What (Else) the Exit Polls Tell Us

From First Thoughts

I offered my preliminary reflections on the 2012 presidential exit polls and promised more to come. I’m a man of my word. Thus far, I’ve argued that, in effect, the Obama campaign executed a plan based on a theory of electoral behavior (ideology and identity) that was superior to . . . . Continue Reading »

Who Voted, and Why It Matters

From First Thoughts

Here are the exit polls, which I’ve spent some time contemplating. First, let’s count our blessings. We didn’t have to stay up late, and we likely won’t have a nightmarish recount anywhere. The country can move on knowing who its leaders will be, and (for both . . . . Continue Reading »

The IRS and the Churches

From First Thoughts

This article makes it seem as if the only churches that engage in the kind of speech the IRS proscribes for tax-exempt organizations are conservative Evangelical churches. Given the long history of African-American churches as centers of political organization in their communities, that can’t . . . . Continue Reading »

Yet Another Front

From First Thoughts

In certain parts of the south and southwest, it is hard to distinguish football from religion. Some high school cheerleaders in Texas have tied them together too closely for the taste of the Washington Post editorial board . Applying the journalistic version of the Supreme Court’s endorsement . . . . Continue Reading »

Religious None-Sense

From First Thoughts

Much has and will be made of a report issued recently by the Pew Forum, finding a significant increase in the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated. Commentators have seized on one fact—less than half of Americans now identify themselves as Protestant, a . . . . Continue Reading »

Lowering our Sights on Marriage

From First Thoughts

This piece in the New York Times unwittingly takes a page out of John Locke’s reimagining of marriage in the Second Treatise.  Consulting with social scientists and therapists (but no defenders of more or less traditional marriage), the author wonders if we might do better to formalize . . . . Continue Reading »

Toleration and Its Limits

From First Thoughts

President Obama’s generally pretty good speech at the U.N. contains this paragraph: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or . . . . Continue Reading »

David Brooks on the Conservative Mind

From First Thoughts

Erstwhile conservative (if I’m being generous) David Brooks laments  the state of the conservative mind. When, apparently in another life, he worked for National Review , there were traditionalist conservatives and free market types. Now, he says, the free marketeers have totally . . . . Continue Reading »