To hear both critics and defenders talk about the fitness of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, you'd think the most successful Supreme Court justices had been warm, collegial consensus-builders. But history tells a different story.
The Chinese public is deeply nationalist, which matters to China's unelected political leadership as much as U.S. nationalism does to American politicians. As China becomes the world's largest economy, there is meaningful public pressure for its power status to advance in parallel. Any alternative would be humiliating.
In politics, Joseph Smith was something of a radical. He preached, instead of democracy, a version of theocratic rule within a framework given by his own prophetic leadership. At Nauvoo, Smith affected a Napoleonic uniform and made himself into a general and quasi king of the polity he had constituted.
Every generation gets the Constitution that it deserves. As the central preoccupations of an era make their way into the legal system, the Supreme Court eventually weighs in, and nine lawyers in robes become oracles of our national identity.
When we put our trust in diplomacy, it is not because it is an inspiring or uplifting discourse or because it helps us see the common humanity in others. The stylized circumlocutions of diplomats can make them seem ridiculous or irrelevant: they never seem to be talking about what is really going on.
Cyber attacks are not what makes the cool war 'cool.' As a strategic matter, they do not differ fundamentally from older tools of espionage and sabotage.
The rise of the presidency began with the Louisiana Purchase, which in 1803 doubled the land mass of the United States. History taught the framers that, just as Rome changed from republic to empire with conquest of new lands, territorial acquisition would lead to the centralization of political power.