The Weekly Standard
by Gary Andres


In his book Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, historian Rick Perlstein argues the seeds of today’s polarized politics were sown during the 1960s and 1970s. He traces the fault lines of contemporary controversies such as marriage, abortion, the environment, the role of government and even the very terms of our national self-image, back to this earlier period. President Nixon stepped into those stormy times and helped define a language of politics still used today — a ’silent majority’ of middle-class, conservative-leaning, middle-American ‘people of faith,’ versus a more cosmopolitan, secular, and liberal-leaning ‘live and let live’ crowd. Perlstein’s formulation may be oversimplified, but President Barack Obama pledged to end it. He promised ‘change’ and to stop the polarized politics of the past. He asserted America was on the brink of death by division. We needed to come together. But now President Obama stands at the edge of the same abyss. And many believe he has fallen into the same swamp of bitterness and polarization he promised to end...


Defining Afghanistan down

by John Dickerson


What will Afghanistan look like when American troops leave? President Obama will have to answer that question in the coming weeks at the same time he announces whether he’ll be sending new troops into the fight. The answer will help define success for the military — and it’s also key to selling Obama’s new strategy to the public. Obama probably will manage expectations by setting them very low. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that no one should expect Afghanistan to be a paradise. That’s an understatement of an understatement, given the level of government corruption and widespread instability. The country likely to emerge from U.S. occupation may well look like Bangladesh...


Only one genuine way to support the troops

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger


A few days ago, New York Times columnists Bob Herbert and David Brooks engaged in an online conversation in which they lamented that the American people are not doing enough to support the troops who are occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. They said that Americans just aren’t taking these ‘wars’ seriously and should be engaging in much more shared sacrifice for the sake of the troops. It would be difficult to find greater imperialistic nonsense than that...


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