Ten Second News

An unsettled dogma

Jonah Goldberg has a very smart response to Jim Manzi’s reflections on “liberty-as-means” libertarians vs. “liberty-as-goal” libertarians.  I want to focus on Jonah’s post here, but you should read Manzi as well.  Jonah writes: My own view is that the Right is intellectually healthier and more creative because its dogma remains unsettled (yes, I’ve written…

Paul Ryan’s Budget

“If Obama’s efforts to create a viable regulatory framework in which individuals can buy private health insurance (a) pass congress, and (b) turn out to work well and be popular, then you can imagine a version of Ryan’s plan being put into place. But in the absence of that kind of reform, I just don’t…

We Hate Big Government, Except When We Don’t

Memo to the conservatives who suddenly discovered that they were in favor of limited government when George Bush left office: if you want people to believe that your conversion is real, it would probably help if you don’t whine and complain about Big Government Obama (see also: Ed Driscoll, AJ Strata) when he actually proposes a…

The Age of Ideological Uncertainty

Indulge me, if you will, in a little self-reflection. I would probably describe myself as a libertarian conservative. I’m pretty sympathetic to the ideas of limited, decentralized government, free markets, and a decent respect for history and the culture. One thing I can’t muster, however, is the righteous certitude that seems to characterize so many…

Race and homeownership, continued

A few months ago, I recommended Jason Kuznicki’s excellent article on America’s history of state-sanctioned racial discrimination. In it, Kuznicki discusses the relationship between government regulations and social prejudice (emphasis mine): In a mobile and egalitarian commercial republic influenced by Christianity, practicing racism ought to be difficult. It becomes much easier, however, when there are…

Roger Ebert, Ben Stein, and the culture war

Ever since Will posted about Roger Ebert earlier I’ve been reading Ebert’s blog (which is fantastic) and came across this explanation of why he never formally reviewed the Ben Stein mockumentary (er, documentary) Expelled.  For those of you who don’t know the premise of that film, it’s basically Stein’s extremely dishonest propaganda exposé on Intelligent Design.  Here’s…

Sacrificing Ideology at the Altar of Culture

Jamelle writes: “In a lot of cases, the aim of liberals isn’t necessarily to massively expand the reach of government as much as it is to add some intentionality and rationality — as well as make explicit — the ways in which wealready intervene in the economy (health care reform is a perfect example of…

Community as safety-net

One of the most common arguments against my call for better, more effective state-provided safety nets is that these safety nets somehow replace those provided by families and close-knit communities.  Apparently if people are provided with health insurance by the state they will no longer have any need for families or their neighbors, and their…

Factions

A lot of the reaction to my conservapedia piece falls along the lines that you would expect – essentially that I’m painting with too broad a brush.  I probably was in that post.  Obviously a lot of conservatives are thoughtful, independent-thinking, and honest people.  It’s primarily, therefore, a reaction to the conservative leadership that leads…

conservatives as self-parodies

This interview with Andy Schlafly [below] of conservapedia.com is hard to watch.  It’s almost embarrassing.  I think Colbert is at his best for most of the exchange, and the zinger about creating his own reality is marvelous.  Schlafly really is the ultimate self-parodic conservative, and I’m not just saying that because he has one of the…

The Anti-Broder Center

Mark: Something I’ve been noticing lately is that the perjorative “centrist” has been getting applied with increasing regularity to an entirely new group of people by both left and right. Historically, it’s been a term that referred to establishment elites who, while having any number of letters after their name (D, R, Ind.) ultimately have…

The Evolution of Blogging: An Interview with John Cole

John Cole began blogging at Balloon Juice way back in 2002, when he was still a die-hard Republican.  According to the FAQ on his blog, you can “check the archive to see how crazy” he was back then.  Since then his political views have shifted and the blog has grown.  The blog has also evolved…

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…

You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

Note: This was a shitty movie. So, if Memeorandum is any indication, a few conservative bloggers have taken to mining fourth-rate dialogue from third-rate science fiction movies in order to make an absurd point about how a modest package of insurance reforms amounts to an attack on liberty itself. I asked something along these lines on Facebook…

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…

Stray thoughts on the NY-23 race

The cosmic significance of the congressional race in New York’s 23rd district has, I think, been wildly overblown by a conservative movement that seems obsessively focused on extremely narrow tactical issues (Van Jones, anyone?). However, the arguments over party discipline and ideological are pretty interesting and worth commenting on. My litmus test for a heterodox…

Nothing’s ever certain except race and taxes.

Andrew Sullivan has this map posted at the Dish today, which he found via Open Left.  What I take from Open Left’s analysis is that by and large white men are not all that progressive.  Why this should be “discouraging” to Sullivan is beyond me, unless we’re conflating a lack of progressiveness with out and out…

The Flake-y GOP

Over at True/Slant, E.D. makes a valuable and important comparison between Jeff Flake and Michelle Bachmann and the future of the GOP.  I’m not looking to re-open the whole “reformer” vs. “base” vs. establishment brouhaha, but Flake is in many ways the shining example of why the GOP’s problems aren’t the craziness and partisanship of…