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…]

Millennials aren’t so liberal after all

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that paints the Millennial generation as being the new base of Democratic party liberalism, studies show that their political beliefs are much more complicated than that.  As Kirsten Power points out, Millennials are more likely to support gay marriage than other demographic groups, but they are less likely to support abortion.

Their main political characteristics are independence, changeability, pragmatism, and disdain for static ideologies.  That means Democrats can’t take them for granted and Republicans have a shot at their votes. [Read more…]


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