Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.

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Victory Disease

From First Thoughts

 One thing that struck me about presidential elections in the post-1984 era was that, of the candidates who have serious hopes of winning their party’s nomination, the Democrats tried to seem more moderate than they really were while the Republicans tried to seem more radical than they . . . . Continue Reading »

The National Review Diaspora

From First Thoughts

Two National Review reporters have taken prominent positions in right-leaning institutions. This is good news for the country.Over the last eight or so years, a group of conservative writers (Ross Douthat, Yuval Levin, Reihan Salam, Ramesh Ponnuru and many—-though not enough—-others) . . . . Continue Reading »

A Few Quick, Random Thoughts

From First Thoughts

I’ve been down with the flu, so not much from me this week,1. If I ran a national television news division, I would immediately hire Mollie Hemingway to do lengthy reported pieces.2. Imagine you are in your late teens or early twenties. You are in the top third of your age-group for intelligence . . . . Continue Reading »

The Ice Is Breaking Part II

From First Thoughts

 To give credit where it is due, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to President Obama explaining that the Senate immigration bill the president supports would sharply increase low-skill immigration and put downward pressure on the wages of low-skill Americans and low-skill noncitizen . . . . Continue Reading »

Little Sisters in the Political Madhouse

From Web Exclusives

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blocked the administration’s mandate that the Little Sisters of the Poor contract to provide contraception coverage to their employees. That the case has gone this far illustrates the sickness of the left, the complacence of our popular media culture, and the weakness (partly self-inflicted) of President Obama’s political opponents. . . . Continue Reading »

The Ice Is Breaking

From First Thoughts

They think the way you solve things is by electing the right people. It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t how you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. -Milton FriedmanLet me share some . . . . Continue Reading »


From First Thoughts

 Most of the talk about the Robert Gates memoir has been about his criticism of Obama and Clinton. Fair enough, but it is striking that Gates is much more harshly critical of Congress and yet these attacks on Congress have not produced much surprise, outrage, or even pushback.  Our . . . . Continue Reading »

Depressing And Disturbing Reading

From First Thoughts

I can’t figure out what is the worst thing to come out of this Washington Post article on the new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Let me mention several candidates for worst news:1. It basically confirms Carl Scott’s suspicion (in this long-ago No Left Turns thread). . . . . Continue Reading »

Five Random Thoughts

From First Thoughts

While I try to organize some other thoughts,1.  William Devane’s most villainous role is the one where he tries to scare old people into converting their assets into gold coins by using fears of an inflation that isn’t happening.2.  Kevin Williamson is reason enough to subscribe to . . . . Continue Reading »