LBJ is back in favor

How the left hated Lyndon Baines Johnson back when I was in college!  “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?”  A version of MacbethMacbird, I believe was the title–accused him of killing Kennedy among other vile deeds.   He was hated because he waged the Vietnam War.  And yet  LBJ was the most liberal president in the post-war era, having passed more social programs than just about anyone since FDR, including the Civil Rights Bill, the various measures that constituted the  War on Poverty, and the ambitious government initiatives designed to create the Great Society.

But now LBJ is back in fashion among Democrats and others on the left, nostalgic for the way he could pass social programs. [Read more…]

Social conservatives rising in France

There is talk of a “French tea party,” as citizens alarmed at abortion, gay marriage, and other social issues are mobilizing politically and taking to the streets.  Something similar is happening in other European countries.  The movement is one of  social conservatism, not necessarily other kinds of conservatism, with the protesters often being fine with big government and controlled economics.  But still. . . [Read more…]

GOP establishment wooing Jeb Bush

A number of Republican leaders and donors–motivated by pragmatism and looking for a candidate who is moderate enough to actually win the next presidential election–are trying to persuade Jeb Bush to run.  Of course, these are the same win-at-any-cost pragmatists who gave us Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Whatever the virtues of Jeb Bush, the Bush “brand” is surely a liability, and choosing candidates from a family dynasty is surely a monarchical instinct and unworthy of a free republic.  (The same holds true for Clintons and Kennedys.)  Or am I missing something? [Read more…]

You can now give to as many candidates as you want

The Supreme Court struck down the limits to the number of candidates a person is allowed to give money to and the total amount you are allowed to give.   Left standing is the limit a person can give to one candidate–$48,600–but the law had limited total giving to $123,200.  That meant that a donor wanting to give the maximum amount could only support nine candidates.

I know that critics of the ruling are claiming that this opens the door to political corruption and gives rich people the opportunity to buy candidates.  But are there any constitutional grounds for objecting to this ruling?  Aren’t limitations of political activity unconstitutional on the face of it? [Read more…]

“National Bolshevism”: Russia’s new ideology

Vladimir Putin’s speech annexing the Crimea echoes the language of a new political ideology being formulated in Russia, according to Canadian journalist Doug Sanders.  A melange of postmodernism, nationalism, and Russian Orthodox mysticism, it goes by the name of “Eurasianism” or “National Bolshevism” (cf. “National Socialism” ).

The ideology’s founder is Alexander Dugin, who calls his movement a “Fourth Way” between liberal democracy, fascism, and communism.  Though the big enemy is liberal democracy, so that he calls on an alliance between fascists, communists, Islamists, and other pre-modern forces to overthrow it.  He describes his ideology as “socialism without materialism, atheism, progressivism and modernism.”  Read about it after the jump, noting my highlights, and then read my reflections. [Read more…]

Just let Google run the country?

Justine Tunney, one of the founders of Occupy Wall Street, is calling on President Obama to resign, have all government workers retire, and transfer all administrative authority to the tech industry, making Google chairman Eric Schmidt the “C.E.O. of America.”

But aren’t leftists always complaining about the influence of big corporations on the government?  Ms. Tunney claims that the tech industry is actually “post-capitalist.”

OK, she only has two signatures on her petition at the time of the news report, so this isn’t a realistic threat to our constitutional republic.  But still, even people on the right say that government should be run “like a business.”  What are the problems with this? [Read more…]