Two Responses to the State of the Union

Featured image Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech. If, like most people, you didn’t see it, here it is. I didn’t see it either, and have only read it, but it strikes me as too soft-edged. I like the second response, Tom Cotton’s, better. But first, Congresswoman Rodgers: What an honor it is for me to be with you after the President’s »

Do you sense it?

Featured image I wrote here about the plan of the House Republican leadership to push for immigration reform that includes amnesty. Subsequently, there have been several strong critiques from conservative opinion-writers such as Bill Kristol, the NRO editors, Peter Kirsanow, and Quin Hillyer. I was most struck, though, by this excerpt from an email that someone wrote to Mark Krikorian: To me, the House immigration effort proceeding is also, somehow, not to »

Love is in the air

Featured image Glenn Reynolds has rescued his interview last year with Utah’s prospective Fourth District Republican congressional candidate Mia Love from the archives. Love narrowly lost her race last year to incumbent Fourth District Rep. Jim Matheson. With the pending retirement of Mathewson from Congress, Love is in the air. Roll Call notes that she is the clear front-runner for Matheson’s seat. Her campaign Web site is here. Glenn asks Love about »

Hispanics are less sold on Obama, but why?

Featured image Hispanic support for President Obama declined considerably during the past year. In December 2012, his approval rating with Hispanics stood at 75 percent. Now, it is down to 52 percent. Proponents of amnesty-style immigration reform are have seized on this degree of buyers’ remorse as a reason for Republicans to support their agenda. They say the poll numbers show that Republicans can make inroads with Hispanic voters, but only if »

Obama looks to “the stupid party” to bail him out

Featured image According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is hopeful that the recent budget deal will change the tone in Congress and pave the way for the President’s agenda to move forward. The key element of that agenda is amnesty-based immigration reform. Other elements include raising the minimum wage, spending money on “infrastructure,” and funding early childhood education. Is the administration’s hopefulness delusional? It should be. The budget deal sailed »

“Establishment” vs. “Tea Party” — how explosive is the dispute?

Featured image How seriously should we take the acrimonious tension between so-called establishment Republicans and the Tea Party. I take it pretty seriously, but Charles Krauthammer does not. Last night on Fox, Krauthammer said that the rift is overblown by the mainstream media, and isn’t a major problem because it pertains to tactics, not ends. In the case of the government shutdown, for example, both sides wanted Obamacare repealed; the dispute was »

Who lost Virginia?

Featured image Ken Cuccinelli’s narrow loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race has become the latest battleground in the war between the so-called Republican establishment and Tea Party-type insurgents. The “establishment” blames the Tea Party induced government shutdown for alienating Virginians, a great many of whom work for the federal government. The insurgents blame the Republican Party for not providing enough money to Cuccinelli’s campaign. Some suggest that the “establishment” wanted Cuccinelli to »

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 »

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 »

Our Deeply Confused Electorate

Featured image These days, many are saying that Americans are profoundly divided, in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time. That might be true. But it seems to me that our electorate is as much confused as divided. Some of the current data at Rasmussen Reports illustrate the point. It is useful, I think, to look at multiple data points from the same source, so that differing results are »

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 »

Chevy Has The Right Idea

Featured image I sometimes say that America’s social and political decline began with the end of the great Chevrolet ad campaign of my childhood, the one that had the famous tag line, “See the U-S-A, in a Chev-ro-let!”  It channeled that whole “sea-to-shinig-sea, amber-waves-of-grain” thing, along with the image of the independent American family.  By the time I got my driver’s license in the 1970s, Sunday drives were a thing of the »

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, »

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 »

“Compromise” bill passes House, 285-144

Featured image The only drama surrounding the House vote, if you can call it drama, was how the Republican caucus would split. In the end, 87 Republicans voted for the compromise, if you can call it a compromise. One hundred forty-four Republicans voted against it. I’m far from an expert when it comes to the Republican caucus, but I expected less Republican support. Apparently, the Washington Post shared my expectation (“The House »

Ten thoughts about the partial showdown

Featured image What conclusions should we draw from the about-to-end partial government shutdown? Here are my initial thoughts: 1. The partial shutdown wasn’t anything close to a national calamity. Life went on pretty much as normal. No disastrous event occurred as a result of the government running at about 80 percent of capacity. 2. Therefore, even though the public places primary blame for the partial shutdown on Republicans, the partial shutdown won’t »

The Fiscal Deal: A Post-Mortem

Featured image The terms of the Senate “compromise” have been unveiled, and they obviously don’t give the Republicans much. The deal funds the federal government through January 15, and raises the debt limit through February 7. I am not sure what this latter term means; is Treasury authorized to borrow whatever it takes, but only until February 7? Or have they estimated an additional amount that is calculated to last until then? »