“Politics as Lived” versus “Politics as Is”

(cross-posted from my blog) Writing in praise of Halperin and Heilemann’s Game Change, Marc Ambinder predicts that political scientists won’t find much to love in the book’s depiction of politics: Political scientists aren’t going to like this book, because it portrays politics as it is actually lived by the candidates, their staff and the press, which is to say — a…

The War on Pluralism Christmas

(cross-posted from the United States of Jamerica) This is a little ridiculous (via Dara’s Google Reader feed): Boss Creations, a new holiday decor company, has introduced the new “CHRIST-mas” Tree, featuring the unique trait of a trunk in the shape of a wooden cross. Company owner Marsha Boggs says the tree was specifically designed to…

“Racism.” As Defined by Clueless Conservatives

(cross-posted from the United States of Jamerica) Patterico, a conservative blogger, describes his “pontifications” as “harangues that make sense.”  Assuming the definition of sense has remained relatively constant, this can’t possibly be the case.  Especially when the blogger in question — in a post linked approvingly by America’s Worst Race Theorist — cites African-American discomfort…

Fiscal Responsibility, part II

I don’t understand how Conor can say this with a straight face: You’d think after rightly complaining about the Bush Administration’s unprecedented irresponsibility for eight years, leading Democrats would understand that we’re trapped in a terrible hole, but instead they just keep digging, figuring that while they’re in power, why not lobby for a massive…

One minor quibble

Andrew Sullivan on his intellectual consistency: I was appalled by the anti-Semitism buried within ANSWER – the left-wing equivalent of the Tea Party peeps – their paranoia and their ad Hitlerum daffiness. I railed against “the intolerant, extremist and reactionary forces behind an unhealthy amount of the anti-war movement.” I argued that they were not…

You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

Note: This was a shitty movie. So, if Memeorandum is any indication, a few conservative bloggers have taken to mining fourth-rate dialogue from third-rate science fiction movies in order to make an absurd point about how a modest package of insurance reforms amounts to an attack on liberty itself. I asked something along these lines on Facebook…

Protecting American values from extremists

I agree with conservatives like David Horowitz and John Hinderacker; in light of the shooting at Ft. Hood, we need to reassert and protect our values.  The question of course, is the who we’re protecting our values from.  Hint: it’s not Muslims.  But first, a few quick points about Muslim-American attitudes: 1. Muslim-American are overwhelmingly happy with their place…

Because, as we all know, Military Spending Doesn’t Count

New York Times: The nation’s top military officer said Wednesday that he expected the Pentagon to ask Congress in the next few months for emergency financing to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though President Obama has pledged to end the Bush administration practice of paying for the conflicts with so-called supplemental funds…

Survey Says: 49% of Americans Don’t Much Like Homosexuality

This exchange between Rod Dreher and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the basis of opposition to same-sex marriage is interesting, if only because it provides another striking example of how ones identity has an incredible impact on how one views the world and other human beings.  That is, it’s pretty easy to believe that bigotry drives political action against…

A brief aside on yesterday’s election in Virginia

I live in Virginia (albeit one of the commonwealth’s few liberal strongholds*) and got my start in the blogosphere as a Virginia politics blogger, so if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to indulge my roots a little with a quick post on yesterday’s election.  As far as I can tell, the conventional wisdom about yesterday’s…

We Are Experiencing Institutional Difficulties

At least among liberal bloggers, it’s become a matter of conventional wisdom that Congress – and particularly the Senate – is fundamentally broken.  Matthew Yglesias regularly points out our system’s absurdities, and various commentators have written very smart posts about our system’s complete inability to adequately address long-term challenges. Here at the League, Mark Thompson has written a great…

Libertarians and Diversity (or lack thereof)

The forthcoming issue* of Reason features an exceedingly thoughtful essay by Kerry Howley, in which she argues that libertarianism would be well-served by widening its scope and paying far more attention to infringements on liberty that are the product of cultural forces.  It’s an argument familiar to those of us versed in sociological or anthropological…

Weak Become Heroes

Via Sociological Images is this pretty awesome “pro-capitalist” propaganda cartoon from 1948: The Miller Center of Public Affairs (my employer) is holding a conference on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and as such, I spent most of my Monday night at a work-related dinner with prominent IR scholars and Cold…

Things you can do/Some can’t be done

In his column today, David Brooks makes an error which I think is pretty common of conservative commentators who look to Great Britain for political inspiration.  But first, Brooks: The Conservatives have treated British voters as adults for a year now, with a string of serious economic positions. The Conservatives supported the Labour government bank…