Liberals

The Obama Collapse

Featured image The Obama presidency is in free fall.  The damage to liberalism is likely to last a while.  The big question is whether conservatives, given another chance, can govern effectively to rein in the federal government as it needs to be.  The Bush years were a disappointment on this score. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  Obama is rapidly turning Americans from “hope and change” to “nope, and change it back, »

Liberal Leninism

Featured image John wrote here on the subject of what the Obamacare shipwreck teaches us about contemporary liberalism. The obvious lesson, he said, is liberalism’s failure to appreciate the complexity of the world and its confidence in the ability of technocrats sensibly to reorder the lives of millions of strangers. Picking up on this theme, I want to compare Obamacare to Hillary Clinton’s 1993 quest to redo health care. Perhaps the comparison »

Looking forward

Featured image In one of Ayn Rand’s novels, I think, she inserts a kind of parable of socialism in the context of the larger story. She (I think it’s she) has one of her characters tell the story of a community’s descent into envy, jealously, backbiting and bitterness as a result of a failed socialist experiment. As I recall it, the story was psychologically acute, but it was fictional. In yesterday’s New »

Clunkers

Featured image George Will draws attention to a serious study of the Cash for Clunkers program by Ted Gayer and Emily Paker, published by the Brookings Institution. Will quotes the study’s conclusion: “The $2.85 billion in vouchers provided by the program had a small and short-lived impact on gross domestic product, essentially shifting roughly a few billion dollars forward from the subsequent two quarters following the program.” Will also extracts a view of »

Politics, power, ideology, and hatred

Featured image In response to a post I wrote called “Politics, power, ideology, and hatred,” my friend Bill Otis offers these remarks: It seems to me that what unites the Democrats is not primarily either ideology or the will to power. It’s their turn of mind: Envy, principally, which accounts for their hatred of the One Percent — and others who their way to a successful life — and, [secondly], anti-Americanism. Question: »

Politics, power, ideology, and unity

Featured image David Horowitz has written an important article for NRO called “Uniting the Right.” The thrust of the article is set forth in its subtitle: “Freedom is the idea that can bring our fractious movement together.” I agree to this extent — if anything can do it, “freedom” can. I want to focus, though, on Horowitz’s premise that the left has an inherent advantage when it comes to unity because of »

Walter Olson: The embarrassment of Slate

Featured image Walter Olson holds down the fort over at the Cato Institute’s Overlawyered site, but he felt that this post exceeded the length appropriate for that site. With Walter’s permission, we are pleased to publish it here: What happens when the legal analysts at Slate get things flatly wrong, in the service of generating a desired ideological frisson for their liberal-minded readers? Does anyone act embarrassed or make humble noises about »

Lessons In How to Smear Conservatives

Featured image I wrote ten days ago about a press conference given by Ann Ravel, then the Chairman of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, now President Obama’s appointee to the Federal Elections Commission. Ravel announced the imposition of a record fine on a nonprofit group that channeled money into California to support conservative positions on two ballot propositions. Altogether, $15 million in contributions were involved. As introduced by Ms. Ravel, the story »

Freedom vs. Statism: There’s Battle Lines Being Drawn

Featured image The failure of healthcare.gov is a reminder of the hubris of technocracy, but in the larger picture it isn’t of great importance. Government presumably is capable, at some point, of running a web site. It is the cancellation notices going out to millions of Americans that define the true Obamacare battle lines. We see here a naked exercise of state power, facilitated–not coincidentally–by state lies. It was always necessary that »

A Quarterback Controversy With a Political Twist?

Featured image Public Policy Polling ran a survey here in Minnesota that was reported on in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press. The political results were predictably dreary; both Mark Dayton and Al Franken are favored for re-election, in part because hardly anyone has heard of any of their prospective GOP opponents. But for some reason, PPP also asked some sports questions, and they found an interesting split with regard to the Minnesota »

A new theory of liberalism

Featured image A distinguished writer and friend whom we greatly admire writes with timely thoughts based on painful experience, submitted for your consideration: I’m always searching for a unified field theory of liberalism that reconciles its craziness, destructiveness and sanctimony. I thought the “liberalism is a mental disorder” meme came close, but in the end was too easy. It’s like having a madman as a villain in a story–you don’t have to »

What’s Wrong With America

Featured image The Los Angeles Times reports on the surprising–to some–consequences of Obamacare, »

Galston on the Case

Featured image In my second week here in Boulder last August I attended a conference hosted by the philosophy department that displayed a range of opinions that spanned all the way from the far left to the extreme left—except for me.  Naturally I offered a ringing attack on John Rawls’ egalitarian redistributionism, which left much of the audience with their jaws on the floor.  Who let this guy in here? In the »

No Reason, Just Hate: That’s a Modern Liberal

Featured image The Left’s hatred for conservatives has become so obsessive that it is hard to engage a liberal in rational discussion of any public policy issue. Take the Keystone XL pipeline: I think it is obviously a good idea, but if a liberal wants to argue to the contrary, fine. But instead of trying to advance a rational argument, what do liberals do? They can’t talk about the pipeline except by »

How Crazy Are the Democrats?

Featured image The Democrats have achieved a public relations coup that any ministry of propaganda would be proud of. Worried that the United States is $17 trillion in debt? Radical! Unconcerned about deficits that pile up as far as the eye can see? Responsible! Unhappy about an anemic economy in which a generation of young people struggles to find full-time employment? Traitor! Content with record levels of poverty and non-employment? Moderate! Want »

Niall Ferguson vs. Paul Krugman

Featured image Paul Krugman holds himself out as Krugtron the Invincible. I think of him more as a beady-eyed loon. It would be fun to see an MMPI on him. I knew that Krugman thinks highly of himself. It comes with the territory. Even so, Krugman is discovering new lands of self-regard. I learned about Krugman’s incarnation as Krugtron from Niall Ferguson’s series of columns on Krugman this week. The Krugtron mask »

Lies of Obamacare

Featured image At NRO Charles Cooke turns a gimlet eye on what I call the lies of Obamacare. Cooke recalls the promises that were used to peddle Obamacare; they are the foundational lies of a monstrosity that is rotten to the core. The falsity of the promises will be proved over and over again in the fullness of time, even as their falsity is established to the letter with the rollout of »