conservatism

A Second Look: Abraham Lincoln on the “Mud-Sill” Theory of Labor

December 2, 2013

The movement to increase the minimum wage, and to tie it legislatively to the cost of living, is growing. The obscenity of low-wage employment among adults – full-time employment that does not offer a living wage – is increasingly apparent. As Arindrajit Dube pointed out in The New York Times: the evidence suggests that around half of [...]


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The Voting Rights Act and the Consequences of Our Actions

February 28, 2013

. A little over a year ago, to counter a vein of left criticism of President Obama during the election year, I wrote, of the 1968 presidential election, Significantly, while Nixon won 86% of the registered Republican vote, Humphrey won only 74% of registered Democrats. Democratic division before and after the ’68 convention [primarily over [...]


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Two Epistemic Closures: The GOP and Israel-Critics

January 28, 2013

. (This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on January 25, 2013.) What do Tuesday’s election results remind us of? They should recall the result of November’s U.S. elections. Against all evidence – and here I do mean all evidence – Mitt Romney and Republicans of every stripe, from Tea Party to establishment, genuinely believed that they [...]


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Why Obama Hearts Hagel

January 14, 2013

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 11.  The last time I wrote about President Obama’s then only rumored selection of Chuck Hagel I said two things I knew I would wish to revise. The first, rhetorically, was the question: “What was he thinking?” The second was a quotation from Gil Troy’s generally very good writing [...]


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Faking Foreign Policy

October 9, 2012

. From David Sanger in yesterday’s New York Times: But beyond his critique of Mr. Obama as failing to project American strength abroad, Mr. Romney has yet to fill in many of the details of how he would conduct policy toward the rest of the world, or to resolve deep ideological rifts within the Republican Party and [...]


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Maureen Dowd and her Critics

September 24, 2012

. A couple of interesting comments from Noga and David on my post, “A Political Hall of Mirrors,” prompts these further considerations on the reaction to Maureen Dowd’s neocon puppet master column. I don’t think this is a subject in which people need necessarily hold hard positions unwaveringly and completely opposed to differing views. Of [...]


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The Real Dispute behind the Supreme Court’s Health Care Vote

July 11, 2012

. If you pay attention to the expert analysis and the more general opining, you might think from either that the argument over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding it, hast to do with the Commerce Clause and taxation. This thinking represents two kinds of pretense. The [...]


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Pride of a Partisan

June 26, 2012

. As much as some people might be apt to choke on the mere thought of it, ahead of the very thing itself, the central node of American political tendencies was to be found this past Friday, June 23, 2012 in a studio at Television City, in California, on Bill Maher’s Real Time. What? you [...]


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The Nativist GOP and MSM Dereliction

February 20, 2012

. What is happening to the Republican Party is historic, and mainstream news organizations are missing the story. They are missing the story because they are a part of a governing-media complex that revels in its centrality to power and the clubbiness of its associations. Nowhere is this clubbiness more seductive and debilitating of the [...]


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The Reactionary Libertarian

January 10, 2012

. I said in “Ron Paul and Cranky Libertarianism” that libertarianism is a disposition claiming an offense, a cranky warning to other people to bugger off. I closed by characterizing it as a rejection of modernity. This is so of most contemporary American conservatisms, but the libertarian rejection is different, not simply conservative in the [...]


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Occupy Wall Street vs The Tea Parties

October 10, 2011

. There is enough oversimplification in MSM political commentary about American political movements and tendencies – their origins, motives, and acts – to swirl perpetually down a drain of ignorance, but I don’t have quite that much time today. The opposition of the title above is certainly a current, favored topic of pundits. As it [...]


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“Special” Rights and the Accomplices to Discrimination That Are Those Who Call Them So

September 2, 2011

In a recent Indian Country Today essay, Peter d’Errico, the eminent Native American rights advocate, argued that “we need to be careful with the phrase ‘special rights.’ Perhaps we shouldn’t even use it.” In this instance, I think d’Errico is too moderate in his judgment. d’Errico was writing about the term specifically in its application [...]


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Obama & Bin Laden: “A Politically Courageous Decision of the First Order”

May 10, 2011

Steve Schmidt, 2008 political adviser to the John McCain campaign appeared yesterday on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and demonstrated what it means to be a “political opponent” and not a “political enemy.” While many other conservatives, in their grasping meanness, have sought to diminish President O’bama’s leadership in his action against Osama bin [...]


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Kenya, Conservatives and Colonialism

April 15, 2011

It really sticks in my craw. But that’s all right. I have a large craw. I suck it down and then I spit it out. I spit it out. According to the The Times of London (behind paywall) last week, Government efforts to cover up one of the worst episodes in British colonial history have [...]


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Libya and the End of the American Imperium

March 31, 2011

Watching the array of opinion on Libya play out over the screen of public pronouncement and positioning has been a marvel, a kind of international and inter-ideological performance art – the Western political mind CAT-scanned, back lit, and thrown onto a blotter. It looks a lot like a Pollack. We’ve got the neocon “freedom agenda,” [...]


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The U.S. International Role: Conservative & Progressive

March 16, 2011

I offered my take on the current war of words and ideas over whether the U.S. should engage in more warlike action in Libya. Now, there are three essential considerations at The Atlantic. Substituting for James Fallows, Sam Roggeveen offers here and here, with more to come, two deeply considered  posts (beneath the common sturm [...]


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Hugo Chavez in Wisconsin

March 9, 2011

It is a core distinction between the American Left and Right that while liberals seek to expand rights in ways that conservatives often dislike and find offensive, conservatives simply seek to deprive citizens of rights and to take from them those they already have. You can find video of this historic travesty of democracy – [...]


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“Free Labor,” from Abraham Lincoln – in Wisconsin

March 7, 2011

Abraham Lincoln, in his so far unending prescience and wisdom, actually offered some thoughts on the nature of labor and capital in of all places Wisconsin – at the annual meting of the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, in Milwaukee, on September 30, 1859. A brief passage from it, bolded below, is quoted often and can [...]


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Why We Need Unions #351

February 26, 2011

I’m in activist mode this week. Later, next week, I’ll offer some deeper reflections. But a curious result of all the activist tweeting I’ve been doing through the week has been the response from conservatives. Mostly, my tweets are retweeted by the generally liberal like-minded. My tweets on the Wisconsin labor standoff, though, making their [...]


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DADT: American Conservatism, Still Riding the Backwash of History

December 20, 2010

Saturday, of course, with the Senate’s vote to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, was a great day in American history, and in the human progress toward a fully humane identity. We need to recall it, along with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, when we feel overwhelmed, as is often so, by the [...]


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Liberalism

November 10, 2010

Last night, as a follow up to their angry exchange on Joe Scarborough‘s Morning Joe, Laurence O’Donnell hosted Glenn Greenwald on The Last Word. As they both noted and were glad have be the case, it was a much more civil exchange. I’ll make several points before the video. First, the original exchange transpired in [...]


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