Customer Feedback, Week 4: Goodbye to Stupid

[Lay impressions on the GOP’s political messaging this week. More information about this series can be found here. Other posts in the series can be found here.] Benghazi, abortion, recess appointments, reactions to the second inaugural.  A relatively slow news week. “Stop Being the Stupid Party” Says Gov. Bobby Jindal.  The Tea Party message is…

Customer Feedback, Week 3

[Lay impressions on the week’s politics for the benefit of hypothetical GOP leaders looking to know whether and how the week’s political messaging went over. More information about this series can be found here. Other posts in the series can be found here.] Reactions to this week’s political messaging, particularly concerning House Republican leadership: GOP…

In Defense of GOP Extremism…

…is William Voegeli’s lead article in the latest Claremont Review of Books.  He paints a formidable defense of GOP’s “extreme” tendencies of late:  Brought to the present by a recent history defined by two fundamentally unprincipled parties compromising on a fundamentally unprincipled post-New Deal agenda—typically with Republicans serving as tax collectors for the welfare state—it…

Customer Feedback: Week 1, 2013

[Lay impressions on the week’s politics, reported to a hypothetical GOP leader curious to know whether and how the week’s political messaging was received. More information about this series here.] Feedback on this week’s political news and messaging: Out with the “Fiscal Cliff,” in with the “Debt Cliff” The “fiscal cliff” seemed to end not…

The Doomsday Provision

[Originally posted at the main page.] Why do we have the Second Amendment?  Wait, let’s back up.  Why do we have the First Amendment?  Speech is important to happiness and flourishing, we can all agree.  But that is not the reason that right was expressed, is it?  If it were, we should be puzzled to…

Book Report 2012

While the little one made 2012 a light blogging year, I tried to keep up with my book list as a consolation.  Past book reports are here:  2011; 2010; and 2009. 1. The Death and Life of the Great American School System, by Diane Ravitch.  This book by education historian and former Assistant Secretary of…

How to Frame the Economic Inequality Question

It’s safe to say I disagree with him on the merits, but Timothy Noah frames the question provocatively in the correspondence section of the latest Claremont Review of Books, responding to William Voegeli’s unfavorable reviwe of his book The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It: It’s important to…