Politics & Power

Bernie Sanders: Front Porch Socialist?

August 10, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] This October, Front Porch Republic will host its annual conference in Geneseo, NY, just a short day’s drive from Burlington, Vermont, the home current presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders will not, I am confident,…
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Just Another Naked King

emperor July 30, 2015
What hath Athens to do with Main Street?  Why should an economic crisis in a small European nation shake up the world?  And can this possibly add up to freedom? If despite all you know about globalization such questions…
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The Silly Season is Here Again

honey-wagon June 23, 2015
Elections are here, but manure-spreading is nothing new.
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Harriet Tubman, in a Child’s Eye

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 10.33.19 AM June 22, 2015
BURNED-OVER DISTRICT, NY - I’m overjoyed that the phiz of that bastard Alexander Hamilton, the father of corporate capitalism, will be removed from the $10 bill he has for so long defaced with his smug mug. I wholeheartedly second my…
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A Presidential Proposal Worthy of the Porch

May 28, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] The blogger, pundit, screenwriter, and all-around mensch Noah Millman has come up with a brilliant idea–Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont, and Jim Webb, former U.S. Senator from Virginia, both of whom (the first officially,…
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The Socialist Party and the Old Right

TR1GC54 April 10, 2015
A slightly edited version of this talk was delivered at a forum at the National Press Club on April 9, 2015, entitled “American Socialism Reconsidered,” on the occasion of Jack Ross’s new history of the Socialist Party. Video of the event…
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Why Cities Ought to, Sometimes, Challenge Their States

April 2, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] On next Tuesday’s ballot here in Wichita, KS, voters will be able to, whether they realize it or not, directly contribute to an ongoing struggle over the meaning and operations of democratic government in the…
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The Lure of Unreason

Morning Joe - Harf - 06_00_14 AM March 31, 2015
It is a pedestrian fact of logic that one may not consistently argue to a correct conclusion from an incorrect premise. There are exceptions to this fact, as in the sayings “a blind squirrel can find a nut if he…
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Was 1964 the Most Important Year — Ever?

4626691010_0b04c0f9b2_o March 26, 2015
Ask an American of even above-average intelligence what happened in 1964, and the predictable answer would be “Beatlemania” (although the politically sensitive conservative might cite the stirring defeat of Barry Goldwater in that year’s presidential race). But what if it…
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The Letter to Iran and Bipartisan Hype

Tom-Cotton March 24, 2015
Sioux Center, Iowa.   Most Republican members of the U.S. Senate have signed a public letter to the Iranian government warning that any agreement with President Obama that is not approved by the Senate is likely to be transitory and counterproductive…
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Group Decisionmaking and Individual Responsibility

7022854879_f3c2077191_b March 17, 2015
Part of the pushback against the notion that groups can make decisions comes from the fear that we already use groups to absolve ourselves of individual responsibility. James Buchanan made this the central plank in his argument for the inevitability…
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Huckabee’s Shifting Shades of Green

unnamed (2) February 17, 2015
As he began making the early “exploratory” rounds, a smiling Mike Huckabee recently reminded Martha Raddatz on ABC’s political Sunday show This Week that in 2008 he had run a “very green” presidential campaign that got “more miles per gallon”…
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Beyond Josh Lyman Politics: How the West Wing Miseducated My Political Generation

JoshLyman January 15, 2015
A few years ago, Josh Lyman spoke at Harvard to a packed room of starstruck student politicos. It wasn’t the real Josh Lyman, of course, because he isn’t real: he was the fictional Deputy Chief of Staff played by Bradley…
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Blasphemers, Terrorists, and Liberals in Your Neighborhood

January 8, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Would I read Charlie Hebdo? (Assuming I could read French, that is.) Would I want anyone in my family to read it? Would I want it to be available at my daughters’ elementary school…
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Closed-Minded By Default

QuickSign_S1007 January 7, 2015
In attempting to keep certain questions open, I’m closed-minded by default.
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Phenomenal Ben Carson and the Consequential Richard Weaver

December 26, 2014
“Ben Carson: Political Phenomenon.”  That gushing headline, at CNN.com of all virtual places, was followed by a puff piece of epic proportions.  Of course, with a Horatio Alger worthy biography (Carson’s got the award to prove it), it is easy…
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