About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Time to Rally ‘Round

    By kyle | January 10, 2012

    Now that the primary season is over, and Romney’s the obvious winner (I’m not sure anyone else was ever really a competitor, except when it looked like Rick Perry was a serious candidate in the five seconds before he opened his mouth), Allahpundit has some good analysis of what this means. Is Mitt a true conservative? I doubt it. Who is? Newt? Nope. Huntsman? Santorum? John McCain? George W. Bush? George H.W. Bush? Nope, nope, nopity-nope. But the Bushes were a helluva lot better than Obama. The fact is, Romney’s the most conservative candidate who stands a chance of being elected in November, we’re stuck with him, let’s go to work.

    He could turn out to be substantially better than hoped — Reagan couldn’t really be Reagan until he got to the White House. I don’t think he could be any worse than Obama (though his equivocation on a VAT deeply worries me), but in any case we stand a very good chance of retaking the Senate, and I doubt a fundamentally anti-conservative idea could slip through both houses and obtain Romney’s signature.

    I’m inclined to give RomneyCare a pass. Who cares if he’s a flip-flopper as long as he has flipped to the right side? Did liberals ever hold against Al Gore the fact that he was once a moderate on abortion? The fact is, the health care debate moved decisively to the right (and that’s a good thing). If Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation were in favor of the individual mandate, that tells you how mainstream the idea was.

    I don’t expect Romney to solve America’s problems. I expect America to solve America’s problems, and for Romney to fail to introduce lots of crazy and expensive schemes that will interfere with that. I have no idea what kinds of judges he would nominate, but we know Obama will nominate ultra-liberals at every turn, and that could very well mean losing the Supreme Court for another generation.

    Romney strikes me as solid and honorable and not at all the kind of tenured radical naif who would sic the NLRB on Boeing, block the Keystone pipeline or waste huge amounts of money on Big Green boondoggles or high-speed rail or college educations for people who ought to be bricklayers or, indeed, on income redistribution. A second Obama presidency would simply continue his inclination to ignore Congress and tighten regulations by fiat and let the courts deal with the mess. Free marketers who think the courts are going to aid us are dangerously ill-acquainted with reality.

    Anyway, I like Mitt. He’s shown in the debates that he’s smart, reasonable, all but unflappable, and mostly in favor of all the right things. I’m from the great state of Massachusetts and I know you can’t get elected Deputy Assistant to the Dog Catcher without going all Ted Kennedy on liberal social issues. Seriously, you couldn’t run for a school board seat if you’re pro-life. Romney’s just a classic moderate northeastern businessman, and that’s a vast improvement on a president utterly unacquainted with business who thinks of his interlude with a profit-seeking company as a stint “behind enemy lines.”

    I think comparisons of Romney to Nixon are off the mark. Nixon (like John McCain) just wasn’t interested in domestic policy in the first place, and would thus point whichever way the wind was blowing. He wanted to move little Risk figures around the world map and let the homefront take care of itself, which meant letting the liberals take care of it. Romney is far more engaged with what the problems are, not to mention showing no sign of Nixon’s worrying personality flaws.

    A Romney presidency would be more or less another Bush presidency minus war, and anyone who doesn’t see that as an enticement to supporting him, in a big way, isn’t much of a conservative.

    Go Mitt.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney | 5 Comments »

    Livetweeting the GOP Debate

    By kyle | December 15, 2011

    Check out my Twitter feed: @rkylesmith. I’ll be commenting live tonight during the debate on the only news network I can stand.
    Gingrich peaked when one poll had him up 15 or 17 on Romney. Now meet my little friend “reversion to the mean.” If Romney wins Iowa, it’s all over. I suspect he won’t, but I don’t think the race will drag on into the spring either.
    A Ron Paul win in Iowa would be meaningless since Paul is not a real candidate (meet my little friends Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson).

    Topics: Mitt Romney, Politics | 6 Comments »

    Cancel that Coronation for Perry

    By kyle | September 23, 2011

    Looking around at what other conservatives have said confirms what I thought of the debate last night: Things turned coyote ugly for Perry. Even to his admirers, he looked woefully out of his depth and in no way looked like someone who can hold his own against Obama — who is no fool and is exceptionally composed and fluent in these kinds of settings. This sets up Romney as the frontrunner again. Assuming no one else gets in the race, it’s going to be very hard to deny Romney the nomination. Just look at how one Perry fan has changed his tune:

    The GOP Race Is Going to be a Snore: “Despite constant attacks from his opponents, Perry is still way ahead and set up to win the nomination easily.” — Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary, Sept. 7, 2011

    Debates Are Killling Perry’s Candidacy: “Rick Perry entered tonight’s Republican presidential debate with an opportunity to reverse the image of him as a poor speaker that had slowed the momentum of his campaign. Instead, he reinforced it. Perry may have started out strong, but once again, his energy and focus seemed to leave him in the second hour of the debate. He clearly flubbed a chance to nail Romney on health care as well as his other changes of position.” — same writer, Sept. 22, 2011

    Topics: Mitt Romney | 3 Comments »

    Spineless Vs. Brainless

    By kyle | August 28, 2011

    Perry thinks Romney has no backbone and Romney thinks Perry is not that bright. They’re both right! And all we need is the Tin Man for this magical journey to Oz! I remind you: No one has ever accused Rudy Giuliani of lacking either courage or brains.

    Topics: Mitt Romney, Politics, Rudy Giuliani | 6 Comments »

    I Dream of Michigan

    By kyle | July 27, 2011

    Michigan is a lost cause. Barack Obama carried 57 percent of the vote in Michigan. The state is grateful for the bailouts. Right?
    Mitt Romney is beating Obama 46 to 42 in Michigan at the moment. It seems to me that Romney is the only plausible Republican nominee who would even bother to think about Michigan. I assume Michigan will eventually settle back into its deep-blue pattern. But…if Romney could peel away Michigan it would be huge. Gigantic, even.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney | 1 Comment »

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