The Buzz

Tony Blair's Failed Makeover

For a politician so successful on domestic matters, former British prime minister Tony Blair has proven remarkably inept on the international stage. There were those heady days of 2003 when he launched the invasion of Iraq alongside George W. Bush, but the British public's lack of support for the war eventually led Blair to leave office dogged by intense criticism of his decision to join the coalition.

Tracking the Imperial Presidency

Much has been written about the “imperial presidency,” and it’s instructive that nearly all political groups—liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party types, occupy people—see imperial tendencies in their opponents. This means that we’re seeing a trend that transcends partisan politics. The presidency, it seems, is becoming less and less tethered to the checks and balances devised for it.

Netanyahu’s Unstable Coalition

The surprising formation of a coalition between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the more liberal Kadima party seemed to provide Netanyahu with nearly unlimited power. The addition of twenty-eight Knesset members from Kadima bolstered his already considerable sway over Israeli politics, and the move appeared to endow him with miles of political maneuverability.

Who is the Supreme Court's Brutus?

Some say the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act sets a bad precedent for Congress's ability to levy taxes. But the court is also close to setting a precedent of leaks to the press about its internal decision-making process.

Raffling Off Seats at the Head Table

If Michelle Obama invited you to dinner, saying “I’m hoping you’ll be there,” you might feel you’d hit the jackpot. But according to Walter Kirn, you just might be in caught in the game of political “Suckerball”—and it’s your move.

Brooks Goes Namby-Pamby on ObamaCare

New York Times columnist David Brooks isn’t a conservative. He doesn’t have to be if he doesn’t want to, except that the Times heralds him as part of its effort to balance its liberal editorial page. Brooks is more accurately described as a namby-pamby sort of thinker.

Should We Expand the Supreme Court?

The Buzz normally takes a dim view of proposals from intellectuals to alter our fundamental constitutional system. These often seem to emanate largely from the policy frustrations of academics who want to change the rules of the game simply because they can’t win with the old rules.

Gerson Saves the Children

We’ve all seen the Save The Children commercials on television. For less than your daily metro fare, you can feel infinitely good about yourself by providing basic provisions to a child in poverty overseas. These children are in deep need; there’s no question. Yet the best way to help is often less clear.