Conservatism

Lessons from the long October

Featured image This year, October seemed to last for two months, with enough drama for four. The first half featured the partial government shutdown – a political victory for Democrats. The second half featured the Obamacare rollout fiasco – a political victory for Republicans. Yuval Levin agrees with Ross Douthat that the juxtaposition of the shutdown and the launch of the exchanges has put on display the deficiencies of both populism and »

For Prudence, Supplemental

Featured image Scott shouldn’t have all the fun–or the mixed reader reaction.  It is a remarkable fact of the Obama era that we have come to the point of serious division and rancor amongst ourselves.  I don’t think there was this degree of disagreement over whether and how to oppose Bill Clinton in the 1990s.  I have lots of thoughts on this state of affairs, including the possibility that this internal debate »

For prudence

Featured image Looking back at the shutdown showdown and the intraparty rift it exposed among Republicans, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru make the case for political prudence. They call their essay “Against despair.” In taking issue with Senators Cruz and Lee on the shutdown showdown, Lowry and Ponnuru take the high road. I think that the essay makes some elementary and obvious points well. The essay is worth reading and I commend »

Where social conservatism and economic conservatism converge

Featured image In response to my post below called Education, Immigration, and Diversity, one of my favorite readers writes: You hit a bunch of nails squarely on the head, most of which are routinely overlooked or disallowed from the discussion. As you know, economic and political questions are often, at root, moral and behavioral in nature. A foundational premise of economics is that “Money is like fertilizer: whatever you throw resources at, »

Conservative internationalism

Featured image Henry Nau, writing in the September 30 issue of National Review, calls for “conservative internationalism,” which he describes as “a strategy whereby [the United States] stays engaged in the world and accepts smaller costs in the short run to avoid much greater costs in the long run.” Nau’s strategy involves four key tenets: First, “spread freedom in a way that is disciplined by priorities.” This means, among other things, focusing »

Power Line debates Syria, a recap

Featured image It’s all over but the non-shooting when it comes to a U.S. attack on Syria in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. At this point, the Power Line crew is unanimous in believing (1) that the resolution of the matter, via the intervention of Vladimir Putin, is phony and (2) that President Obama badly mishandled the matter. But prior to Putin’s gambit, Power Line was not unanimous »

Blinksmanship

Featured image As John noted last night, congressional Republicans are moving toward a showdown with President Obama over defunding Obamacare. The House is poised to pass a continuing resolution that funds government operations beyond September, but does not include Obamacare. The Senate will pass a CR that funds Obamacare. After that, it’s a question of who blinks first, and whether the blink will occur before or after a government shutdown. Call it »

House Leadership Decides to Take On Obamacare

Featured image Speaker John Boehner announced today that the House’s Republican leadership will bring on for a vote, on Friday, a continuing resolution that funds government operations beyond September, but does not include Obamacare. This is the “defund Obamacare” gambit that many conservatives have been clamoring for. Presumably the continuing resolution, without Obamacare, will pass the Republican House. What then? The Senate obviously will refuse to pass the same CR, and instead »

Fight! Fight! A Knotty Problem Indeed

Featured image Our friend Stephen Knott of the Naval War College, featured here recently during his induction into the Power Line 100, is the subject of a spirited attack from a brand new website called NomocracyinPolitics.com.  The article is “Knott’s Folly” by Peter Haworth, the site’s editor-in-chief who is associated with something called the Ciceronian Society Foundation.  I’ve never heard of CSF, but anything modeled after Cicero can’t be all bad. Haworth’s »

What’s the Matter With Poor Voters? A Reconsideration

Featured image The great but frustrated hope of liberals is that people will vote their supposed class interest, that is, that people of modest incomes will vote for higher taxes (on others) and bigger government.  It is a matter of frustration for liberals when the working class doesn’t vote for Democrats: see Thomas Frank’s famous What’s the Matter With Kansas?  (Actually, don’t see it; it’s stupid; one can just as easily ask, »

Like Freedom? Support the Freedom Club!

Featured image I am a long-time member and former President of the Freedom Club of Minnesota. The Freedom Club is one of the most effective, dynamic conservative organizations I know of. It has done more to identify and promote conservative political candidates in Minnesota than any other group, and to the extent conservatism has made political inroads in a traditionally blue state (for philosophical inroads, see the Center of the American Experiment), »

Oh What the Heck: A “Killer Party” Blast from the Archives

Featured image The Green Weenie of the Week about the weather and violent crime reminded of the all-time most risible excursion into social science fatuity back in 2002, when a couple of journal articles claimed to discern a correlation between high suicide rates and conservatives parties being in power.  So from the archives from September 2oo2, here’s my short column “Killer Party.”  File this under “Social Science: Is There Anything It Can’t do?” Conservatives »

Our Poll On Why Conservatives Don’t Do Better: What Does It Show?

Featured image Last night I did a post on a question that has long perplexed me: If conservatives are a majority, why can’t we win? Polls consistently show that conservatives outnumber liberals by 1 1/2 to 1 or 2 to 1, yet liberals dominate government. Why? The specific context of my post was a Rasmussen survey showing that by nearly two to one, voters prefer Michele Bachmann’s approach to the financial crisis »

If We Are a Majority, Why Can’t We Win? Let’s Poll Our Readers!

Featured image That is a question that we conservatives could ask every day. Polls consistently show that in the U.S., there are far more conservatives than liberals–from 1 1/2 to 2 to 1, depending on the survey–and conservative positions on specific policy issues generally poll well, too. Today’s example comes from Rasmussen Reports, which asked questions about banks. That doesn’t sound promising; doesn’t just about everyone hate banks? (Maybe, but don’t ask »

An Old-Fashioned Weekend

Featured image The world is going to Hell in a hand basket, but it is high summer here in the Upper Midwest. It is hard to think about politics when you’re having so much fun. For us, it was a classic weekend that could have been enjoyed in the 1930s: boxing, guns and horse racing. Friday night it was boxing, a card at the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis. Our friend Corey Rodriguez, »

Who serves in the military?

Featured image Peter Robinson at Ricochet directs attention to a study by the Heritage Foundation of military enlistment to population ratios by region. It tells us that, generally speaking, folks from Red States are much more inclined to serve in the military than folks from Blue States. The most over-represented region consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The most under-represented region is the Northeast from Pennsylvania upwards. The Mountain West — »

Quantum Conservatism?

Featured image So the big story on the right today is that Gov. Chris Christie has leveled a blast at libertarians, in particular his potential 2016 primary rival Sen. Rand Paul: “This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought. … You can name any number of people and he’s [Rand Paul] one of them,” Christie said at a panel »