Ed Kilgore

How the Medicaid Fight Kicked Off the 2016 Presidential Race
July 11, 2012

In all the puzzlement over the irrationality of Republican governors vowing to turn down the bonanza of federal dollars provided for expanding Medicaid, there’s a reason hiding in plain sight: pure ambition.  It’s no accident that several of the fire-breathers on this subject—notably Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley—have exhibited interest in (or have been reported to covet) higher office.  I don’t know if Rick Perry still wants to be president, or can overcome the impression of buffoonery and incompetence that helped sink his once-formidable 2012 campaign.  But I do know that his one

How the GOP’s New Education Policy Embraces the Market and Abandons Objective Standards
July 09, 2012

We all got a good laugh at the recent befuddlement (reported at TNR by Amy Sullivan) of a conservative Republican legislator from Louisiana who withdrew her support from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program when she realized that its open door to public support for religious schools was not limited to those catering to Christians. But the underlying principle of Jindal’s initiative—and arguably of Mitt Romney’s little-discussed proposal to convert the bulk of federal K-12 education dollars into vouchers—is no laughing matter.

Why the Obamacare Ruling Isn’t the Slam Dunk Most People Think
June 28, 2012

Given the immense attention rightly being devoted to the Supreme Court’s treatment of the individual mandate, it’s not surprising that far fewer words are being spilled on the Court’s other big finding: that the federal government cannot withhold all Medicaid funds from states refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion that contributes so much to the law’s goal of covering the uninsured.

Conservatives Scramble to Settle on Talking Points
June 28, 2012

96 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Cambria;} The initial reaction to the Court’s decision on ACA among conservatives seems to have been much like that of other observers: surprise.

Tim Pawlenty’s Incredible Luck
June 21, 2012

So T-Paw ran for the big prize in 2012, and despite almost ideal positioning as a credentialed non-Romney who was acceptable to movement conservatives, he was the first significant candidate to drop out because he couldn’t convince a few thousand people to take a free bus ride and eat a free lunch on his ticket in Ames, Iowa, right next door to his own state. The early demise of his candidacy, however, meant that he had scant opportunity to offend Mitt Romney (or anyone else in the GOP)—and he blew his one effort to do so by so timorously mentioning “ObamneyCare” just once in a candidate deba

Someone Needs to Point Out the GOP’s New Extremism. Why Not Obama?
June 18, 2012

Back in April, my esteemed mentor and colleague William Galston and I had an exchange at TNR about whether the presidential election would necessarily serve as a “referendum” on the president’s record (particularly with respect to the economy, of course) and what that meant for Obama’s re-election strategy.

Five Takeaways From the 2012 Primary Season
June 04, 2012

Now that Mitt Romney is officially the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and we have some distance from the primaries that decided it all, it’s time to consider the lessons. Otherwise, poor memories, shaky analysis and self-serving spin will combine to congeal a conventional “wisdom” that is anything but. As someone who obsessively chronicled every twist and turn of this very odd nomination contest for TNR, here are my five top takeaways: 1.      Mitt Romney is a very lucky man.

Can Romney Manage to Make This Election Exclusively About the Economy?
May 22, 2012

In the two months since Eric Fehrnstrom’s “etch-a-sketch” gaffe, many political observers have waited for the iconic moment when Romney would move to the center or distance himself from the toxic conservative ideological battles of the primary season. But without much notice, that etch-a-sketch moment has already happened. No, Romney has not shifted positions.  Nor has he disrespected the conservative activists whose votes and trust he sought so relentlessly since 2007.

The Real Super PAC Menace (Hint: It Has Nothing To Do With Jeremiah Wright Ads)
May 18, 2012

Plenty of liberals and other Americans of good conscience no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when AmeriTrade founder and Chicago Cubs co-owner Joe Ricketts distanced himself yesterday from the $10 million racially-tinged Jeremiah Wright ad blitz that the New York Times had reported he was considering buying. But it would be a mistake to consider that any sort of significant victory against the disproportionate power wielded by super PACs.

Obama's Smart Move on Same-Sex Marriage
May 10, 2012

President Obama’s surprise announcement yesterday that he now supports marriage equality for same-sex couples brought great joy to two very different groups of people.