David Brooks: Obama is the Pragmatic Leviathan – NYTimes.com


When I was in college, I was assigned “Leviathan,” by Thomas Hobbes. On the cover was an image from the first edition of the book, published in 1651. It shows the British nation as a large man. The people make up the muscles and flesh. Then at the top, there is the king, who is […]

Ross Douthat: Prisons of Our Own Making – NYTimes.com


If you’re a governor with presidential aspirations, you should never, under any circumstances, pardon a convict or reduce a sentence. That’s the lesson everyone seems to have drawn from the dreadful case of Maurice Clemmons, an Arkansas native who murdered four Lakewood, Wash., police officers over Thanksgiving weekend — nine years after Mike Huckabee, then […]

David Brooks: The Hanukkah Story, NYTimes.com


Tonight Jewish kids will light the menorah, spin their dreidels and get their presents, but Hanukkah is the most adult of holidays. It commemorates an event in which the good guys did horrible things, the bad guys did good things and in which everybody is flummoxed by insoluble conflicts that remain with us today. It’s […]

ROSS DOUTHAT: Europe’s Minaret Moment, NYTimes.com


Op-Ed Columnist – Europe’s Minaret Moment – NYTimes.com.