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Conservative Populism and the Cory Gardner Problem

A funny thing happened when Cory Gardner, the senator-elect from Colorado, went on Fox News Sunday: He reminded us of the extent to which he is an establishment Republican. He was hand-picked by establishment Washington Republicans, but that’s easy to forget because of the way that his campaign united Colorado’s right-of-center voters and won over much of the persuadable electorate. Gardner’s success, however, reveals problems in the establishment conservative platform and shows what it would take for a populist conservative with better policy ideas to get elected. Continue Reading »

Taking the Long Way

And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearer. —Exodus 13:17 For many decades now, America’s political life has been divided between people who call themselves “conservatives” and people . . . . Continue Reading »

A Pessimistic Case for Hope

Ten years ago this fall, it seemed for a moment like social conservatives might be ascendant in our politics. Immediately after the 2004 election, some analysts on the right and left alike said George W. Bush’s reelection signaled a rising tide of “values voters” who would yield an enduring nationwide advantage for Republicans on social issues. Continue Reading »

Reading From Left to Right

Part of this morning’s reading is Charles Krauthammer’s ” Moving from Left to Right ” about his political conversion, from his book, Things That Matter.  Therein, he tells the story of how his mind changed from when he was young and part of the Democratic party and . . . . Continue Reading »

Must we be Racist?

American liberals need conservatives to be racist as justification for resisting change to the status quo of our government in terms of social programs and “entitlement” spending. Does it follow that conservatives must be racist? Funny, I don’t feel racist. What brings this up? At . . . . Continue Reading »

Senator Portman and Relativism

Ohio Senator Portman, a supporter of DOMA, has come out in favor of gay marriage. This reversal of principle about marriage is apparently rooted in the relative in that his change of mind comes about because of a relative: his son. He also suggests that Republicans cannot hope to attract the votes . . . . Continue Reading »

David Foster Wallace to the Rescue

Let’s not speak of suicide. Let’s not encourage the cottage industry bent on reducing David Foster Wallace to a literary Kurt Cobain, a romance of self-demise. This is a significant temptation for any posthumous reading of Wallace, whose writing is populated by suicides and addicts and clients . . . . Continue Reading »

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