How North Carolina got its reputation for moderation in the civil rights era.

I’ve been reading Rob Christensen’s The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics, a book that I started a while back but didn’t pick up again until recently. I’ve just finished the section on North Carolina’s major politicians in the fifties and sixties: Senator Frank Porter Graham, Governor Kerr Scott, Governor Luther Hodges, Senator Sam Ervin Jr.,…

You say Obama, I say Osama

I read this post over at The Dish and quite honestly thought it said “Obama” and not “Osama.”  Which changes everything, of course.  Read the following passage substituting the word Osama with Obama: Paul Cruickshank thinks that if Osama is ever captured we should put him on trial: It would be nothing short of a watershed…

Friedersdorf v. Hawkins: Round 2

Round 2 of the debate on the future of the American Right between John Hawkins of Right Wing News and Conor Friedersdorf is up.  It is again quite civilized even as both participants remain unapologetic and honest about their positions.  Hawkins opens with a couple of haymakers, but also throws some straw men into the…

The Evolution of Blogging: An Interview with Charles Johnson

Few bloggers have had quite as controversial a career as Little Green Football’s Charles Johnson.  Johnson began blogging in earnest back in 2001 after the attacks on the twin towers, and continues putting out content at a furious pace nearly a decade later. He is perhaps best known for playing a key role in the resignation…

Why I Voted For Daggett

While I don’t think Corzine’s been as bad for New Jersey as most people seem to think (the Dems in the Assembly and Senate being a much different story), there was never any chance I was going to vote for him this year on divided government grounds.  Since I’ve become something of a proud proponent…

On duplicity, fairweather conservatism, and the art of war

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate. Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are…

“Taking responsibility” again.

Conor Friedersdorf has posted another entry in the “sprawling, muddled debate about the state of the right, the role dissident conservatives should play, and the wisdom of attacking talk radio hosts” that’s been playing out recently, with Conor and Rod Dreher on one side, and fellow Gentlemen Freddie, Mark, and E.D. on the other, with…

Connecting to the base ctd.

Mark says it all too well: Conservative wonks simply aren’t doing their jobs.  What they are doing is picking apart liberal proposals, picking apart conservative proposals, attacking the low-hanging fruit of conservative extremism, and occasionally making suggestions to liberals on ways of either improving liberal proposals or making those proposals more palatable to conservatives.  What they are…

Connecting Dissidents and the Base

Jamelle’s post yesterday stimulated some thoughts in my head, not only about the question of why movement conservatives need to recognize that the Bush Administration’s failures are attributable to conservatism, but also about how Republicans can more quickly return to being a competent governing party. The other day, I struggled to think of a single unifying characteristic…

Our National Drug of Choice

No one is above the outrage cycle. We have now, in our culture, synthesized the two worst elements of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 media: the pre-9/11 obsession with meaningless bullshit; and the post-9/11 obsession with filling every story with apocalyptic portent and over the top, tween-girl-at-a-Jonas-brothers-concert hysteria. We still care too much about J-Lo’s dress and…

Begetting Worse Politicians

Responding to Scott’s argument (with which I agree almost entirely) that Andrew Sullivan’s obsession with Sarah Palin is counterproductive to good politics, Jaybird commented: As someone who was temporarily under the impression that Sarah Palin was not “just another” and who has come to find that, no, she is “just another”, I find the opposition…

bad analogies

I was out for drinks with friends and Israel came up in the conversation.  A friend of mine said that she’d heard somewhere – Fox maybe? – that if you likened Gaza to a Nazi concentration camp you were an anti-Semite, and isn’t that ridiculous?  Can’t we criticize the Israeli government’s policy without being anti-Semitic?…

Ah, Abortion

~by sidereal When I’m asked for my opinion on abortion (or when I give it unprompted) I have to decide how long a conversation I want to have.  If I want it over with, I use the crude political vernacular and say I’m a ‘progressive pro-lifer’.  If I don’t mind exploring the issue a little…

around the web on May 20th

Paul Romer envisions Hong Kong like city-states for developing countries. Stephen Walt discusses realism and tolerance, using DODT as a leaping point. Eric Brown and Darwin Catholic discuss bioethics, health care, and Catholic teaching at The American Catholic. Shafeen Chanaria wants kids to be exposed to the real world from a young age.

State of Print

Resting at the heart of  State of Play (2009) is not so much the personal relationships of the characters – who are mostly forgettable save for Crowe’s Cal McAffrey – or the grand (and oddly relevant) political conspiracy involving the Blackwater imitator PointCorp, but rather the struggle facing the newspaper itself.   McAffrey, a rugged, rough-around-the-edges…

Correctly Political: Tea and Sympathy for the Devil You Know

“Children’s Tea Party,” Morton H. B. Bly, 1919 by jfxgillis R.S.V.P. Wednesday, April 15th, Tax Day (reminder to self: file tax return or else), is also the day designated by grass-roots conservatives as a day of protest, the “Tea Party” movement. Intriguingly, the Tea Parties have inspired much discussion and debate–but almost none of which…

Fragmentation

Esteemed co-blogger Chris Dierkes has a challenging post on the democratic process. Here’s a decent summary: In our late modern (or postmodern if you like) world, with the proliferation of many interests and sub-interests, causing fragmentation across society (”the long tail” phenomenon), aligning interests becomes nearly impossible. There are too many interests, too many too…

Working with what we’ve got….

I’m sure I’ve run this course long enough.  I’ve been in constant contemplation of the merits of the individual vs. the community.  I’ve written endlessly about the subject and read a good deal on Catholic social teaching, distributism, mutualism, anarchy, dignity of labor, new urbanism, choice, free trade, etc. etc. etc.  This will be my…

Redefining Prosperity

The modern conservative movement is built upon a paradox.  Indeed, both Parties in the United States system – and there are functionally only two – have long preached basically the same message.  Means are almost the only thing separating Democrats from Republicans; certainly their ends remain nearly indistinguishable from one another; that is, to build…

Regarding Rush

I suppose the reason I haven’t commented much on the resurgence of Rush Limbaugh into the national spotlight, is I have never, ever taken the Great Bloviator seriously.  He’s always been just another talk-radio windbag to me, representing not just an ideological demographic that I find unappealing, but also a tone and style that is…