election

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Time to Gauck Washington

Calling for the protection of the Constitution and the vision that guided the Founding Fathers is a common theme in speeches in this year's presidential campaign.  In practice, however, these campaigns have little resemblance to that original vision.  The Framers sought to fashion a presidential selection process above politics in which the office would seek [...]

The Mythical Middle in American Politics

  Why did the Democrats run Bob Casey Jr., in Pennsylvania in 2006 against Sen. Rick Santorum? Why did President George W. Bush win a higher percentage of the African-American vote in Ohio in 2004 than he won nationwide? Why did Proposition 8 win in California in 2008, while Sen. John McCain was losing the [...]

Four More Years — of This?

  In what The Washington Post called "a bold act of political defiance," President Obama Wednesday announced the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray's nomination had been blocked by a Senate filibuster. There was no way he was going to win approval in 2012. Enraged Republicans denounced the [...]

Vladimir Putin’s Divided Russia

  Moscow is not a city of ghosts, but on Saturday, tens of thousands of figures were seen marching in the Russian capital chanting, "We exist! We exist!" That might seem like an exercise in the obvious. But the crowd thought a reminder was in order for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has generally regarded [...]

Obama, Romney Change Tacks in Week of Political Risks

  It was a week of risk-taking in the 2012 presidential race. Barack Obama, his job approval languishing in the low 40s, delivered a much heralded speech in Osawatomie, Kan., framing the choice between the parties in class-warfare terms. That's a risky strategy. Democrats haven't won a presidential election on class warfare since 1948, when [...]

Lessons of History?

  It used to be common for people to urge us to learn "the lessons of history." But history gets much less attention these days and, if there are any lessons that we are offered, they are more likely to be the lessons from current polls or the lessons of political correctness. Even among those [...]

Reverse Racism

Among those who have been disappointed by President Barack Obama, none is likely to end up so painfully disappointed as those who saw his election as being, in itself and in its consequences, a movement toward a "post-racial society." Like so many other expectations that so many people projected onto this little-known man who suddenly [...]

Is Herman Cain a Contender?

Is Herman Cain a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination? It's a question no one in the pundit world was asking until the past week. Cain has never held public office. When he ran for the Senate in Georgia in 2004, he lost the primary by a 52 percent to 26 percent margin. He [...]

GOP Can Learn from Reagan on Immigration

You'd never know it by listening to the GOP presidential hopefuls, but the Republican Party is launching a major effort to woo Hispanic voters in next year's election. The reason is simple: demographics. Unless the GOP wins a larger percentage of Hispanic votes in key states next year than it did in 2008, the White [...]

Obama and His Rivals Duck the Entitlement Crisis

Some of society's most intractable problems come not from its failures but from its successes. Often you can't get a good thing without paying a bad price. A prime example is our public old-age pension system, Social Security. It has been completely successful in wiping out poverty among the elderly. Old ladies no longer have [...]

Deal or No Deal?

  The debate over an extension of the debt ceiling remains the central focus of financial news and has generated an increasing level of heated comments and extreme predictions as the self-imposed August 2nd deadline by the Treasury comes clearly into view. It is the prime cause of the increased volatility of the financial markets. [...]

Is Rick Perry the Best of the Worst?

  The Republican presidential field looks less like an assemblage of candidates than a collection of fatal mistakes and irreparable flaws, with occasional embodiments of one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins. Mitt Romney? A flip-flopper who inspired Obamacare. Tim Pawlenty? A too-bashful critic of Romneycare, with a sleepy persona. Newt Gingrich? Serial adultery [...]

Classical Versus Contemporary Liberalism

In previous elections, including the last presidential election, many of us will recall hearing allegations that this or that candidate "is a liberal," "has a 100 percent liberal record," "has always sided with the liberals in his party," and so forth. And, without any further elaboration or explanation, certain ideological positions came automatically to our [...]

Hell, Heaven, and Progressive Catholics

With another presidential election looming, it won’t be long before many self-described progressive Catholics start issuing countless statements about numerous policy issues. Though many such Catholics sit rather loosely with Catholic teaching on questions like life and marriage, their “relaxed” position on such issues is belied by their stridency on, for instance, economic matters. Woe [...]

The Coming Showdown Over Medicare Reform

The trustees of the Medicare system recently reported that the program will go broke in the year 2024—five years sooner than was projected just last year. The millions of Americans who have been counting on Medicare to be a reliable, stable guarantor of affordable healthcare in their senior years should be asking themselves, “Who is [...]

What Republicans Can Learn from Canada’s Conservatives

Some years ago, the columnist and editor Michael Kinsley sponsored a contest to come up with the most boring headline. The winner was, "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative." Well, Canada held an election last Monday, and the result was anything but boring. It amounts to something like a revolution in Canadian politics and has lessons, I think, for [...]

The Libyan Quagmire

The Libyan affair -- one does not know what to call it; not a war precisely, more an "experimental bombing" -- is one in which both Canada and the United States are participating. We have a general election going on up here in the Great White North (where it is still snowing as I write, [...]

1943: Night Falls over Europe

German success in the Third Battle of Kharkov exasperated the Russians, although no one could foretell that it would be the last significant local German victory of the war. That was March 16, 1943, and the next day Stalin virtually demanded that the United States and Britain form a second European front to relieve the [...]

Pro-life party is now the elected majority in Ireland

Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI) reports that Ireland's Fine Gael party has won the largest number of seats in the Irish National Parliament's lower house, the Dáil Éireann: Prior to the election, Fine Gael had pledged to uphold the nation's pro-life protections: "Fine Gael is opposed to the legalisation of abortion" and "Fine Gael [...]

Chosenness

Some time back, a reader wrote me with an interesting observation: You know, I just thought of something. I used to have a part-time job as a pest caller (phone surveys, mostly) and so I met a lot of Wiccans. (In the 90's they congregated in phone & restaurant work, for some reason; don't know [...]

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