Republicans

Good news from South Carolina [UPDATED]

Featured image As John has noted, the Confederate battle flag is under fire in South Carolina. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott, and Gov. Nikki Haley — Republicans all — have called for it to be removed from the state capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. I agree that it’s time to take the flag down. Not because its presence caused Dylann Roof to kill blacks. It didn’t. Not because removing the »

Jeb Bush enters the race impressively

Featured image It’s official. Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for president today at Miami-Dade College. The text of his speech is here. Bush isn’t my preferred candidate for the Republican nomination (I don’t have one yet), nor is he likely to so become. However, I thought his speech was impressive, both in content (he can thank his speechwriters) and in delivery. Bush didn’t seem exactly “joyous,” but he certainly looked comfortable — »

What to do about the opening GOP presidential debate

Featured image In August, Fox News will hold the first debate among candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination. To be more accurate, Fox News will hold a debate among ten of the candidates seeking the GOP nomination. At least five candidates will be excluded. Among them might be the highly popular governor of Ohio, who once held a leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives; the runner-up for the GOP nomination »

Josh Duggar and Caitlin Jenner? Seriously?

Featured image These are trying times for Democrats. They control neither the Senate nor the House, and fare even worse at the state and local levels. The economy, after six plus years of the Obama presidency, is so-so. President Obama’s foreign policy has produced setback after serious setback. To make matters worse, the Democrats are almost certain to nominate for president the co-architect of Obama’s failed foreign policy. And Hillary Clinton’s campaign »

Rick Perry tries again

Featured image Rick Perry has officially entered the race for the GOP presidential nomination. He’s the tenth Republican to throw his hat in the ring so far. Before assessing his chances, let’s take a moment to compare the quality of the Republican and Democratic fields. Martin O’Malley probably rates third among Democratic contenders, behind Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. O’Malley was a two-term governor of Maryland whose performance was poor enough that, »

Dems in denial

Featured image Last month, Peter Wehner argued in the New York Times that in the past two decades the Democratic party has pulled much further to the left than the Republican party has pulled to the right. This seems clearly right to me. Republicans have moved a bit to the right on economic issues, especially spending. But if anything, they’ve moved left on social issues. And on foreign policy, the GOP is »

What makes Lindsey run?

Featured image Lindsey Graham has announced that he is running for president. Whenever a Senate “old bull” with very little support in the polls (e.g., Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter, Chris Dodd) makes such an announcement, the question always asked is: why? The answer is easy. Long-time Senators who have achieved distinction in that body naturally consider themselves well-suited for the next step up. Moreover, they have taken the measure of the “upstart” »

The Republican Ascendancy, Quantified

Featured image At Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende and David Byler explicate their index of party strength. To compute their index, Trend and Byler calculate five components, which they weight equally: Our index is the sum of five parts: presidential performance, House performance, Senate performance, gubernatorial performance and state legislative performance. The first is measured by the party’s performance in the previous presidential popular vote (NB: In this, and all other measurements, »

In which Rand Paul gives a snow job

Featured image This is what regular people hate about Washington: “How five Republicans let Congress keep its fraudulent Obamacare subsidies.” It’s an old story, updated most recently by Mark Leibovich in This Town. This particular case study comes to us via National Review’s Brendan Bordelon. Reading it all the way through, we achieves a highly unpleasant clarity. Bordelon reports: The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on »

Is Corker-Menendez worse than nothing?

Featured image National Journal reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved yesterday to end debate on the Corker-Menendez bill, shortening what he had hoped would be an open amendment process out of concern that some “poison pill” amendment votes could potentially sink it. “We’re going to move quickly,” Senator McConnell explained. National Review’s Joel Gehrke explored the procedural maneuvering: After Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) »

Mike Huckabee enters four years late

Featured image Mike Huckabee announced today that he is entering the race for president. He’s considered by most a second-tier candidate for the Republican nomination. However, Huckabee proved in his last outing that he’s an excellent campaigner/debater and capable of outperforming expectations. Even so, I can’t help but think that Huckabee missed his best chance for the nomination by not entering the 2012 race. In his absence, Rick Santorum became the favorite »

Carly Fiorina to run for president and pursue the vice presidency

Featured image Carly Fiorina has announced that she is running for president. Fiorina disclosed her intention on ABC’s Good Morning America show. She stated: “I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world; who’s in it.” In a sense, Fiorina is the Herman Cain of 2016. Both lack any experience in elected office, but both ran major businesses. Fiorina ran »

Lynch confirmed: DOJ lawlessness to continue

Featured image Yesterday, as John noted here, the Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Ten Republicans voted to confirm: Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Orrin Hatch. Ayotte, Johnson, Kirk, and Portman face difficult reelection campaigns in their Democrat-leaning or “50-50″ states. Note, though, that Pat Toomey, who likely faces an extremely tough race, cast a principled vote »

Obama is right, the Republican Senate is embarrassing

Featured image On Friday, President Obama lashed out at the Republican Senate for not confirming Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. “There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far,” Obama scolded. “This is an example of it.” Doing his best impression of Harrison Ford in “Witness,” Obama huffed: Enough, enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing. You »

Rand Paul’s gambit

Featured image With Rand Paul set to announce his bid for the presidency, the Washington Post reports that the Kentucky Senator is straying from his libertarian roots in an attempt to make himself acceptable to defense-oriented and religious conservatives. The Post cites his support for a proposed $190 billion increase in defense spending over the next two years; his signature of Tom Cotton’s letter regarding a nuclear deal with Iran; and his »

Grant Starrett for Congress

Featured image Grant Starrett has announced that he’s running for Congress in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District. Last week, I introduced Grant to our readers and explained why I intend to support him. I’m not alone. Previously, Erick Erikson tweeted that he would support Grant if he enters the race. And today, Ramesh Ponnuru writes: I’ve met Starrett and was impressed by his intelligence and commitment to conservative causes. But even if he »

introducing Grant Starrett [Updated]

Featured image From 2011 through 2014, the House of Representatives was conservatism’s only reliable line of defense against President Obama’s leftist encroachments. It’s quite possible that after 2016, conservatives will again need to look to the House to play this vital defensive role. To maintain control of the House, and to keep it in fighting trim, Republicans must run strong, principled conservatives — and not just for open and Democrat-held seats. We »