The Corner

Strange Brew

David Campbell and Robert Putnam argue in the New York Times that there’s a surprising reason that “disapproval for the Tea Party is climbing”: “To embrace the Tea Party carries great political risk for Republicans, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.” The surprising reason is that tea partiers are socially conservative, and while the country has moved right over the last five years on the economic issues associated with the tea parties they have moved left on the social issues.

I have no idea what data they’re looking at. They use abortion as an indicator of the tea partiers’ social conservatism. Gallup has the percentage of Americans who say abortion should never be legal up since 2006, and the percentage who say it should always be legal slightly down. Gallup’s pro-choice/pro-life numbers have moved right too. (Scroll down here a little.)

But here’s what I find odd about the op-ed. Campbell and Putnam are trying to explain why Americans have increasingly negative views about the tea parties. But their answer, that the tea partiers are too socially conservative, makes no sense because Campbell and Putnam already told us that people don’t know that they’re so socially conservative.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More