Outreach, Rand Paul Style

I’ve been thinking lately about Rand Paul’s recent attempt at what is called minority outreach at Howard University, “the historically black college” (apparently the mandatory phrasing). I’ve been thinking about what, exactly, Paul did wrong. And I’ve been thinking about whether it’s fair of me to focus on where he misstepped instead of where he…

Eric Cantor’s Plan to Save the GOP

Ron Fournier of National Journal is following Eric Cantor around as the House Majority Leader terrifies DC’s infants (“Eric Cantor grabs a plastic dinosaur from the pile of toys in front of 1-year-old Mekhi Scott, taps the beast on the table and growls, ‘RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!’”) and fact-finds for a big speech intended to compel the Republican Party to…

Sailing Away to Irrelevance, Epilogue: In Which the GOP is Finally and Inevitably Made Irrelevant

Two weeks ago, while almost no one was watching, Rick Santorum and the conservative media pulled off an historic, astounding and quite literal coup.  They did this with the tiniest of acts: organizing to kill US participation in a small and innocuous United Nations treaty.  The treaty itself was not historic; indeed, it was mind-numbingly…

The Problem With Mitt Romney Is Mitt Romney…And His Message

So, it’s not as funny as the Hunger Games Bad Lip Reading, but it’s exactly the sort of thing I need this election season. Fight nonsense with nonsense. The singing part gets me every time…. In all seriousness, I am looking forward to the debates. They should be good indicators of which way the election is going.…

Lugar and Mourdock

~by Sam Wilkinson This was the quote that got me: “If the GOP is going to win elections, it’s going to win them fair and square with real Republicans, not fake ones.” That’s from (the apparently controversial) Tom Van Dyke. referring to Senator Richard Lugar’s loss in Indiana’s Republican primary. Lugar was beaten soundly by…

The Koch brothers and rightwing fusionism

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are often painted by the left as anti-worker elites working in the shadows to undermine labor unions, the middle class, and the New Deal. This is only partly true. They are also major philanthropists whose political ideology hardly reflects on their good works, whether or not it’s your…

Why I Will Be Voting for Ron Paul in 2012

Ron Paul is often described as a crank. Even folks like Ross Douthat who write basically sympathetic columns about the congressman from Texas say things like, “Paul, for all his crankishness, is the kind of conservative that Tea Partiers want to believe themselves to be: Deeply principled, impressively consistent, a foe of big government in…

Rumors of the Democratic Party’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

Richard Miniter thinks the Democrats are doomed. I think he’s wrong, but before we get into that let me just say one thing: whenever anyone predicts the downfall of a major political party in the United States they’re probably wrong. When Republicans were chased into the hills in 2006 and again in 2008, everybody said…

From Tea to Shining Tea: An Interview with Stephen Gordon

It is impossible to understand politics in the United States over the last 12 months without some in-depth discussion of the impact of the Tea Party movement.  Over the course of the last several days, I had the good fortune to engage in a dialogue with Stephen Gordon about a wide range of Tea Party-related…

Misconceptions of presidential disapproval

Allahpundit jumps on the Obama-approval-ratings-are-dropping bandwagon and, like most conservatives who try to interpret the data, totally misses the point: More than 60 percent of indies disapprove of his handling of health care and the economy. Meanwhile, the overall 44/51 split is the widest gap yet on ObamaCare and the first time it’s been statistically significant…

Factions

A lot of the reaction to my conservapedia piece falls along the lines that you would expect – essentially that I’m painting with too broad a brush.  I probably was in that post.  Obviously a lot of conservatives are thoughtful, independent-thinking, and honest people.  It’s primarily, therefore, a reaction to the conservative leadership that leads…

conservatives as self-parodies

This interview with Andy Schlafly [below] of conservapedia.com is hard to watch.  It’s almost embarrassing.  I think Colbert is at his best for most of the exchange, and the zinger about creating his own reality is marvelous.  Schlafly really is the ultimate self-parodic conservative, and I’m not just saying that because he has one of the…

Friedersdorf v. Hawkins: Round 2

Round 2 of the debate on the future of the American Right between John Hawkins of Right Wing News and Conor Friedersdorf is up.  It is again quite civilized even as both participants remain unapologetic and honest about their positions.  Hawkins opens with a couple of haymakers, but also throws some straw men into the…

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…

Post-election ruminations

So let’s see – in Virginia a life-long social conservative, Bob McDonnell, ran as a pragmatist and beat the tar out of  Democrat Creigh Deeds.  Exit polls show a majority of Virginians still support President Obama.  In New Jersey, voters were fed up with incumbent Jon Corzine, despite Obama’s best efforts to prop up the…

Podcast: Brescia for Delegate!

I sat down with Eric Brescia, Republican candidate for delegate in Virginia’s 47th district, to discuss his thoughts on a few local issues as well as the future of the party. Eric is running in Arlington, a notoriously liberal county just across the river from D.C., so his candidacy thus far has been pretty unorthodox.…

On duplicity, fairweather conservatism, and the art of war

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate. Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are…

Rewriting the conservative narrative

“While I agree that it’s fairly pointless, as a tactical matter, for dissidents to attack the talk radio giants, this comes, I think, out of a deep frustration that people with little more than slogans and attitude have bigfooted discussion among conservatives, and have helped turn the GOP and the movement into something that’s extremely…