Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.

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Ron Paul Is Looking Better

From First Thoughts

or the soft bigotry of low expectations, 1.  One of the themes of this Republican presidential race is the tension between electability/competence on one hand and conservative authenticity on the other.  Romney has been winning the competence/electability sweepstakes all year (minus a . . . . Continue Reading »

Historian And Consultant

From First Thoughts

So when, at the last debate, Gingrich was asked why he got paid $300,000 by Freddie Mac, he said he offered them “advice as a historian.”  I’m guessing that the most innocent plausible scenario is that the advice went "something like this" Today it turns out that . . . . Continue Reading »

Losing Persuadables

From First Thoughts

Since the 2008 election, Henry Olsen has been one of the most astute observers of electoral trends.  Olsen made the point that if Republicans do not substantially improve their share of the votes among nonwhites, they are going to have to win landslides among white voters.  As far as . . . . Continue Reading »

Memory And Ignorance Part II

From First Thoughts

I was going to write something longish about the excellent Henry Olsen, but I’m kind of tired and it would take more mental energy than I have at the moment.  So I’ll go back to shooting fish in a barrel. Herman Cain has had a tough day.  His answer  on Libya was . . . . Continue Reading »

Hey!

From First Thoughts

That was pretty good debate yesterday.  I could nitpick (how much do you all think a war with Iran might cost -in American lives and American money - if you launch an attack on that country’s nuclear facilities?), but I won’t.  Good for them (even Ron Paul.)  It was . . . . Continue Reading »

Some Pre-Debate Thoughts

From First Thoughts

1.  God help me, but I’ve seen every Republican debate this season (but not every minute and I’ve missed a couple of the forums.) I’ve found all but the last fairly entertaining and somewhat informative.  They’ve sure been pretty important when it comes to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Memory And Ignorance

From First Thoughts

On second thought, I’ve decided Perry is getting something of a raw deal (including from me - mea culpa.)  Perry spaced on the name of an agency he wanted to eliminate.  It was pretty ugly on live television, but that is the kind of stuff that happens to people.  Last week I . . . . Continue Reading »

Quick Thoughts

From First Thoughts

1.  This was by far the most worthless debate of the year.  The CNBC crew should be ashamed of themselves.  Especially that guy who was raising his voice whose eyes kept bugging out.  Just because you make cartoon noises doesn’t mean you are asking an effective . . . . Continue Reading »

Ichabod Or The Decline Of Newt

From First Thoughts

Since it looks like Gignrich is in line to make a surge, I think I’ll repost something I wrote about him elsewhere: Let us put aside Gingrich’s marital woes. I want to push back against the idea that Gingrich is, in the present, the “idea factory” for Republicans. Gingrich . . . . Continue Reading »

Rough Draft

From First Thoughts

This is what we need on domestic policy.   The most frustrating thing about this year’s GOP presidential field is the knowledge that there are better potential Republican candidates who, for a variety of reasons (family issues, the electoral calendar), aren’t . . . . Continue Reading »