Republican leaders are starting to panic

Republican leaders are in a state of fear that Donald Trump or Ben Carson could be their party’s nominee.  They had assumed that they would fade by now, but they haven’t!  The party leaders believe that if either of those two were nominated, Hillary Clinton would win easily and the Democrats would take back the Senate.  Some, showing loftier principles, are worried that someone totally unfit to be president might get elected, to the detriment of the nation.

To make it worse, the big Republican donors are holding back their money, either not knowing who to give it to or refusing to give to a lost cause.  Some Republicans are even trying to get Mitt Romney to come in as a late entrant to the race, hoping for a brokered convention.

Philip Rucker gives the inside story in the Washington Post in an article that Democrats and anti-establishment conservatives will find unintentionally humorous, though it may send mainline Republicans into despair. [Read more...]

Republicans pick Paul Ryan as House Speaker

House Republicans nominated Paul Ryan to be Speaker of the House, pretty much assuring his election, scheduled for today.  Some conservatives insist that the party’s last Vice Presidential candidate is not conservative enough, despite Ryan’s reputation as an innovative conservative policy wonk.  But most members of the Freedom Caucus–the home of hardline House conservatives who had been the bane of the previous speaker, John Boehner–voted for Ryan. [Read more...]

Speaker Boehner will resign–from Congress!

House Speaker John Boehner, who has been facing opposition and ouster attempts from many of his fellow Republican, is resigning at the end of October.  Not only from his powerful leadership position, but from Congress!

Might this help Republicans, who have a majority in both houses,  be more effective?  Or will it herald still more chaos in the party? [Read more...]

Ideological sorting

In the course of a column on a recent Medicare bill, Michael Gerson observes that in the not-too-distant-past there were liberal Republicans (in the northeast) and conservative Democrats (in the past).  Back then, lawmakers could form coalitions with kindred spirits across the aisle to pass legislation.  But now both parties have undergone “ideological sorting,” so that Democrats are virtually all liberal and Republicans are virtually all conservative.  Thus, votes are along party lines, and the only hope of advancing an agenda is to win a big enough majority to steamroll the other party.  This is why, he says, our politics is so polarizing and it is so difficult to get legislation passed.

Read what Mr. Gerson says after the jump and consider the questions I raise. [Read more...]

Carly Fiorina for president?

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carla Fiorina is starting a run for the Republican presidential nomination.  She is pro-life, fiscally-conservative, and of the female persuasion.  Then again, she has never held public office and her tenure at Hewlett-Packard was not completely successful.  Still, maybe she could give Hillary Clinton a run for the money.  What do you think about a Carla Fiorina candidacy? [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...]