Social Issues

The Roots of Polarization?

Featured image So this is another of my occasional highly idiosyncratic posts, like previous ones on Progressive Rock, that is difficult to categorize and present.  I’ve been talking lately with one of my moderate liberal friends, David Ropeik.  He doesn’t like it when I call him a liberal because he is not a partisan, but I don’t mean it as a pejorative, insult or provocation.  He would surely seem a liberal to »

Social issues, should Republicans re-calibrate?

Featured image John’s post on social issues, “Where Do Republicans Go From Here? The Social Issues” appears to be receiving plenty of attention, and deservedly so. Here is the prescription with which John concludes the post: 1) Don’t emphasize abortion, but don’t walk away from the issue, either, when issues legitimately arise, as with respect to public funding. When pressed on the subject, don’t be defensive, but respond by pointing out the »

Where Do Republicans Go From Here? The Social Issues

Featured image Do Democrats engage in soul-searching after they lose an election? Maybe I miss it because I’m not a Democrat, but it doesn’t seem that they do. After John Kerry lost in 2004, did Democrats agonize over whether they should stop opposing the war in Iraq, or become pro-abortion? When Democrats were “shellacked,” as President Obama put it, in 2010, did they debate whether they should come up with a coherent »

Say What You Will About Gay Marriage…

Featured image …you have to admit that under traditional arrangements, we didn’t need to worry about this sort of confusion. From today’s New York Times Corrections section: A report on Sept. 30 about the marriage of Paul Poux and David Pfingstler misidentified them in the accompanying photograph. Mr. Pfingstler was on the left, Mr. Poux at the right. »

A Few Minutes with Ron Bailey

Featured image Earlier this week I spent some time chatting with Reason magazine’s superb science and technology writer, Ron Bailey, about all kinds of things.  The short video here (2:30 long) talks about the findings of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, which throw cold water on the “if only people were more informed” argument.  Some types of people get more irrational when they have more information about a subject.  (The typology Bailey »

Huckabee doubles down on Akin

Featured image Mike Huckabee is doubling down on his support for Todd Akin, the man he helped win the Republican Senate nomination. Here, in part, is what Huckabee had to say on Akin’s behalf: The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren’t rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was »

Are the Democrats Delusional On Abortion?

Featured image The Democrats apparently think they have hit the jackpot with Todd Akin’s moment of stupidity, but I’m not so sure. How, exactly, are they going to take advantage of Akin’s blunder? By talking ceaselessly about abortion. At the Washington Examiner, Paul Bedard headlines: “Dem Convention becomes anti-Akin affair.” That is a serious mistake. The Democratic convention should be an anti-Romney affair. Until a few days ago, probably 98% of voters »

Thoughts on the Family Research Council Shooting

Featured image One of the most troubling aspects of contemporary public life is the frequency with which violent episodes take on a political coloration. We have, actually, very little political violence in this country–almost none. But we have a lot of people who try to make political hay out of violence. A wrong turn was taken in the Jared Loughner case. Loughner was a lunatic, so deranged that it remained doubtful for »

Is Welfare Spending Futile?

Featured image That’s the question that is raised by this chart, plotting federal welfare spending against the poverty rate. When President Johnson announced the War on Poverty, he said his intention was to abolish poverty in America. That hasn’t happened, of course. And I doubt that any liberal today would proclaim such a goal. Today, welfare spending is mainly a way to funnel dollars into the pockets of Democratic Party constituencies; therefore, »

Rethinking Gay Marriage

Featured image Anyone who is active in the political world knows that the most obnoxious, profane, hateful partisans, the ones most likely to engage in harassment, are the left-wing gay activists. So I was not at all surprised to see the latest misbehavior from that source: gay activists invited to the White House for a “gay pride” event by President Obama photographed each other making obscene gestures toward Ronald Reagan’s portrait. Proud »

How meritorious are the Catholic lawsuits? Part Two

Featured image Several of us, Scott in particular, have written about the lawsuits filed by dozens of Catholic organizations, in 12 different actions, challenging Department of Health and Human Services regulations implemented under Obamacare that would require most health insurance plans to include in the preventive services they cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception, including contraceptives that sometimes operate as abortifacients. The lawsuit alleges that the regulations violate both the First Amendment »

How Meritorious Are the Catholic Lawsuits?

Featured image We have written several posts about the lawsuits by dozens of Catholic institutions against the federal government that seek to invalidate the HHS mandate requiring them to violate their religious precepts by providing employees with contraceptive and certain abortion services. It strikes me as obvious that the HHS mandate violates the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, but this is not an area in which I am an expert. »

MSNBC: Ann Romney = Hitler and Stalin

Featured image Is it just my imagination, or, almost six months out from the presidential election, are the Democrats showing unmistakable signs of panic? I mean, when you feel the need to suggest that Ann Romney is like Hitler and Stalin, you aren’t exactly facing the future with confidence. From MSNBC, the Democratic Party’s house network: »

“The First Gay President”

Featured image That’s what the new issue of Newsweek calls Barack Obama. Here is the cover: The article on how Obama is our first gay president is by–who else?–Andrew Sullivan. Andrew has been campaigning for gay marriage for years, and apparently buys the idea that Obama’s verbal support, unaccompanied by any action other than fundraising appeals, is somehow important. The media reaction to Obama’s flip-flop on the issue has been universally adoring, »

Gay Bullying, With a Twist

Featured image The subject of bullying is everywhere these days, often in the context of real or presumed homosexuality. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see bullying invade the legal profession here in my home town: The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility wants the state Supreme Court to suspend a Minneapolis attorney for violating professional conduct rules, including allegedly harassing and bullying another attorney. The complaint alleges that Peter Nickitas insulted an opposing »

More on Obama’s Evolution and Mitt the Barber

Featured image I don’t think anyone was surprised when President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage. What was a bit surprising, however, was his timing. Obama has flip-flopped back and forth on the issue, but there has been an obvious consistency to his positions: on the subject of gay marriage, he has said whatever would help him politically at the time. So most people thought he would wait until after »

A Gay Conservative Comments on Obama’s Evolution

Featured image Dan Blatt, the Gay Patriot, is a friend of mine. He is a smart conservative and, as you would surmise, gay. So I thought his perspective on President Obama’s evolution–maybe the least surprising flip-flop in history–is worth hearing. Here is what Dan had to say today. If you follow the link, you can follow Dan’s links to a number of sources: Judging from my Facebook feed and anecdotal evidence from »