FROM Ross Douthat
Republicans Regroup as the Opposition Republicans are pointing fingers at one another, but most agree on one thing: even if John McCain had not lost to Barack Obama , the GOP was in trouble. They were saddled with George Bush and the war in Iraq. They failed to control healthcare costs or monitor the economy. Now the party of Ronald Reagan has no consensus on leadership or a set or principles to hold its factions together. We ask a cross-section of Republican operatives and philosophers, what should happen next?
Should the GOP Find a New Look or Reinforce the Old One? With a week and a day until it's all over, John McCain and Barack Obama are making their closing arguments. Meantime, McCain's advisors have accused Sarah Palin of going "off message" and refusing to take advice. Palin sources say she's trying to "bust free" of political mismanagement. Divisions within a struggling campaign may be shedding light on a broader conflict over the future of the Republican Party . Does the GOP need reform to stay in touch with a changing America or is it time to recommit the Grand Old Party to undiluted conservatism?
The Biden-Palin Debate Last night's vice-presidential debate will be old news by Tuesday, when John McCain and Barack Obama face off again . In the meantime, both national campaigns are breathing sighs of relief after neither Sarah Palin nor Joe Biden made a major mistake. For both sides that's good news of a kind. We hear excerpts and compare performances with expectations.
Obama Claims Historic Victory, Clinton Holds On, McCain Takes Aim Barack Obama made history last night after the final two primaries of the season, becoming the first African American to be a major party's nominee for president. He now has more than the 2,118 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination. But his opponent Hillary Clinton showed no signs of backing down last night, prompting speculation among pundits about whether she is pushing too hard for the vice presidential slot. What is at stake for Democrats as Obama reaches out to Clinton and her eighteen million supporters? What kind of general election campaign is ahead for a young visionary senator versus more experienced war hero John McCain ?
Opposites Don't Attract: Presidential candidates appeal to the "working class" and "ordinary people" with the promise of unifying America for the "common good." But that turns out to mean different things in different places, and it's not just a matter of Red States versus Blue. Wealth and mobility have freed Americans to move wherever they want to and they end up with people just like themselves, culturally as well as politically. What might sound obvious turns out to be an index of major change over the past 30 years. Is segregation-by-lifestyle dividing cities and neighborhoods? Whatever happened to "class?" Is political unification possible any more?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?