Showing posts from May, 2008

The Next Right: a big tent?

I am a liberal, but I am quite enthusiastic about the idea of The Next Right , because liberalism and conservatism are both essential strains within the American body politic. I remember when RedState was launched many years ago and I was equally enthusiastic, though at the time there was far less consensus that there was something wrong on the Right. Since then RedState has come to epitomize all that is wrong with the Right and I think that The Next Right, in particular because of the people who are behind it, might be the right thing at the right time. I interpret conservatism, broadly speaking, as the struggle to liberate men from the tyranny of the state. liberalism might then be interpreted as an extension of conservatism, the struggle to liberate men from the tyranny of economics. Where both sides go wrong is in forgetting that the pther is also necessary - we must be free of the State's interference from our lives, but we also cannot countenance on a moral level the attitud

on Freedom

What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do. George Orwell? Or Rudy Giuliani? Yup . We really, really, REALLY dodged a bullet when Rudy! dropped out of the race.

the triumph of the technocrats

The Politico has a great profile of the mastermind behind Obama's nomination strategy , Jeffrey Berman, a lawyer whose hobby is delegate math: Clinton’s delegate chief is the much-heralded, oft-profiled, tough-talking past master of the party’s rules, Harold Ickes. But Ickes had a broad portfolio that included fundraising and politicking, a lobbying and consulting business, and a sideline in bitter infighting — all conducted while Berman was concentrating solely on tasks such as hashing out the details of the mixed Texas primary system and arranging obscure Puerto Rican political deals. Berman’s counterpart on the staff level in the Clinton campaign, meanwhile, is a former New York State Democratic Party official new to the delegate hunt. Berman, by contrast, 25 years ago joined the very small fraternity of Democratic operatives steeped in the obscure — and typically unrewarding — subfield of delegate selection. It’s a job description that begins with getting the candidate on the b

Hillary for Veep

I'd previously been a fan of Richardson for Obama's veep, but the results today coming out of West Virginia have made me question whether a brown-black ticket wouldn't be overdoing it. Todd Beeton lays out a number of reasons why the Hillary veep scenario makes sense, not least of which being that a majority of Democratic voters want it to happen, according to a US News poll: In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 55% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents also would like Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to choose Clinton as his running mate, although there's notable resistance among his backers. [...] Three of four Clinton supporters would like to see her on Obama's ticket. But 52% of Obama supporters would rather he "choose someone else." There are however pragmatic reasons for Hillary as veep, as Todd also notes. I think that anyone who is automatically against Hillary for Veep is needs to understand the role that a Vice President pick plays. In order of impo

the Global Cooling Bet

In response to a paper in Nature that argues that global warming may be entering a lull, the RealClimate blog is extending a friendly wager offer to the authors of the paper, and inviting them to guest post on the blog. I hope the authors (Keenlyside et al.) take RC up on this, as it's a great idea and very much in the spirit of open scientific debate. As the RC folks put it , Framing this in the form of a bet also helps to clarify what exactly was forecast and what data would falsify this forecast. This was not entirely clear to us just from the paper and it took us some correspondence with the authors to find out. It also allows the authors to say: wait, this is not how we meant the forecast, but we would bet on a modified forecast as follows… By the way, we are happy to negotiate what to bet about - we're not doing this to make money. We'd be happy to bet about, say, a donation to a project to preserve the rain forest, or retiring a hundred tons of CO2 from the European

Wright turn in Indiana for Clinton

I hate to pessimistic or cynical, but I think the nutty Pastor achieved his goal of payback to Barack Obama by sufficiently muddying the waters to cost Obama the Indiana primary. The recent Rassmussen poll numbers show a cratering of support for Obama there after Wright repudiated his repudiation. It remains to be seen whether Obama's unequivocal re-repudiation of Wright will let his numbers recover, but I think in a race as close as Indiana that barring a slipup or scandal from Clinton, even the slightest molehill can play a mountainous role. Clinton is taking some well-deserved heat on one thing or another but plant closings and foreign jobs and whatnot don't have the raw emotional resonance of a Crazy Black Man. As Trippi has argued , Clinton's real focus is on North Carolina. At present Clinton still hasn't broken through a ceiling of 44% support there, but coming off a win in Indiana, the momentum might well change. Ultimately though this still boils down to the s