We have heard more than we needed to know about the First 100 Days, not to mention the Next 100 Days, and the Next, and the Next. The rock star president has been compared to everybody from Bill Clinton to God (the Wall Street Journal actually hinted that after six frenetic days, maybe he (He?) too should rest on the seventh). Even his dog is a rock star, his wife a fashion plate, his kids the cutest little things that ever came along. All I know is that we are sick of this nonsense, sick of hearing about him, his plans for the country, for the great shift he has in store in taking what we thought was a center- right country and turning it into a bastion of liberalism that will put the New Deal and the Great Society to shame.
The Pelosi-Reid and now Specter Democratic Congress was bought, lock, stock, and barrel, by the White House for a mess of pork, all with your grandchildren’s money, the whole thing now directed by a visionary president intent on changing the direction of the country, no, the world, and who is the savior of us all, besides being a very cool guy. For liberals, these first hundred days were wildly successful—more, certainly, than in their wildest dreams. Not so for the rest of us.
We offer a break from the incessant chatter about Obama with a variety of good reading in this first issue of the summer; some, but certainly not all, about other political topics, starting with a thoughtful piece on Mexico by our increasingly regular contributor Angelo Codevilla (just now recovering, in California, from a heart transplant). Readers will profit from the history lesson Angelo provides, and from his balanced discussion of drugs, immigration, and trade; his analysis of what is wrong with our relationship with our neighbors to the south; and what should be done. David Aikman, also a familiar face in TAS, writes about China’s celebration (well, the regime is not celebrating) of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, especially the efforts of human rights advocates to keep the memory of it alive, despite the government’s efforts to bury it.
We welcome Dov Zakheim, Don Rumsfeld’s comptroller from 2001 to 2004, to TAS with a piece on the Pentagon’s new budget and what he thinks might become of it as the Obama regime progresses. Zakheim is no shrinking violet; I traveled to China with him and Rumsfeld in 1999, and watched, in awe, as Dov, at the top of his lungs, dressed down one of the most senior generals of the Chinese Army for the way the good general and his colleagues had conducted themselves at Tiananmen.
There is much more as well, from Roger Scruton on what students no longer want to learn and the price they pay for their invincible ignorance, to Brian Wesbury and Andrew Wilson on economics, to Jonathan Aitken on the renewal of the current archbishop of Canterbury (no John Paul II, he). And for readers who may spend their summer in Paris, or at least wish they could, Joe Harriss, who heads our Parisian bureau, writes of the Académie Française, the defender of French tradition and the most exclusive club in France, and of one particularly distinguished member. No doubt the egalitarian Obamaites would abolish such an institution were it ours, and perhaps there is the lesson for us. If such an “elitist” organization can survive 375 years of monarchy, revolution, empire, humiliating military defeats, and five constitutions, surely we tough Americans can survive eight, or preferably four, years of the rock star president