Friend in the Senate

My friend Ben Sasse whom I’ve blogged about, won the Republican primary race for Senate in Nebraska.  Observers are saying he will be a shoo-in for election.  Pundits are calling this a “Tea Party” victory, but Ben is nothing like the angry-rabble of the stereotype.  He’s a scholar of public policy, the president of Midland University, and a former White House official.  (And, of interest to this blog, he is a Lutheran.)

Molly Ball, writing about Ben’s victory in the Atlantic, comments about the way the media keeps trying to make the elections fit the Procrustean bed of “Tea Party” vs. “Establishment.”  In reality, she points out, the best candidate tends to win against “rank incompetents” no matter who endorses them.  She calls Ben a “fusion” candidate that may be a herald of the future. [Read more…]

The free market vs. conservatism

Conservatives tend to support the free market.  But the free market doesn’t necessarily support conservatism.  Companies have to make money, so business interests are opposing sanctions against Russia and treading lightly in other countries when it comes to promoting democracy and liberty.  So says liberal columnist Harold Meyerson.  He could have added that businesses are also finding it in their economic interests to support gay marriage, hedonism,  and our decadent entertainment industry.  Historically, the free market has been an engine of “progress,” undermining conservative values.

Consider Meyerson’s argument, after the jump.  How could you answer him?  Or does he have a point?  [Read more…]

The Democrats’ billionaires

As Democrats demonize the Koch brothers for donating money to conservatives, their own billionaires are getting organized to make the most of their political donations. [Read more…]

Anti-Obama but pro-Hillary

President Obama’s approval ratings are plummeting, and Democrats’ prospects for the House and Senate look bleak.  And yet in presidential polls, Hillary Clinton still beats all Republican candidates by far.  So a substantial demographic does not like President Obama but does like Hillary Clinton.  These are mostly blue collar workers and white Southerners, including many who do not describe themselves as liberal and quite a few evangelicals.  In other words, the old Democratic constituency that had been taken away by Ronald Reagan.  See a sample of E. J. Dionne’s discussion of this phenomenon after the jump. [Read more…]

Funding weaker opponents

In some creative campaign finance shenanigans, some Democratic candidates have been giving financial and advertising support to Republicans whom they think would be easier to defeat than their primary opponents.  This includes funding attack ads casting doubt on whether the frontrunner is conservative enough, all in a ploy to get the more conservative and easier-to-beat candidate on the ticket. [Read more…]

Bringing back the religious left?

A Brookings Institution study says that today’s Democrats are less interested in even liberal Christianity, but that it still might be possible to bring back the religious left.  I would think this is true.  Pope Francis seems to be bringing liberal Catholicism back into power.  Many ostensible evangelicals are reconfiguring their teachings to promote liberal, rather than conservative,  politics.  And of course there are the mainline liberal Protestants who are still around in significant, though reduced, numbers.   (Do notice that I am not referring to people who are liberal politically though conservative theologically, which used to be commonplace and is still evident in many congregations and on this blog.  I’m referring to new iterations of the social gospel.) [Read more…]