Political science

Jonah and Me, Unplugged

Featured image Late last week on a whirlwind visit to Washington DC I sat down with Jonah Goldberg to tape an episode of his new podcast, “The Remnant,” which title was inspired by Albert Jay Nock’s classic essay “Isaiah’s Job.” Nock was a wonderful stylist, and an early libertarian (William F. Buckley’s earliest informal tutor in many ways), and if you’ve never read his Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, add it to »

Rush to Jean Yarbrough

Featured image The great Jean Yarbrough teaches government at Bowdoin College. Professor Yarbrough is the author of the indispensable and award-winning book Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. We have celebrated Professor Yarbrough several times on Power Line, including via Steve Hayward’s induction of her into our (incomplete) Power Line 100. Most recently, we drew attention to her moving speech on the conservative turn in her thought. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh introduced »

America: We’re not who Obama thinks we are

Featured image Last week, in denouncing President Trump’s decision on DACA, former President Obama proclaimed the decision inconsistent with “who we are as a people.” Obama was repeating a familiar refrain from his presidency, during which he often trotted out the “who we are as a people” theme to attack those who disagreed with his left-wing views on immigration, refugees, health care, Islamic terrorism, etc. I criticized Obama’s latest incantation on several »

Theory and practice of the administrative state

Featured image In this sixth and final episode of the RealClearPolitics podcasts on the administrative state, Anthony Mills Tony talks with the Claremont Institute’s John Marini about the origins of the administrative state and the current political scene. A professor of political science at the University of Nevada-Reno, Professor Marini argues that centralized bureaucracy has displaced the Founding Fathers’ vision of a constitutional republic. Their discussion touches on political philosophy, the decline »

Return of the Power Line Show: Two Cheers for Tammany Hall!

Featured image The dormant Power Line podcast is back up today with a fresh edition, featuring me in conversation with Jonathan Rauch of The Atlantic and the Brookings Institution, talking about his new ebook, Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Backroom Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy. You can download it for free from this link! I like Jon’s counterintuitive thinking, namely, that 40 years of political “reform” from people like »

A Deep Dive Into the Founding

Featured image It was 20 years ago that Thomas G. West, nowadays the Potter professor of politics at Hillsdale College, published Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America. The book was a tour de force against the left’s relentless attacks on and distortions of the American founding, and it is an indispensable reference book for every one of the left’s clichés about the supposed defects, if »

When reason goes on holiday

Featured image In chapter 3 of Patriotism Is Not Enough, Steve Hayward describes how inadequately American political scientists responded to the rise of Fascism in the 1930s. That inadequacy helped cause Leo Strauss to push political science in a radically new direction on the theory that “a social science that cannot speak of tyranny with the same confidence with which medicine speaks, for example, of cancer, cannot understand social phenomena as what »

Science Proves Conservative Superiority Once Again [With Comment By John]

Featured image The memes comparing conservative women and liberal women, like this one, have been around for a long time: But now science has weighed in on the question. The Washington Post (!) reports: Conservatives really are better looking, research says By Ana Swanson A recently published study in the Journal of Public Economics concludes that the attractiveness of a candidate does correlate with their politics. They find that politicians on the right are more »

How Do Democracies End?

Featured image Our philosophical-historical lesson for today comes from the late John H. Hallowell, the long-time professor of political science at Duke University. Among his other fine writings is The Moral Foundation of Democracy, published in 1954. In the last chapter of the book, Hallowell reflects on Socrates’s critique of democracy in Book VIII of Plato’s Republic: The transition from democracy to tyranny is described by Plato as a process of both »

What’s Up With the Polls?

Featured image There’s quite a variance in the polling numbers for Trump and Hillary Clinton, complicated by the fact that some polls only offer a choice between the two major party candidates, and ignore Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein. Some polls have Hillary leading by as much as 15 points, while the Los Angeles Times poll continues to show Trump leading or virtually tied. (The methodology of the Times »

The Presidential Character

Featured image Surveying the electoral scene of the moment summons to mind Henry Adams’s mordant observation that the progression of presidents from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant was a sufficient refutation of the theory of evolution. What would Adams think of our current candidates? I’m with John about the utter shamelessness and hypocrisy of the left over revelations and allegations of Trump’s bad behavior. It’s disgusting, to use one of The »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Political Indigestion

Featured image I had to miss the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), which just wrapped up in Philadelphia. Among other things, it deprived me of taking in important advancements in political knowledge such as this: Digestion as Political Practice in Marx, Nietzsche, and Whitman. Tripp Rebrovick, Johns Hopkins University In Event: The Bios: Food, Bodies, Life Itself Sat, September 3, 2:00 to 3:30pm, PCC, 108-B Abstract This paper »