Do Conservatives Think The Poor ‘Have It Easy?’

Coming across as uncaring doesn’t help advance your political arguments.

What Exactly Has Conservatism Accomplished Lately?

Judging by the record of the past decade and a half, movement conservatism has accomplished very little.

What Went Wrong With The GOP

How did Republicans get in this mess?

Should Conservatives Be Embarrassed?

A growing number of conservatives are in dismay about the state of their movement.

Why Paved Roads Are Being Converted to Gravel

Is the left to blame for unpaved roads?

Obama’s Not Going To Arlington: Much Ado About Nothing

President Obama left for a Memorial Day weekend stay in Chicago last night and will be returning to Washington Monday evening, which means that he will be sending Vice-President Biden to the traditional wealth-laying ceremony at the Tomb Of The Unknowns At Arlington National Cemetery: President Obama is skipping the traditional Memorial Day visit to […]

Of Rush Limbaugh, Limbaughism, And The Future Of The GOP

David Frum’s Washington Post review of Zev Chafets’s Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One has already been attacked by many on the right, but his closing paragraphs make a point worth considering: Chafets acknowledges that Limbaugh has no conception of fairness or objectivity, that he is not an original thinker, and that he is prone […]

Libertarian Paternalism: Nudge vs. Push

Cass Sunstein, head of something called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House, wants to improve America through subtle manipulation.  A recent NYT accounting: The office, known in Washington as OIRA, reviews major regulations written by federal agencies (on matters like the environment, the financial system, Medicare and Medicaid and public […]

Can Justice Kennedy be Manipulated?

Scott Lemieux notes something that I also noticed in the reporting on the Kagan nomination:  the idea that part of the reason that Obama nominated her was that she might be able to influence Justice Anthony Kennedy. Scott notes, for example, TNR’s Jeffrey Rosen:  “Obama has signaled that he wants a justice who can win […]

Elena Kagan and Military Recruiting

As Doug Mataconis predicted yesterday, the opening gambit of conservatives seeking a reason to deny Elena Kagan confirmation to the Supreme Court is to charge that she’s hostile to the military, as demonstrated by her decision as dean of Harvard Law School to deny military recruiters the right to officially visit the campus because the […]

Bob Bennett Loses in Republican Fight: Purge of the RINOs?

In the leading edge of what is expected to be a minor wave, Utah Senator Bob Bennett was defeated in the Republican nominating process last evening. Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah has lost his bid to serve a fourth term after failing to advance past the GOP state convention. Attorney Mike Lee and […]

The UK’s Problematic Electoral System

The preliminary results from the elections in the UK underscore the need for electoral reform in that country.  Now, the UK uses the same system as the United States to elect the House of Commons, i.e., single-member districts with plurality winners.  However, because of the presence of a number of third parties (as Chris Lawrence […]

Two Blogospheres: Left and Right

It has long been an article of faith that — in terms of authorship, comment policy, other user interaction, and linking policies — Left-leaning bloggers are more communitarian and Right-leaning bloggers more individualistic. At the same time, however, several studies have found that neither side does a very good job of linking to and discussing […]

Elena Kagan Lesbian Rumor Smear Neither Smear Nor Rumor

UPDATE: See Elena Kagan Not Gay After All? A week ago, Ben Domenech wrote a blog post about ten candidates rumored to be on the short list of nominees for replacing John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.  He asserted that Elena Kagan, Obama’s Solicitor General who is reputedly at the top of said list, […]

America: Economically Unfree?

When the Heritage Foundation announced this week that it had moved the United States to “mostly free” for the first time in the history of its Index of Economic Freedom, I took it as a flaw in the index rather than a useful statement about freedom in this country. Like many libertarian-leaning conservatives, I frequently […]

Pseudo Experts

Jonathan Chait contends that “Real budget wonks who circulate among genuine experts often fail to understand the degree to which the public debate is driven by pure hacks.”  Further, “The same basic phenomenon can be seen is debates over climate change, supply-side economics, and other issues. You have a whole ideological movement that, to a […]

Alan Simpson: Best Damn Record of No Taxes of any Son-of-a-Bitch

Alan Simpson’s wit, candor, and integrity made him one of my favorite senators of all time. And now he’s fighting back against the interest groups that are killing our party. Former Sen. Alan Simpson is none too pleased with conservatives who say he lacks sufficient antitax fervor.  “I got the best damn record on no […]

Coffee Conservatives

When I first read about the Coffee Party movement a few weeks back, it was a lark that started on Facebook to “promote civility and inclusiveness in political discourse, engage the government not as an enemy but as the collective will of the people, push leaders to enact the progressive change for which 52.9 percent […]

Tea Party United by Politics, Demographically Diverse

According to two new surveys, the Tea Party movement is supported by 28% of Americans, half of its members are non-Republicans, and, aside from skewing slightly white and male, remarkably similar to the country as a whole demographically. A poll of registered voters by the Winston Group, The Hill reports, finds that the “national breakdown […]

Is Karl Rove Conservative?

Reagan apostles Craig Shirley and Donald Devine take to the WaPo editorial page to argue that Karl Rove is not a conservative. From William F. Buckley Jr. to Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan, the creators of the modern conservative movement always taught that excessive concentration of power in government leads inevitably to corruption and the […]

Georgetown Cocktail Parties

In response to a posting from Tunku Varadarajan accusing him of being a “polite company conservative” who “yearns for the goodwill of the liberal elite in the media and in the Beltway—who wishes, always, to have their ear, to be at their dinner parties, to be comforted by a sense that liberal interlocutors believe that […]

Radical Center: Friedman’s Fantasy

For a really bright fellow who spends a lot of time talking to cabbies and world leaders, Tom Friedman has a remarkably naive view of how the world works.   His latest brainstorm is a “Tea Party of the radical center.” My definition of broken is simple. It is a system in which Republicans will be […]

High IQ = Liberal, Atheist, Monogamous

Yet another academic study finds correlation between IQ and political and religious beliefs. This one throws in sexual practice, too. Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds. Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ […]

Crist Leaving Republicans, Running as Independent or Democrat?

Responding to rumors that Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who’s getting crushed by Marco Rubio in the primary polling, will leave the Republican Party and run as an independent, Ezra Klein sees “a huge coup for Democrats.” The best possible storyline for them going into the 2010 election is that the Republican Party’s apparatus has been […]

Mike Huckabee: CPAC Broken

Mike Huckabee used some harsh words in explaining why he didn’t attend CPAC this year. “CPAC has becoming increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year,” Huckabee said in an interview with Fox News, where he is a paid analyst and has his own […]

Ron Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll

Ron Paul beat out Mitt Romney in the 2010 CPAC straw poll, with Sarah Palin finishing a distant third. Jonathan Martin and Jessica Taylor of Politico note that the reaction to the announcement was less than polite. Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Texas Republican who ran a quixotic bid for the Republican presidential nomination in […]

Fitting in at CPAC

Rick Moran isn’t at CPAC 2010, both because he can’t justify the expense of traveling and because his “invitation somehow got lost in the email.” He suspects it’s because Red State is sponsoring Bloggers’ Row this year and he’s written some rather unflattering things about them.  [Red State’s Erick Erickson assures me that Moran never […]

CPAC 2010: Conservative Movement Reboot?

This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off at 9 this morning.  Some are predicting a very different atmosphere than seen in recent years. The Washington Examiner editorial page, honchoed by Mark Tapscott, sees “a new beginning.” Consider the situation that confronted many of these same attendees at last year’s CPAC: President Obama had just […]

ACORN Pimp in Landrieu Phone Plot

Apparently, James O’Keefe, the young man who earned fifteen minutes of fame posing as a pimp to ensnare ACORN workers has tried to do something similar with Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. The four men accused of trying to tamper with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office phones share a common experience as young ideologues writing […]

State Controlled Media

Yesterday, Teresa Kopec noted the strange convergence of the Left and Right over the healthcare debate, quipping “2009: Little Green Footballs goes left & Jane Hamsher goes right. Who’d a thunk it?” She was referring to erswhile warhawk blogger Charles Johnson’s public break with the Right and progressive movie-maker and the FireDogLake firebrand’s going on […]

GOP URL Shortener Short-Lived

The Republican National Committee launched yet another URL shortener yesterday (coincidentally, on the same day that Google and Facebook did likewise) as part of their plan to catch up with the Democrats in social media space. As with their recent website relaunch, the debut was less than auspicious. The Republican party took down its innovative […]

Is America Ungovernable?

Progressives are increasingly frustrated that, despite having won the presidency by a comfortable margin and having solid majorities in the House and Senate — where they have a “filibuster-proof” 60 votes — they still can’t enact the policies they want.   Matt Yglesias says “smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the […]

Anti-War Right Unlikely, War-Skeptic Right Possible

There is a growing pocket of Republican skeptics of the war in Afghanistan, Reihan Salam contends, and they could cause serious problems for President Obama.  Alas, his argument is short on examples and long on speculation. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican known for his independent streak, has made a conservative case for withdrawal. And […]

Census Worker Hanging Suicide, Not Right Wing Murder

Remember the bizarre case of Bill Sparkman, the census worker found hanging from a tree in Kentucky with the letters FED scrawled on his chest?  Remember the media frenzy about crazy Southerners and their hatred of the federal government?  At the time, I cautioned against jumping to conclusions, saying there could be any number of […]

Educating Illegal Immigrants

A rather bizarre column by Jeff Jacoby is drawing some blogospheric attention. YOU’RE A sensible, principled conservative. You want America to be a land of boundless opportunity and freedom, where people are treated as individuals and judged on their merits. You reject the divisive identity politics of the left – what matters most about any […]

Marijuana Legalization Support at Record High

While a majority still supports criminalization, more Americans than ever think marijuana should be legal, according the latest Gallup survey. Lydia Saad (a family friend) provides the analysis: Gallup’s October Crime poll finds 44% of Americans in favor of making marijuana legal and 54% opposed. U.S. public support for legalizing marijuana was fixed in the […]

Conservatives and Bailouts

Regarding the TARP program, Matthew Yglesias makes a comment about conservatives that really isn’t fair: But Romney aside, it’s striking to see the number of conservatives who’ve decided that an initiative proposed by George W. Bush and Hank Paulson and endorsed by the GOP congressional leadership was and is secretly some socialist plot. Similarly with […]

Protests and Media Coverage

A meme is developing among a handful of Progressive blogs, with Media Matters, Hullabaloo,, and Brad Blog all complaining that the Washington Post and NYT gave A1 treatment yesterday to the 9/12 protests while relegating anti-war marches in 2002 and 2005 to the inside pages.    Steve Benen follows up and observes, There are competing […]

American Political Math

When Republicans controlled the presidency and had strong majorities in the House and Senate, I often read calls from bloggers on my side of the aisle for purging the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) from the ranks.  After all, the likes of Arlen Specter and  Lincoln Chaffee were a giant pain in the butt and […]

Two Political Blogospheres

Two blogging conventions, Netroots Nation (the successor to Daily Kos) and RightOnline, are being held in Pittsburgh this week.  As Timothy McNulty reports for the Post-Gazette, they’re different in ways other than politics. The RightOnline conference starting tomorrow morning at the Sheraton Station Square will have about a quarter of the 2,000 attendees at the […]

Brooks-Broder Derangement Syndrome

Mike Rappaport “hates” David Brooks and finds him “a despicable character.”  Why?  He lets John Hinderaker explain: Brooks . . . knows where his bread is buttered. He makes his living as a “conservative” who can reliably be counted on to sell out conservatives and Republicans at every opportunity. In this instance, Hinderaker is reacting […]

Winning the Healthcare Fight

David Frum frets that conservatives might be in for a Pyrrhic victory in the health care fight if they define winning as “beat back the president’s proposals, defeat the House bill, stand back and wait for 1994 to repeat itself.” [W]e’ll still have the present healthcare system. Meaning that we’ll have (1) flat-lining wages, (2) […]

Cash for Clunkers and its Critics

Andrew Sullivan thinks Republicans hate the cash-for-clunkers program, wherein the government gives people up to $4500 of taxpayer money to trade in their cars for newer ones that get slightly better gas mileage, out of “emotional reaction to the end of the far right’s dominance of American discourse.” [C]ash-for-clunkers is one example of the government […]

Conservative Health Policy

Dan Miller laments that “the right has basically abdicated its role in the conversation” on health care reform. Health care has been THE liberal project for literally decades; entire careers (not to mention presidencies) have been built around it.  There’s a vast policy apparatus on the progressive side of the aisle built around health care, […]

Conscience of the Conservatives

Mark Tapcott hath a point: [I]n a Beltway Confidential post Tuesday, I asked what is the difference between folks on the Right calling the eight Republican House members who voted for Obama-Waxman-Markey the “cap-and-traitors,” and the infamous “General Betrayus” ad bought by the Left’s in The New York Times. In no time at all, […]

Obama Approval Dropping as Hard Choices Made

As President Obama settles into his fifth month in office, his personal popularity remains high but his job approval is slipping drastically, according to a new NYT/CBS News poll. A substantial majority of Americans say President Obama has not developed a strategy to deal with the budget deficit, according to the latest New York Times/CBS […]

Right Wing Extremists

There’s been much back-and-forth since Wednesday’s tragic shooting of a guard at the Holocaust Musuem about the rise of right wing extremists and the need for the federal government to treat them as a threat.  Inevitably, we’re seeing the perennial “their extremists are worse than our extremists” debate.  Oddly, we’re even seeing some “No, he’s […]

Court Rejects DADT Challenge

Gays looking to get the Supreme Court’s help in being allowed to openly serve in the military have been rebuffed. The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to the Pentagon policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.  The court said it will […]

Republican Party of Whites?

A Gallup poll released yesterday finds that, “More than 6 in 10 Republicans today are white conservatives, while most of the rest are whites with other ideological leanings; only 11% of Republicans are Hispanics, or are blacks or members of other races. By contrast, only 12% of Democrats are white conservatives, while about half are […]

Quote of the Day – GOP Edition

“The base is plenty excited already, as you know if you’ve ever read a comment thread on a conservative blog. Comment-thread conservatives, like their mirror-image warriors on the left (“Worst person in the woooorrrlllddd!”) are perpetually agitated, permanently enraged. They don’t need to be revved, they’re already revved. Newt Gingrich twitters that Judge Sotomayor is […]

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