The Obama Narrative

It’s no secret that popular media has served dutifully as Obama White House megaphone. What is less remarked upon is the extent to which messaging moves in the opposite direction. Barack Obama has repeatedly come around to echoing the assessments and slogans furnished by his support network in the mainstream press, especially at key moments for his legitimacy.

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The Obama Narrative

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The Left’s Voting Fetish

Voting is not itself an expression of political freedom.

The United States of America does not make a fetish of voting. For the “vote or die” crowd, that’s a cause of great shame.

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The War of Ideas: The Other Anti-Terror Front

How to defeat suicide bombers.

I visited Manchester in 2014, along with my son, to see a Manchester United soccer game at its hallowed stadium, Old Trafford. Not knowing what to expect, I feared the worst—a grimy, decrepit, post-industrial wasteland. What we found was very different: a booming, bustling metropolis. Manchester has preserved its heritage as one of the incubation sites of the Industrial Revolution but has not been trapped in the past. Old factories and warehouses have been repurposed into museums and chic hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars, making Manchester an exceptionally pleasant place to visit—and no doubt to live as well.

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Trump Breaks the Diplomatic Mold

Throw out the rule book.

There is perhaps nothing a global class of calcified diplomatic professionals appreciates more than subtlety and nuance. Donald Trump’s tour of the world’s three major religious capitals is about as unsubtle and unnuanced as you can get. To many seasoned diplomats, this administration’s naïve effort to forge peace in this fashion is downright dangerous—possibly more than the administration even knows. Maybe. Or maybe the president and his team are dispensing with ossified convention in a field that could desperately use some fresh thinking. With the first leg of Trump’s world theological tour complete, it is not impossible that something new is taking shape.

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Don’t Be Optimistic about Saudi Reforms

The Saudis aren't interested in reforms.

President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia highlighted not only the U.S. alliance with the desert kingdom but also Saudi Arabia’s deplorable human rights record and its much-publicized efforts to reform economically and socially.

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Trump Dances with Knives

Podcast: A new meaning for the phrase "diplomatic dance."

On this week’s first podcast, I join with Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman in examining the success of the president’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel (thus far) and ask whether this is the beginning of a new foreign-policy push that will seek to take advantage of Barack Obama’s failures—or will just evanesce. Also, we discuss Abe’s article “Is This the End of the ‘Free World?'” and Michael Flynn’s 5th amendmenting. Give a listen. And leave a review on iTunes. What, would it kill you to be nice?

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