David Brat: Quartermaster for the Republican Foot-Shooting Brigade

The big news this evening is that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary to Tea Party challenger David Brat. Needless to say, this is an absolutely shocking development. Part of the reason for the loss appears to have to do with the fact that Cantor's responsibilities as House majority leader meant that he did …

The Debt Ceiling “Capitulation” Was Nothing of the Kind. It Was a Recognition of Reality.

A lot of fiscal hawks are upset that the House passed a clean debt ceiling bill, instead of taking up a bill that attached spending reductions to action on the debt ceiling. However upset these folks may be, however, the fact of the matter is that with only one half of one branch of government …

Barack Obama and the No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Year

Generally, it is not awesome when presidents are compared to Richard Nixon: President Barack Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday. Obama's approval rating in the poll stands at 43%. By …

The State of the Republican Party

I recognize that liking Mitch McConnell is not fashionable these days among Republicans, but I have a hard time taking issue with his analysis of the GOP: "The most important election yesterday wasn't the governor of New Jersey and it wasn't the governor of Virginia, it was the special election for Congress in South Alabama, where …

The Government Shutdown Was a Terrible and Disastrous Idea

So sayeth Ramesh Ponnuru and Rich Lowry. I align myself entirely with their comments, and the following is both bracing and completely accurate: Prior to the government shutdown, the House Republican leadership offered a plan to force the Senate to hold a symbolic vote on defunding Obamacare before allowing it to move on to a …

Quote of the Day (Part Deux)

As we have just seen in the government shutdown, these new pseudo-conservative ideologues reject compromise out of hand. And, of course, they drum anyone who dares deviate in any way from the prescribed path out of the conservative movement. Precisely the characteristics [Russell] Kirk identified as the attributes of ideological partisans. --Stephen Bainbridge. Read the whole …

James Baker Advises the Republican Party

I am sure that the following is anathema to those who prefer ideological purity in the Republican party to the actual winning of elections--and to the ability to use election victories in order to claim a mandate to change policy for the better--but I happen to be enough of a heterodox thinker to believe that …

Our Ongoing Governmental Disaster

This Ross Douthat piece is very good indeed on describing why the Republican shutdown plan was so crazy to begin with, and why indeed no method to Republican plans can be found. I would excerpt favorite parts, but really, one ought to read the whole thing. While I am citing Douthat, here is another piece of his …

Republicans and the Right Continue to Bumble and Stumble

Don't look now, but there finally appears to be some work getting done in order to reopen the government and get some kind of deal achieved on increasing the debt ceiling through meetings between the White House and congressional Republicans. But Republicans are hardly negotiating from a position of strength. Note that the story points out …

Congressional Republicans Are NOT Retreating. They Are Simply Advancing in Reverse. And Don’t Anyone Dare Claim Otherwise.

Those who carefully peruse this op-ed by Paul Ryan will find upon careful reading--or via the Ctrl-F option--that the word "Obamacare" is not used once by Ryan. In writing on how Republicans and the Obama administration can come to some sort of agreement that will get the government open again, Ryan proposes the following: Here …