Colby Cosh of the Canadian conservative organ Macleans. His piece--nostalgic for Rutherford B. Hayes, of all people--combines virtuosic diction with lighthanded critique and trenchant political insight.
Some pull quotes:
The idea of the “State of the Union address” was revived by the tyrannical, warmongering racist Woodrow Wilson, that infallible guide to the inadvisable. . . .
Nowadays, the President gets to play rock star once a year with the Vice-President and the Speaker of the House as his rhythm section. (Though any bar-band bass player who upstaged his frontman with deranged mugging as often as Nancy Pelosi does would quickly find himself in a back-alley dumpster with a Rickenbacker colonoscopy.) . . .
Indeed, a Haitian asked to consider the “terrible choices” faced by Americans would probably say it wasn’t really suffering at all—just childish resentment at the mere existence of economic scarcity. (I understand that there’s a recession on, but what prior generation of Americans didn’t have to struggle to realize its ambitions? When have the non-rich not faced difficult choices and opportunity costs?)