How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans - "Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good." [more inside]
“A bomb with a long fuse has been lit,” said Sylvie Guillaume, a French MEP supportive of abortion rights and LGBT rights, who recently stepped down as vice chair of the largest center-left bloc in the European Union’s parliament. “We don’t know what’s going to happen.” [more inside]
The Republican Party began selling new web domains ending in .gop today at www.join.gop. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
The New York Times reports the death of Richard Mellon Scaife, the Mellon heir and noted financial backer of conservative organizations and publications such as the Heritage Foundation, The American Spectator, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, following his battle with cancer. Scaife is perhaps best known for funding a staggering number of anti-Clinton projects in the 1990s that set the stage for the Whitewater investigation, efforts which won him derision from some quarters and approbation from others. [more inside]
Are Reform Conservatives Serious?
A crop of young thinkers trying to steer the right toward the future needs to both vanquish the Tea Party and show it has more than just a marketing campaign.
A crop of young thinkers trying to steer the right toward the future needs to both vanquish the Tea Party and show it has more than just a marketing campaign.
Frank Rich takes a look at conservative comedians and the late-night comedy landscape.
The Three Languages of Arts and Cultural Funding : It is a truth universally acknowledged that the public funding of arts and culture will cause political strife. Reasonable people just do not agree on this, and can be surprisingly quick to accuse others of ideological warmongering. An Australian application of The Three Languages of Politics [interview: podcast and transcript] by Arnold Kling. Via The Conversation.
In the past month since publishing his essay, "Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege," Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang has become a hero of many in right-wing politics for his refusal to believe that he enjoys privilege. [more inside]
The Color Of His Presidency
A few weeks ago, the liberal comedian Bill Maher and conservative strategist and pundit Bill Kristol had a brief spat on Maher’s HBO show, putatively over what instigated the tea party but ultimately over the psychic wound that has divided red America and blue America in the Obama years. The rise of the tea party, explained Maher in a let’s-get-real moment, closing his eyes for a second the way one does when saying something everybody knows but nobody wants to say, “was about a black president.” Both Maher and Kristol carry themselves with a weary cynicism that allows them to jovially spar with ideological rivals, but all of a sudden they both grew earnest and angry. Kristol interjected, shouting, “That’s bullshit! That is total bullshit!” After momentarily sputtering, Kristol recovered his calm, but his rare indignation remained, and there was no trace of the smirk he usually wears to distance himself slightly from his talking points. He almost pleaded to Maher, “Even you don’t believe that!” “I totally believe that,” Maher responded, which is no doubt true, because every Obama supporter believes deep down, or sometimes right on the surface, that the furious opposition marshaled against the first black president is a reaction to his race. Likewise, every Obama opponent believes with equal fervor that this is not only false but a smear concocted willfully to silence them.[more inside]
John Hibbing and his colleagues are pioneering research on the physiological underpinnings of political ideology. They also eat worms. - via Mother Jones
Hard right Conservative South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, who in 2012 year was removed as parliamentary secretary and opposition whip to Tony Abbott as a result of arguing that same-sex marriages would lead to legalised polygamy and bestiality, is no stranger to controversy. A noted climate change sceptic, and critic of both Islam and publicly-funded broadcasting, Bernardi has just published his manifesto -- The Conservative Revolution -- calling for "a reversal back to sanity and reason". Reviews on Amazon have been less than favourable, but his book has put contentious issues such as abortion, the structure of the modern family and WorkChoices firmly at centrestage as the unpopular conservative government seeks to reconnect with voters who so comprehensively removed the Labor Party from Government in September 2013. Some argue that the danger in Bernardi's comments is that they shift the goalposts on what is considered outrageous, and re-ignite the culture wars. Or is it too late? The Prime Minister has again been forced to distance himself from Bernardi's views, and Warren Entch has criticised him for his "gay obsession". In 2012 the Global Mail called him Australia's Sarah Palin, but he also shares the Six Fs philosophy of Rick Santorum: Faith, Family, Flag, Free enterprise, Federation and Freedom.
State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax. The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
The Nazi Anatomists. "How the corpses of Hitler's victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics."
"Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner — has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by [David Corn and] Mother Jones." Photo Gallery: Meet Groundswell's Major Players. Also: Groundswell's Secret Crusade to Crush Karl Rove // (Via) [more inside]
5-part series from Conservative Home about weaknesses in how the UK conservative movement thinks and operates. 1: Polling not punditry. 2: The working class has different concerns in 2012. 3: Conservatives need a new attitude to government. 4: Thatcher and Reagan didn't tame the state. 5: Why does the right treat spending cuts as light entertainment?
Pity the Billionaire (YT): Thomas Frank discusses how the American right pulled off a massive coup and successfully branded itself the party of rebellion and protest in the wake of the financial crisis.
No more "Hunger Games" in our District! [autoplaying music] Running for State Senate in Brooklyn on the Republican and Conservative tickets, Mindy Myers, 22 and an Orthodox Jew, is the self-proclaimed Diva of the District. In an interview with City and State she says “I’m trying to attract a young crowd and recruit more young people," [...] "People in politics are out of touch with the younger generation, who are not voting, are not registered.” [more inside]
Who could forget young Jonathan Krohn (previously), who dazzled the crowd at CPAC 2009 with his finely wrought rhetoric? Or perhaps you remember his classic tome Defining Conservatism. It will come as no surprise that he's still making waves at the grand old age of 17... by swinging left. "I think it was naive."
The prime minister has suggested that people under the age of 25 could lose the right to housing benefit, as part of moves to cut the welfare bill. Scrapping the benefit for that age group would save almost £2bn a year. via BBC News. Comments sortable and worth reading. [more inside]
Is Danielle Smith Alberta's Sarah Palin or the Future of Canada? Ms. Smith is widely thought to be on the verge of unseating the Progressive Conservative regime that first took office only five months after she was born on April 1, 1971. [more inside]
Why Won't They Listen? Haidt diverges from other psychologists who have analyzed the left’s electoral failures. The usual argument of these psycho-pundits is that conservative politicians manipulate voters’ neural roots — playing on our craving for authority, for example — to trick people into voting against their interests. But Haidt treats electoral success as a kind of evolutionary fitness test. He figures that if voters like Republican messages, there’s something in Republican messages worth liking. He chides psychologists who try to “explain away” conservatism, treating it as a pathology. Conservatism thrives because it fits how people think, and that’s what validates it. Workers who vote Republican aren’t fools. In Haidt’s words, they’re “voting for their moral interests.”
What the Right Gets Right and What the Left Gets Right : An experiment in "transideological friendship." What liberals and conservatives think their ideological opposition does well.
Reconsidering Fukuyama - "In 2004 he became the first of the card-carrying neocons to break ranks and oppose the Iraq War; in 2006 he published a comprehensive history and critique of the neoconservative movement; in 2009 he skewered the economics profession at length in his journal The American Interest; earlier this year, he dedicated an issue to a series of essays exploring the emerging American plutocracy... that through their greed they somehow benefit society... He was not being glib: Much of his new book, The Origins of Political Order, is devoted to documenting the struggles of premodern states to draw up sustainable tax codes. Long before modernity and the spread of democracy, societies that failed to effectively tax their citizenry were the first to shrivel... [more inside]
"House Republicans...fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc." This vote also defies the intention of the Obama administration to extend portions of the USA PATRIOT Act to the year 2013. (Previously) [more inside]
In an unusual about-face for such a public Conservative personality, Ann Coulter (the "Right-Wing Judy Garland") will be headlining an upcoming gathering of Gay Conservatives called HOMOCON 2010. Reaction on all sides of the aisle is mixed, to put it charitably. [more inside]
After winning six congressional elections since 1992, Representative Bob Inglis (R - SC) is now a politician without a party, a policy maven without a movement. And in a few months, he will be without his present job. The reason? "It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...[Obama] is no socialist."
Bruce Bartlett, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, speaks out against Republicans - The monumental hypocrisy of the Republican Party is something amazing to behold. And their dimwitted accomplices in the tea-party movement are not much better. They know that Republicans, far more than Democrats, are responsible for our fiscal mess, but they won't say so. And they adamantly refuse to put on the table any meaningful programme that would actually reduce spending. Judging by polls, most of them seem to think that all we have to do is cut foreign aid, which represents well less than 1% of the budget. [more inside]
Emerging from a debate on "epistemic closure" (of the conservative mind) John Quiggin looked beyond the dead horses and gazed upon the need "to offer hope, in the form of goals that can excite enthusiastic commitment to a progressive alternative." Matthew Yglesias pondered and penned a response providing a glimpse of the very big picture... [more inside]
While much is being made of dysfunctional government [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] and hung parliament [1,2,3,4,5], David Cameron's pitches for a fairer society [1,2,3], smarter policy [1,2,3] and employee ownership [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] have been positively, uh, Obamanian.* [more inside]
In the US, the conservative movement’s latest rallying cry against abortion claims pro-choice groups are conducting a systematic eugenics campaign to turn African Americans into an "endangered species." The idea is finding renewed traction and condemnation in Black communities. Several bloggers at RHRealityCheck are offering counter-arguments. [more inside]
"What I want to do now is help both sides understand the other, so that policies can be made based on something more than misguided fear of what the other side is up to." Jonathan Haidt proposes a more civil form of politics based on his work in moral psychology. [more inside]
Conservative Republican California State Assemblyman Michael Duvall (Orange County) didn't realize his mic was live, moments before the start of a legislative hearing this past July. So when the 54-year-old married father of two began describing his ongoing affairs with two different women in very graphic detail for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, he had no idea that he was being recorded. The story was picked up by KCAL, who cited unnamed sources that said Duvall was describing affairs with two married lobbyists. [more inside]
Next Tuesday, Sept. 8, speaking at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. President Obama will address the youth of America during a live television broadcast urging them to stay in school. Some school districts, bowing to parent pressure, have decided not to show the speech during school. [more inside]
The conservative movement continues to suffer problems, within the Republican Party, without, and, well...
Little Mr. Conservative. The interview concluded, Jonathan wistfully handed his mother her cellphone. His parents still won’t let him have one, even though he turned 14 last Sunday, right after he became an instant news media darling and the conservative movement’s underage graybeard at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics" [more inside]
Intense debate about weighty issues like racism, abortion, and immigration... between animals in funny hats! This is the silly punditry of Scenario: Dog v. Cat: Round 1, round 2, round 3.
Rush Limbaugh may be facing indictment for a fifth-degree felony after encouraging Republican voters to cross party lines and vote for Hillary Clinton ("Operation Chaos"), but if you hurry you can still buy the shirt. Previously.
From unprecedented chart-topping, to crossover appeal, to the bizarre image change and retirement from music, he was truly country's Michael Jackson. While many of us may not have cared for his music or paid much attention to his core audience, those of us who were inspired despite ourselves by the (previously posted) Will.i.am video might just find something in the surprisingly liberal prince of the red states. [more inside]
My Right Wing Dad is a new-ish and rather informal blog that aims to provide "a chance for folks to examine the unrestrained rhetoric that is quietly passed from in-box to in-box in America," by hosting a collection of the emails that form an often untraceable and unacknowledged part of public discourse in the U.S., especially on the Right. Tagged by category (for example: God, college, flag, liberal, and World War II), the amateur archive presents a range of colorful opinion, not all of it strikingly accurate, and some of it offensive. In efforts to understand liberal and conservative habits of communication, it may be worth considering the role of forwarded email in the electoral process, and the reasons that the forwarding of email is popular among some people, and whether this behavior tends to correlate with particular political opinions. The emails hosted on MyRightWingDad may in any case be enlightening, unless you're already on the forward list of someone in the know.
"Even the greatest cities have further greatness in them. I will stand for a greater London and for putting the smile back on London's face." Boris Johnson announces his candidacy for Mayor of London, though he is yet to be endorsed by the Conservative Party. Though decidedly right wing in his views (this clip, perhaps more than any other summarises his view on Europe, for example) his very English brand of buffoonery lends him unique appeal (though not universally).
What is a "Crunchy Conservative"? A new political buzzword or a lifestyle manifesto, the Crunchy Con may even be a new political species, unless you're a Contra-Crunchy Con.
Described as "the View meets the Daily Show and takes a right turn," The America Show, Episode 1 and Episode 2 are pilots that are being floated for possible TV broadcast. Weigh in on their potential. The driving force behind the show is conservative comic Julia Gorin, who also recently launched Political Mavens as "a celebrity-studded conservative answer to Arianna's Huffington Post."
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