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    Can Republicans Win In 2012 Without Leadership?

    Fred Barnes, who is nothing if not plugged in to the thinking of leading Beltway Republicans, looks at how the Congressional GOP plans to work with the presidential nominee: Republicans would like to revive party unity and repeat the Reagan-Kemp success story. House speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell are planning to confer with the Republican nominee, once one emerges. Their aim: | Read More »

    Super Tuesday By The Numbers

    The voting is over, and so for the most part is the counting. The delegate math, I leave to others; let’s take a look at how the popular vote has shaped up over the course of this primary season and what conclusions we can draw. First, the overall popular vote before Super Tuesday, on Super Tuesday, and to date.* In addition to listing the candidates’ | Read More »

    Mitt Romney, The Unconvincing Convert

    It can be difficult to summarize in one place all of Mitt Romney’s problems as a candidate and as a potential President. I have tried; I wrote, back in 2007, a series so lengthy on Romney’s flaws (some 15,000 words, Part I, II, III, IV & V) that I can’t possibly hope to rewrite the whole thing now, and explained why I preferred McCain to | Read More »

    What’s At Stake in Michigan

    Here’s why tomorrow’s Michigan primary is so important: it’s about establishment confidence in Mitt Romney and the last outside chance of getting another entrant in the race. There are, as I’ve noted previously, a number of different types of “establishment” vs “grassroots” divides in the GOP, but you don’t have to have any particular definition of ‘establishment’ to recognize that Romney’s candidacy leans heavily on | Read More »

    The Right Answer on Birth Control

    At the CNN GOP debate last night in Arizona, the candidates were asked this question: Since birth control is the latest hot topic, which candidate believes in birth control, and if not, why? The question was roundly booed by the audience. Republicans hated this line of questioning when it was aired in a debate a few weeks back by former Democratic White House Communications Director | Read More »

    David Waldman of Daily Kos: Know-Nothing Bigot

    It’s time for Democratic politicians like Elizabeth Warren who are courting Catholic voters, or who – like Senator Bob Casey – profess the Catholic faith themselves, to distance themselves from Daily Kos over the anti-Catholic Know-Nothing bigotry of Contributing Editor David Waldman. Waldman, @KagroX on Twitter, is one of the leading figures at Daily Kos, the largest left-wing blog; a former Hotline staffer, he’s a | Read More »

    The Proposition 8 Decision: Not Rational

    The Ninth Circuit’s 2-1 decision last week in Perry v. Brown upheld the decision of Judge Vaughan Walker holding that the people of the State of California violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by passing – in a statewide referendum in 2008 – Proposition 8. Prop 8 amended the California Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, restoring | Read More »

    A Further Response To Avik Roy on Establishments

    My original essay on the current divide between the GOP “Establishment,” on the one hand, and the Tea Party and other anti-Establishment factions, on the other, sought to explain the leading issue (the growth of spending and the size of government relative to the private sector), the proximate cause (the loss of trust that the GOP Establishment would make a serious effort to stem this | Read More »

    Establishments and Our Money: A Response To Avik Roy

    Following my essay on the nature of the Establishment vs Tea Party or Outsider divide on the Right as driven primarily by a divide over whether and how we can roll back the seemingly endless growth of spending and the size of government, a number of people offered criticisms. Some noted that there are longstanding divides between the DC-based professional class (officeholders, staffers, pundits and | Read More »

    Three States Down, 47 To Go

    The basic dynamics of the 2012 GOP nomination battle remain unchanged: the bulk of the GOP electorate doesn’t want Mitt Romney, but isn’t really sold on an alternative. Iowa’s voters broke late to Rick Santorum as the conservative alternative; South Carolina’s broke late, and much more decisively, to Newt Gingrich. It remains up to Newt now to prove he can hold together the conservatives going | Read More »

    What The Republican “Establishment” Really Means

    There’s been a lot of talk, maybe too much talk, about the struggle between the GOP “Establishment” and “Outsiders,” sometimes – but sometimes not – meaning the Tea Party, however defined. There are many fault lines, wheels within wheels, that divide different groups on the Right, but it’s time to clarify the core issue that has people of perfectly conservative temperament and ideology scratching their | Read More »

    An Open Letter to Jim DeMint

    Dear Senator DeMint: By the numbers, we are yet very early in the presidential primaries. 1144 delegates are needed to sew up the nomination, and depending how you count these things, Mitt Romney has maybe 13 delegates after finishing Iowa in a de facto tie with Rick Santorum and thumping Ron Paul in New Hampshire last night. But presidential primary races are often about perception: | Read More »

    On Romney, Bain and Keeping Your Integrity

    We’re far down the rabbit hole of primary season right now, and that inevitably means that charges and counter-charges are flying so fast that the news cycle can change dramatically from morning to afternoon. Naturally, when things are moving this quickly and emotions are running high, people get carried away. This happens to everyone. A lot of people who sit on the sidelines are too | Read More »

    A Scurrilous Race-Baiting Attack on Newt Gingrich

    It’s silly season, I know. But that doesn’t mean we need to tolerate left-wing nonsense thrown at our candidates. If you’re familiar with his stump speech, Newt Gingrich routinely argues that Obama is a food stamp president and he’d be a paychecks president – that his economic plan would get more people to work so they wouldn’t be stuck relying on government aid. It’s one | Read More »

    The Conservative Race In Iowa

    There are 2,286 delegates awarded in the GOP primaries and caucuses; the nomination thus requires wrapping up 1,143 delegates. Between them, Iowa and New Hampshire award 10 delegates; South Carolina and Florida, the other two states voting later this month, award 75. By contrast, three states (California, Texas and New York) award a combined 422 delegates, more than a third of the total needed to | Read More »