Connecting Dissidents and the Base

Jamelle’s post yesterday stimulated some thoughts in my head, not only about the question of why movement conservatives need to recognize that the Bush Administration’s failures are attributable to conservatism, but also about how Republicans can more quickly return to being a competent governing party. The other day, I struggled to think of a single unifying characteristic…

Our National Drug of Choice

No one is above the outrage cycle. We have now, in our culture, synthesized the two worst elements of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 media: the pre-9/11 obsession with meaningless bullshit; and the post-9/11 obsession with filling every story with apocalyptic portent and over the top, tween-girl-at-a-Jonas-brothers-concert hysteria. We still care too much about J-Lo’s dress and…

Begetting Worse Politicians

Responding to Scott’s argument (with which I agree almost entirely) that Andrew Sullivan’s obsession with Sarah Palin is counterproductive to good politics, Jaybird commented: As someone who was temporarily under the impression that Sarah Palin was not “just another” and who has come to find that, no, she is “just another”, I find the opposition…

bad analogies

I was out for drinks with friends and Israel came up in the conversation.  A friend of mine said that she’d heard somewhere – Fox maybe? – that if you likened Gaza to a Nazi concentration camp you were an anti-Semite, and isn’t that ridiculous?  Can’t we criticize the Israeli government’s policy without being anti-Semitic?…

Ah, Abortion

~by sidereal When I’m asked for my opinion on abortion (or when I give it unprompted) I have to decide how long a conversation I want to have.  If I want it over with, I use the crude political vernacular and say I’m a ‘progressive pro-lifer’.  If I don’t mind exploring the issue a little…

around the web on May 20th

Paul Romer envisions Hong Kong like city-states for developing countries. Stephen Walt discusses realism and tolerance, using DODT as a leaping point. Eric Brown and Darwin Catholic discuss bioethics, health care, and Catholic teaching at The American Catholic. Shafeen Chanaria wants kids to be exposed to the real world from a young age.

State of Print

Resting at the heart of  State of Play (2009) is not so much the personal relationships of the characters – who are mostly forgettable save for Crowe’s Cal McAffrey – or the grand (and oddly relevant) political conspiracy involving the Blackwater imitator PointCorp, but rather the struggle facing the newspaper itself.   McAffrey, a rugged, rough-around-the-edges…

Correctly Political: Tea and Sympathy for the Devil You Know

“Children’s Tea Party,” Morton H. B. Bly, 1919 by jfxgillis R.S.V.P. Wednesday, April 15th, Tax Day (reminder to self: file tax return or else), is also the day designated by grass-roots conservatives as a day of protest, the “Tea Party” movement. Intriguingly, the Tea Parties have inspired much discussion and debate–but almost none of which…

Fragmentation

Esteemed co-blogger Chris Dierkes has a challenging post on the democratic process. Here’s a decent summary: In our late modern (or postmodern if you like) world, with the proliferation of many interests and sub-interests, causing fragmentation across society (”the long tail” phenomenon), aligning interests becomes nearly impossible. There are too many interests, too many too…

Working with what we’ve got….

I’m sure I’ve run this course long enough.  I’ve been in constant contemplation of the merits of the individual vs. the community.  I’ve written endlessly about the subject and read a good deal on Catholic social teaching, distributism, mutualism, anarchy, dignity of labor, new urbanism, choice, free trade, etc. etc. etc.  This will be my…

Redefining Prosperity

The modern conservative movement is built upon a paradox.  Indeed, both Parties in the United States system – and there are functionally only two – have long preached basically the same message.  Means are almost the only thing separating Democrats from Republicans; certainly their ends remain nearly indistinguishable from one another; that is, to build…

Regarding Rush

I suppose the reason I haven’t commented much on the resurgence of Rush Limbaugh into the national spotlight, is I have never, ever taken the Great Bloviator seriously.  He’s always been just another talk-radio windbag to me, representing not just an ideological demographic that I find unappealing, but also a tone and style that is…

the moderating influence of the technocratic Republican

Predictions are a mugs game, and mine are worse than most, so take this with a grain of salt. But I see two likely narratives emerging concerning Arnold Schwarzenegger, neither of which I like. Schwarzenegger’s golden political image has been tarnished lately by the utter fiscal insolvency of California. Part of this can be explained…

not everyone who says he’s your friend is your friend

So here’s my dilemma. Real partisanship, I mean real, nasty, cut-off-the-country’s-nose-to-spite-the-other-side’s-face partisanship, can be fun, as the average college Republican can tell you. But among it’s many, many downsides is the fact that you can’t ever incorporate or learn from the opinions of people on the other side. What’s more, in an atmosphere of strict…

Authority, Empathy, and Power

A while ago I attempted to wade through some of the differences I noticed between Cultural or Civilization Conservatives, and Fundamentalist Social Conservatives, perhaps because I was worried that too often members of both groups were being labeled erroneously as part of the political Religious Right and wanted to better show how not all religious…

Painting in broad strikes

Helen Rittlemeyer thinks I’m talking trash about her kind of conservatism.  In a previous post, I wrote: Often cultural conservatives are also religious, and consider religion to be an integral part of their civilization, but do not necessarily frame their political worldview on a vision of religious infallibility, recognizing along with the gradual changes in…