafted by Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, sponsored by the Democratic Party in both houses, and supported by three

Executive Temperament: Principles Matter

When, in The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton writes that “energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government,” he refrains from asserting that energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good

Executive Temperament in Evidence: Mitch Daniels

Earlier this month, I posted a piece documenting Barack Obama’s incapacity as an executive. I followed up with a brief examination of Bobby Jindal’s record as Governor of Louisiana and, then, with a short discussion of a display of vigor

Walter Lippmann on Progressivism

In his recent cover story for The Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti praises CNBC’s Rick Santelli effusively for erupting against Barack Obama’s redistributionist policies on 19 February 2009 in such a fashion as to inspire the Tea Party Movement. Then, he

Executive Temperament in Evidence: Chris Christie

On Wednesday last, I posted a piece documenting Barack Obama’s incapacity as an executive. I followed up on the following day with a brief examination of Bobby Jindal’s record as Governor of Louisiana – which illustrates admirably what Alexander Hamilton

Executive Temperament in Evidence: Bobby Jindal

On Wednesday, I posted a piece, drawing attention to what is now obvious even to Maureen Dowd: that, as an executive, Barack Obama is woefully incompetent. In that piece, I noted the propensity of the American people for electing to

An Absence of Executive Temperament

In politics, temperament matters – it matters a great deal, as Barack Obama has unwittingly shown us time and again. Some women and men love to posture, talk, debate, and negotiate. Temperamentally, they are suited for a legislative role. It

The Gathering Storm in the Middle East

There is very little difference between what intelligence analysts do and what ordinary folks try to accomplish when they pick up a newspaper, listen to the evening news, or read the posts on this and other sites. In every case,

Is Paul Rahe Right?

This is the question that Rush Limbaugh posed to his listeners on Monday: Is Paul Rahe right? And it is, alas, an all-too-open question. Rush was responding to a piece, entitled “A New Birth of Freedom,” posted on early