Tevi Troy
Tevi Troy
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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review of The Ideas Industry

May 16, 2017  •  Commentary

The term "public intellectual" took off in the 1980s with the publication of Russell Jacoby's book The Last Intellectuals. Jacoby's argument was that the intellectual ferment of the 1950s and 1960s in the pages of magazines such as Commentary had departed from the American scene, and people who might once have labored in these vineyards were instead opting for academic specialization rather than providing their general wisdom on a freelance basis.

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How to Make the Heritage Foundation Great Again

May 3, 2017  •  Politico

The Heritage Foundation was built to matter, and for its first three decades it mattered as much as any think tank in Washington. In 1971, two Republican Hill staffers, Ed Feulner and Paul Weyrich, were annoyed that a useful American Enterprise Institute study on government funding for the Supersonic Transport plane wasn't issued until a few days after a close vote on the issue. Weyrich called AEI President William Baroody to ask him why: "Great study. Why didn't we get it sooner?" Baroody's response, "We didn't want to try to affect the outcome of the vote."

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Presidents and Public-Health Crises

Spring 2017  •  National Affairs

Over the course of the 20th century, the United States faced three major public-health crises: the polio epidemic, excessively high smoking rates, and HIV/AIDS. Each of these crises took place over a multi-year period, and multiple presidents dealt with both their effects and the national response to them. Nonetheless, certain presidents came to be specifically identified with each of these crises: Franklin Roosevelt and polio, John F. Kennedy and smoking, and Ronald Reagan and HIV/AIDS.

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The GOP Health Care Meltdown

April 6, 2017  •  Commentary

Once it became clear on the morning of November 9 that Republicans would have control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives come 2017, another shocking realization dawned: Obamacare could be repealed. Republicans had explicitly run on a promise to do just that in four successive national elections and had been rewarded for it by the voters in 2010 (when they secured a majority in the House), 2014 (when they secured the majority in the Senate), and 2016 (when they secured the presidency). Throughout the six years following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the GOP voiced its opposition by passing multiple repeal bills. Given the inevitability of President Obama's veto, Republicans were much derided by Democrats and the media for these seemingly futile gestures. But these efforts had a strategic purpose: They were intended to demonstrate to America's voters that Republicans had a legislative path to get a repeal bill to the president's desk—a bill that a Republican president would actually sign. A mere five months later came another political shocker: The initial Republican effort to repeal Obamacare ran off the rails. On the eve of a planned March vote, House leaders pulled their bill, the generically named American Health Care Act, because they knew it would fail due to Republican resistance from conservatives and moderates alike. In the immediate aftermath, President Donald Trump pledged to walk away from health-care reform efforts and "let Obamacare explode." House Speaker Paul Ryan grimly noted that the problematic 2010 legislation was "the law of the land" and that "we're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."

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A Brief History of Comedians Roasting Presidents

March 30, 2017  •  Washingtonian

When Donald Trump doesn't show up at the White House Correspondents' dinner on April 29, he'll be the first President in 36 years to skip the shindig. After eight years of chummy repartee between President Obama and a rotating host of professional roasters, Trump's absence may seem frosty. But a look back at the relationship between the Oval Office and comedians reminds us that he's not the first unwilling target to sit behind the Resolute desk—and shows how the nature of presidential skewering evolved right along with the country.

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Books by Tevi Troy

Cover of Shall We Wake the President? Cover of What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted Cover of Intellectuals and the American Presidency

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