Know Nothings and the Republican Coalition

The nativist Know Nothing movement—officially known as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, and as the American Party when it entered formally into electoral politics—flashed across American public life in the mid-1850s. It heralded the demise of the Whig Party, and the Second Party System . . . . Continue Reading »

Nikki Haley's Mistake

Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”Those are the controversial sentences in Governor Nikki Haley’s response to the President’s State of . . . . Continue Reading »

Scott Walker and the Bubble

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's transition from state to federal politics has been bumpy, but it is indicative of broader social trends. Walker seems to have a firm grasp of the opinions and priorities of the median Wisconsin voter on state-level issues, but has seemed terribly confused about . . . . Continue Reading »

Beat the Establishment

The divorce papers of Democratic lobbyist super couple Tony and Heather Podesta show that for a certain class of people government is not a public service or a field for settling partisan disagreements so much as an opportunity for self promotion: “As a married couple who both lobbied they . . . . Continue Reading »