What Would Ronnie Do?

Obama starts the second half of his term with a set of obstacles similar to those that bedeviled Ronald Reagan. On Reagan's centennial, the president is looking to the past for inspiration.

Perlstein on Populism: Our American Common Sense

Our pundits worry that a populist rage is loose in the land—pitchforks everywhere! My first reaction upon hearing that was to dismiss the word "populist" as a distraction, an epithet meant to recall episodes in which mass rage made sound policy deliberation impossible.

Rick Perlstein: A New Message From Watts

We've been on the verge of what seemed like permanent ideological transformation before. For liberals, the most dramatic such moment came with Lyndon Johnson's landslide victory in 1964. "These are the most hopeful times since Christ was born in Bethlehem," Johnson declared while lighting the White House Christmas tree that year.