Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.

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Our Elizabeth Warrens

From First Thoughts

The Republican establishment hung Ken Cuccinelli out to dry.  They deserve criticism for this, but where were the insurgent conservatives to come to his rescue?  Ever since the Dean campaign of 2003-2004, grassroots liberals have developed an infrastructure (and even more a culture) that . . . . Continue Reading »

Breaking Bad, Suffering And Redemption

From First Thoughts

Okay, so a little more Breaking Bad blogging. Spoilers ahead. Over at the Atlantic, Chris Heller writes that Ozymandias was the fitting conclusion for Breaking Bad because: Nobody is saved and everybody suffers. That’s the ending Breaking Bad needed. Bleak, merciless, and tragic. I think . . . . Continue Reading »

Marco Rubio’s Rise and Fall

From Web Exclusives

In the immediate aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat, Marco Rubio was the most popular choice for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Rubio has since fallen behind Chris Christie and Rand Paul and, in some polls, has also fallen behind Ted Cruz. The lesson of the 2012 Republican nomination race is that early polls are volatile, but the rise and fall of the freshman Republican Senator from Florida is more than a story of Rubio’s foibles and tactical mistakes. It is also a story of how conservative Republican have projected their hopes on him, and how those hopes were not merely dashed, but unrealistic in the first place. . . . Continue Reading »

The Company Man As Liberal Demagogue

From First Thoughts

Charlie Cooke has a good article about the madhouse that is MSNBC. Hardball with Chris Matthews used to a be an interesting show. In earlier incarnations of the show, Matthews was a unapologetic but slightly idiosyncratic liberal host who was not entirely a cheerleader for the liberal side. He had . . . . Continue Reading »

A Real Pitfall For Scott Walker

From First Thoughts

Nate Cohn has some thoughts on Scott Walker that are pretty similar to mine. Cohn argues that Walker has a chance to be a unifying candidate. That’s true, but I also think Walker has a chance to be the Tea Party-friendly alterative to Chris Christie if Ted Cruz collapses and Rand Paul fails . . . . Continue Reading »

Scott Walker And National Issues

From First Thoughts

I read and mostly enjoyed Scott Walker’s new campaign biography. It is pretty good by the low standards of the genre. Walker is pretty clearly getting ready to run for president. Like Allahpundit said, Walker has the potential to appeal to both the Republican establishment and conservatives . . . . Continue Reading »

Persuasion and Trust

From Web Exclusives

The center-right faces two interlocking problems. The first is external. After decades of assuming that America was a center-right country with a “silent majority,” the right was awoken to an America that gave a majority of the popular vote to Barack Obama not under the perfect circumstances of 2008, but under the ambivalent circumstances of 2012. To make it worse, the electorate gave twenty-five out of the thirty-three Senate races contested in 2012 to the Obama’s Democrats or to Democrat-aligned independents. . . . Continue Reading »