The conservatives’ choice?

Three thousand conservative activists held a convention known as CPAC and were wooed by  prospective Republican presidential candidates.  In the final straw poll, Rand Paul won, for the third year in a row, with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker coming in a close second.

Jeb Bush came in fifth, despite busing in supporters to drown out the boos.  For all of his big money, he is doing poorly in the polls.  Walker, though, seems to be surging in popularity.  But CPAC showed that conservatives are tilting libertarian, not just in picking Paul.  Delegates also wanted to legalize marijuana and were opposed to new military ventures.

Who would you pick?  Do you think conservatives will rally around a standard bearer, and, if so, who?  Will their candidate get nominated?  How about elected?

[Read more...]

Mitt Romney won’t run

Though some polls showed that he would be a front-runner and though he has been acting and talking like a candidate, Mitt Romney said that he won’t be running for president in 2016.  Who else should make the same decision? [Read more...]

Republican lawmakers cave on fetal pain bill

The Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The pro-lifers who helped win them their majorities were promised a vote on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain, as well as in many cases surviving outside the womb.  The bill passed the House in the last session, and polls show it having widespread support (including 71% of women).  But after media criticism, the Republican leadership pulled the bill.

Read what Mollie Hemingway has to say about this.  [Read more...]

Populist conservatives vs. big business

The left stereotypes conservatives as the tools of big business, but, as I keep saying on this blog, there are many different kinds of conservatives, and a good many of them–especially the populists associated with the Tea Party– oppose powerful corporations for some of the same reasons leftists do.  Thus, the Washington Post reports that big business is mourning the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and is dismayed at the rise of tea party favorite David Brat, a strong critic of “crony capitalism,” the partnerships between big business and big government.  (See this for Prof. Brat’s ideas about economics and Christianity.)

So is there the possibility of a left/right populist coalition?  The Republican elite and the Democratic elite mostly agree on the cultural issues, though possibly ordinary people in both parties–Catholic Democrats and evangelical Republicans– have more in common on these issues than they realize. [Read more...]

House Majority Leader beaten by Tea Party challenger

Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, lost his Virginia district’s Republican primary.  He was defeated by David Brat, a conservative college professor with hardly any money, who was supported by  Tea Party activists.   For other national primary results, go here. [Read more...]

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...]


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