On Lindsey Graham’s exit

Featured image Folks who read my posts regularly know that I can’t stand Lindsey Graham. That’s one of the reasons why I was glad he entered the presidential race this year. I figured he would get a well-deserved shellacking from GOP voters whom he has let down so often. The shellacking was even more complete than I expected. Graham hovered below 1 percent support in the polls, never made the “adult table” »

Thoughts on the Budget Fiasco [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I’m still scratching my head about the results of the omnibus budget that passed last week, in which it appears Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. About the only tangible victories were the ending of the ban on oil exports, and the torpedoes launched at Obamacare (i.e., cutting off the insurance company bailout, and postponing the “Cadillac” tax on health plans, though I acknowledge the contrary case that »

What’s happening here

Featured image Occasional Power Line reader Robert Coram is the author of intensely interesting military biographies including Boyd (about the Air Force pilot/military strategist John Boyd) and American Patriot (about the mind-boggling Medal of Honor recipient Bud Day). At The Federalist, Dan McLaughlin draws on one of Boyd’s concepts to explain the course of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. In the words of the song, “Something’s happening here/What it is »

Tom Cotton and Harry Reid Agree On Omnibus Spending Bill

Featured image When Senators Tom Cotton and Harry Reid agree on something, you could call it a pretty strong consensus. And they both see Paul Ryan’s omnibus spending bill as a huge win for the Democrats. Harry Reid ran a victory lap: Senate Democrats on Friday boasted that they successfully managed to get just about everything they wanted in a massive spending and tax cut bill, despite being the minority party in »

The winner of the Rubio-Cruz immigration fight? Donald Trump

Featured image Open warfare between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz broke out during Tuesday’s debate. The topics were (1) intelligence gathering to protect the national security and (2) immigration. As I wrote immediately after the debate, it’s the immigration clash that will count most. Both issues matter greatly to Republican voters, but disagreements about immigration matter more than disputes about particular data collection methods. This is why Rubio was desperate to claim »

Last night’s debate: some lowlights

Featured image The quality of last night’s debate was good overall, I thought. This is a talented field when it comes to debating. Even most of the candidates who were assigned to the undercard are fine debaters. There were, however, several low moments. I’ve already discussed the lowest — Donald Trump saying that the most important component of the (nuclear) triad is the nuclear part. Trump, though, is bullet-proof for the time »

Tonight’s debate: more of the same but with a key difference

Featured image In a sense, tonight’s debate was more of the same. Once again, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie excelled. Carly Fiorina was strong for the most part. Rand Paul defended his libertarian views well. Jeb Bush couldn’t quite kill, or even much injure, the Great White Whale. The Great White Whale spouted plenty of nonsense, but who cares, right? John Kasich was John Kasich. Ben Carson was again the »

The limits of the Buckley rule

Featured image The Buckley rule holds that conservatives should support “the rightwardmost viable candidate.” It’s a fine rule for conservatives to apply to races for Congress where the victor’s main role will be to vote on legislation that conservatives either favor or disfavor. The rule is more problematic in a presidential election (note, though, that Buckley formulated it in the presidential election of 1964). The president’s function isn’t just to formulate policy. »

Paul Ryan: Self-declared shadow presidential nominee

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan tells Eliana Johnson that he’s doing his part to help Republicans in the 2017 presidential election by acting as a shadow nominee, putting forward a broad-based policy platform that the Republican nominee can adopt after emerging from the scrum. How generous of him. What Ryan wants to do, of course, is seize as much control as he can over Republican policy and, if possible, constrain the eventual »

Obama’s rules for Republicans

Featured image John has suggested that the White House’s call on Republican presidential candidates to say they won’t support Donald Trump is an attempt to prompt Trump to run as a third-party candidate, thereby all but guaranteeing a Democratic victory in 2016. John may be right. He certainly is right if the White House thinks it can goad serious Republican candidates into breaking their pledge to support Trump if he’s the nominee. »

Christie’s big New Hampshire endorsement, how much will it help?

Featured image The Manchester Union leader has endorsed Chris Christie for President. I’ve long thought that New Hampshire Republican primary voters might warm to Christie. He has a bit of John McCain’s pugnaciousness, but also a some of Mitt Romney’s good government pragmatism. McCain and Romney collectively won the last three contested New Hampshire primaries. Moreover, Christie is campaigning hard in the Granite State. And in doing so, he tends to follow »

Poll: Mitt is considerably more popular than Trump among New Hampshire Republicans

Featured image According to most polls, Donald Trump’s support among Republicans is close to 30 percent, and the conventional wisdom, I think, is that he has the solid support of 20 to 25 percent of Republicans. In a field as crowded as the GOP’s is likely to remain for a good while, even 25 percent support can carry a candidate a long way, and Trump’s number surely will increase as candidates drop »

An open letter to President Hanlon

Featured image The Dartmouth College Republicans have promulgated an open letter to the president and trustees of Dartmouth College. The letter smartly heightens the internal contradictions of Hanlonism, i.e., the college’s pronouncements to students and alumni following the rampage of the Black Lives Matter mob through Baker-Berry Library last week: It is with great sadness and the utmost disappointment that we find ourselves having to write this letter. As the Dartmouth College »

Google Poll: Trump won the debate; Bush lost it

Featured image In the view of Republican voters who watched last night’s debate, Donald Trump won the encounter and Marco Rubio finished second, according to a poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys for the Wall Street Journal. Trump was the winner in the view of 28 percent of Republicans; Rubio in the eyes of 23 percent. After them come Ted Cruz (16 percent), Ben Carson (14 percent), Carly Fiorina (7 percent) and »

How’s this for objective political reporting?

Featured image The headline in today’s Washington Post (print edition) reads: “Debate exposes a rift within the GOP — rigid conservatism vs. a flexible pragmatism.” The story, by Philip Rucker and Ed O’Keefe, leads off this way: The leading Republican presidential candidates clashed sharply over immigration policy, military spending, and other intractable and emotional issues in a debate here Tuesday night, bringing into sharp relief the party’s fault line between rigid conservatism »

After last night

Featured image I won’t review the GOP candidates’ event on FOX Business last night. John and Paul have already done that. I just want to make a few conclusory observations in the spirit of candid inquiry. First, a disclaimer. If I could have picked a candidate for 2016, my first choice would have been Rick Perry. He has dealt with the immigration issue. He compiled a formidable record as governor of a »

My take on tonight’s debate

Featured image I suspect that it’s “as you were” after tonight’s debate. In other words, not much about the race is likely to change, with the possible exception that Jeb Bush may be finished. Let’s do a candidate by candidate analysis. Donald Trump caught a “yuge” break because his first major topic (after a few words on the minimum wage) was immigration. This is the issue that helped propel him to the »