I do not care for primary season

Primary campaigns, and particularly primary debates, tend to get bogged down in purity disputes. When the candidates mostly agree on policies, programs, and priorities, they turn to debating purity, and the focus shifts to accusations and counter-accusations in which old votes and speeches are parsed for supposed evidence of a failure to uphold 100-percent purity on the agreed-upon stance. This is play-acting and pretense and it’s worse than meaningless. [Read more…]

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Nationals’ reliever shows us how to organize GOP presidential debates

So here’s my plan: Invite all two dozen of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates to Nationals Park for a post-anthem stand-off. The last four still standing — still on the field, caps held over their hearts — qualify for the televised debates on Fox and CNN. It would be silly and stupid, but it might still be an improvement over the current process — which is, itself, a goofy parody of macho posturing and performative patriotism. [Read more…]

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Here, at last, is our 2016 campaign/’Too Many Cooks’ mashup

Back in January, I asked “Where is our 2016 GOP/Too Many Cooks mashup?” The Internet finally comes through thanks to — surprisingly — CNN. No, really CNN. Who knew they had it in them? (They left out George Pataki, and Snarf, but I’m not complaining.) [Read more…]

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Sen. Inhofe’s perfectly legal corruption is worse than former-Rep. Schock’s law-breaking

As usual, the real scandal is not what is illegal, but what remains perfectly legal. Aaron Schock was forced to resign because he was corrupt, but 534 members of Congress remain in office and many of them are far, far more corrupt than he has ever managed to be. Consider, for example, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. [Read more…]

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Republicans saying Republican things (2.12)

The wit and wisdom of senators, governors, presidential candidates and state representatives, from the party that wants to outlaw yoga pants, expand Guantanamo, redefine rape, and make sure that all of our small children are safely implanted. [Read more…]

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Republicans divided on germ theory of disease and the monstrous legacy of Dr. Jonas Salk

President Obama urged parents to vaccinate their children. As a result, for the past two days we’ve seen a steady parade of ambitious Republican officials denouncing the evils of vaccination and attacking the germ theory of disease, followed by another group of Republican officials trying to control the damage by arguing that #NotALLRepublicans think that preventing disease is a Bad Thing. [Read more…]

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What was the deal with Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett?

Pennsylvania’s electorate contradicted itself yesterday. If it was right to reject Tom Corbett, then it was wrong to reinforce the Corbett agenda by increasing the Corbett majority in the state legislature. If it was right to strengthen the Republican hold on the state legislature, then it was wrong to vilify Tom Corbett. [Read more…]

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Libertarians, ‘moralism’ and the ‘Corrosive Politics of Virtue’

“Moralism” isn’t a list of social issues. Moralism is about drawing lines and assigning blame. It’s about separating the “deserving” from the “undeserving.” And, above all, it’s about identifying the immoral Other who can be blamed for all the ills of society. [Read more…]

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