Is there evidence that suburban independents chose not to vote Republican primarily or even pluralily* because they worried about what Kathleen Parker calls the Oogedy Boogedy sect within the party? (i.e., Andrew’s Christianists, Ross’s conservative evangelicals.)? Lots of people assume that there is. This assumption is common more to liberals and centrists than it is to conservatives, of course. It’d be good to see some hard numbers from either side of this debate.
The problem with Sarah Palin, at least according to pre-election polls, was not that she exemplified/amplified the Christian right. It was that voters perceived her to be incompetent and not able to handle the job of commander in chief. In any event, there might be evidence to support this claim; Barack Obama ( a self-described evangelical, it must be said) turned over a whole bunch of suburbs in fast-growing areas. Democrats tried mightily to make inroads with conservative evangelicals, and they failed. This demographic group is, as Larison points out, is one of the most reliable factions within the party. At this point, they matter enough. The dirty secret is not that a large part of the Republican establishment is worried about their influence. There are two secrets, actually: one — that the “leaders” of the various movements within social conservatism are ill-adapted to modern politics and can exacerbate tensions between the movement and outsiders; and two — that a large part of the Republican establishment believes they can pander to these voters, not address their core concerns, and still rely on them for support. You can’t build a Republican Party without them, but, depending on where you are in this great land of ours, you can safely ignore their cultural demands and still be a success, even if you’re a Republican. When Charlie Crist ran for governor of Florida, he vacillated between pandering to the right and ignoring them. As governor, he’s ignored them. And his approval rating is at 68%.
Finland will be ending its trial program of an unconditional monthly payment to 2,000 unemployed Finns. The program had come about with the support of a coalition of Greens, centrists, libertarians, the Centre party, and the far-left, and faced opposition from unions, social democrats, and mainstream ... Read More
The father of twenty-three-month-old Alfie Evans told reporters on Tuesday that he is giving his son mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after the hospital withdrew the baby's life support. "Both Kate and I had to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation to keep him alive because his lips turned blue," the baby's father ... Read More
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, following an earlier case, that animals can have standing under the Constitution (Article III) to bring lawsuits. (Article III "standing" requires that the party bringing suit have suffered an actual injury.) Some readers may remember the ridiculous PETA suit for ... Read More
Twenty-three-month-old Alfie Evans is clinging to life after a British hospital removed him from life support Monday against the wishes of his parents. Evans's parents lost a legal challenge in February that would have allowed them to take him to Italy for treatment after the Alder Hey Children's Hospital ... Read More
The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
A mantra we hear everywhere these days is that diversity is a good thing. And no doubt, it is. Diversity facilitates an exchange of ideas and opinions, and it promotes economic growth. Moreover, the alternative to diversity is to suppress the views and opinions of some subset of citizens, which is completely ... Read More
In my last column -- "The Times Best-Seller List: Another Reason Americans Don't Trust the Media" -- I used my recently published book as evidence that the New York Times best-seller list is not a best-seller list. I pointed out that The Rational Bible: Exodus, the first volume of my commentary on the first ... Read More
I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More