The Arab Fall

The Arab Fall

This past year, when many were waxing euphoric about the “Arab Spring,” I expressed skepticism about the prospects for anything that Americans would recognize as democracy in the Muslim-dominated nations of North Africa and the Middle East. Political systems, I’ve...
Can It All Be Coincidence?

Can It All Be Coincidence?

As I noted in the introduction to my book, The Obama Timeline, a jury at a murder trial will often find the accumulated circumstantial evidence so overwhelming that a guilty verdict is obvious—even though there may be no witness to the crime. “The jurors in the Scott...
The Art of Political Rhetoric

The Art of Political Rhetoric

The ancient Roman rhetoricians developed rules for their oratory. They began with “the exordium,” an emotional or ethical appeal to put the audience in a receptive mood. The “narratio” followed, a narrative of the events leading to the situation to be discussed and an...
Various Presidents on Polygamy

Various Presidents on Polygamy

A decade prior to the Civil War there were two major political parties in the United States: Democrats, favoring freedom of choice to own slaves; and Whigs, wanting a big tent party. In Ripon, Wisconsin, anti-slavery activists met for the first time on February 28,...